After turning in what will ultimately go down as the signature match of his professional wrestling career, defeating Claudio Castagnoli in the opening match of Grand Slam to become the new Ring of Honor World Champion, Eddie Kingston surprised the professional wrestling world by announcing that he recently signed a four-year extension with AEW to remain with the company indefinitely.
Sitting down for an interview with AdFreeShows, Kingston noted that, despite having some maybe Kayfabe issues with AEW in the past, famously “quitting” the promotion to focus on New Japan Strong and Ring of Honor, he decided to re-sign on a new deal without even considering a move to WWE, Impact, or another wrestling promotion.
“If you notice, you haven't heard anything about me with a contract because I did my s**t on the low,” Eddie Kingston said via Fightful. “My thing was coming up, I got four more years. I'm straight. No one needs to know how much, no one needs to know how long. I got my f**king s**t. I got my s**t, and I'm going to be there for a minute because there is nowhere else I want to be.”
Now granted, would Kingston actually consider leaving AEW for WWE? No, the chances of WWE having an interest in Kingston is about as likely as Kingston having an interest in WWE, but there was a chance that he could simply lean all the way into his duties in New Japan and become a full-fledged member of the roster, a transition that, curiously, has been largely one-way thus far. Still, for the next four years at least, it would appear Kingston is going to be working shows for AEW and its official partners, and based on how his 2023 has been going thus far, that appears to be a wise decision.
Eddie Kingston reveals why he's so ride-or-die with AEW.
Elsewhere on his one-man media tour to celebrate his and AEW's success at Grand Slam, Eddie Kingston sat down for an expansive interview with Cam Hawkins of Fightful to discuss darn near anything a fan could want to know about the “Mad King.”
Asked how he was able to keep the faith after nearly 20 years of struggles, Kingston talked about his faith and how, after being offered a chance to prove his worth, he's become an AEW homer through and through.
“Yeah, I'll tell them straight up, who made up those rules? We did. We made up those rules for ourselves. You know what? There's no no one says the correct timeline… I'll give you an example. I was like, by my 30s I should be married. I should have at least one kid, and I should be making a good living off wrestling, not struggling like I was. I put that in my own head. No one told me that. I put that in my own head, and then I let it beat me down until I realized I made those rules. Guess what? I can change them. And everybody goes by their own pace. And I like to tell people, when people come to me about that they're feeling a certain way. And it's weird that they're coming to me because I ain't got all my s**t together, you know what I mean? I still struggle every day with stuff, but I tell them straight up, there's no such thing as normal. We make our own normal. My normal is not the same as the next man or woman. So all that stuff where you're like, I need to be this by this age, or I should have this by this age,” Eddie Kingston told Fightful.
“You're doing that to yourself. So guess what? You can change it. And everybody has their own path, man. It took me 18 years to get signed to a major company. That's why I ride and die with AEW. That's why I'm a homer for them. That's why I treat them like they're the Yankees. And I tell, and I say, everyone else sucks, you know what I mean? It takes everybody their own path, man. I wasn't all there. If I got this earlier in my life at a younger age or earlier in my career, I would be one of those stories that people would do shoot interviews about why did Eddie Kingston get fired, you know what I mean? There was a reason why this happened. I wasn't mentally, physically, emotionally especially, ready. So everything takes time, man. Everyone has their own path, and I got my faith. I'm Catholic. You know what I mean? So if you believe in something, you believe in the universe or you believe in God like I do, you just look, there's a plan out there. Whether I like it or not, this is the plan. And I'm going to do my best to live a better life every day. That's all you can do, you know what I mean? And remember, you make up the rules, man. You make up the rules for your own life. So that means you can change them when it's proper, when it's right.”
Could Kingston have just quit when it looked like things weren't going to break his way? Sure thing, the prospects of grinding away without a clear endpoint in mind can be daunting, and certainly isn't a path everyone wants to follow. But despite his history, despite his marketability, despite not having a traditional professional wrestler “look,” Kingston made it work, and that's why fans are so darn compelled any time he talks, let alone gets into the ring.