There are some performers that hit home with wrestling fans and Eddie Kingston stands out as an example among many.
Growing up as a child when you say who your favorite pro wrestler is, it’s more than likely because of how the wrestler looks, or how they speak, or how they move in the ring. As an adult when you say who your favorite pro wrestler is, it’s because they represent something in your life.
When discussing who people love to watch on TV, or go to see live, you’ll hear names like AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, Kenny Omega, and MJF just to name a few. But one of my favorite wrestlers right now is Eddie Kingston. Why? Because we can all relate to Kingston in one way or another.
Eddie Kingston isn’t a character that is played on TV every single week. This is who he is in real life. A modern-day common man of professional wrestling. Somebody who wears his emotions on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind. These reasons, along with others, are why people love pro wrestling.
Kingston is the type of wrestler that a lot of fans get behind. He might not have the perfect physique in the ring, he might not be politically correct, but it doesn’t matter. Kingston is a wrestling fan who grew up watching wrestling and ended up succeeding when so many people failed.
I’ve been a fan of Kingston since 2005-2006 when I saw some of his early work in promotions such as IWA Mid-South, CZW, and Chikara. I could tell from those early years there was something special about Kingston. If people gave him an opportunity he would succeed.
One of the best traits about Kingston is his ability to speak to people and get them immediately invested in what’s going on. When Kingston speaks, people listen and when he talks it is magic.
From time to time, I think about a promo that Kingston had in 2007 while in Chikara. At the time he is in a feud with Hallowicked and the promo is about opportunity. It’s about the dues that Kingston had been paying for so many years and does he feel he gets rewarded? Not at all. You can see and hear the emotion coming out of Kingston in this promo.
There’s heartache in his eyes and in his voice. After giving up everything he had and traveling not only the country but the world, he hadn’t been given anything in return. That’s the moment that I knew he was one of the very best promo guys in wrestling. More than fifteen years later he still has that gift of gab that you either have or you don’t.
When watching a match with Eddie Kingston you know it’s going to be a brawl, a battle between two bulls to see who the top guy is and who is going to be the winner. Kingston has matches where he’s fighting as if he’s fighting for the next paycheck or next meal. He wants to win and will win at any cost.
Some of his matches tell stories and you’re taken on a wild journey. His matches with Jon Moxley tell stories of survival and the will to win. Some of his matches with Claudio Castagnoli tell stories of the underdog fighter who’s not supposed to be on the same level as a supreme athlete. But that’s what makes Eddie Kingston such a beloved wrestler.
In some way, Kingston is all of us. He’s the wrestler who’s not supposed to be in a match for the world title. He’s the wrestler who’s not supposed to face legends and heroes in the ring. He’s the wrestler who has suffered so many setbacks and heartache that he really shouldn’t be in the ring. But he is in the ring because he has the fighting spirit and the drive to be the best when people have told him he’s not going to amount to anything.
One of the best things Eddie Kingston has ever done in wrestling isn’t something he did in the ring but out of the ring. In November 2021 Kingston wrote an article for The Players Tribune and he talked about his issues with mental illness and depression. As someone who has family members who suffer from depression and myself who suffer from anxiety and depression, it was such a breath of fresh air to read about someone I admire facing some of the same struggles I have.
He opened a door many people wouldn’t even want to open, would want to keep closed, and not let anybody know they had problems. But Kingston is an open book, and the article was one of the best things he’s ever done not only in his career but his life. He gained new fans just from that article and got love from so many fans that his popularity soared to new heights.
Eddie Kingston is one of the many reasons why I love pro wrestling. He’s a man who will never give up, and never surrender. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and is never afraid to speak his mind.
He’s politically incorrect in a politically correct world and that is fine with me. Eddie Kingston, who has traveled all over the world and has seen so many good and bad things in his life is why we love pro wrestling. Because at the end of the day, he’s one of us, a fan of pro wrestling who chased his dreams and succeeded.