After being out of action for more than a month due to a jaw injury, Kofi Kingston returned to the ring on this week’s episode of Raw.
Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated RETRIBUTION’s T-Bar & Slapjack on Raw tonight, with Kingston pinning Slapjack to get the win. Kingston stared down RETRIBUTION leader Ali (who was on commentary for the match) while pinning Slapjack. T-Bar and Mace then tried to attack Kingston & Woods, but Kingston & Woods got away.
Woods had been feuding with RETRIBUTION on his own while Kingston was out of action. In storyline, Ali took Kingston’s spot in the men’s Royal Rumble match due to Kingston being unable to compete. The storyline referenced how Kingston replaced Ali at Elimination Chamber 2019 and went on to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 that year.
Prior to making his return tonight, Kingston had been out of action since the January 4 episode of Raw. Kingston did appear in a backstage segment at the Royal Rumble and accompanied Woods to the ring as Woods defeated Ali in a singles match on Raw last week. Kingston jumped off T-Bar’s shoulder to hit a dive onto Slapjack at ringside during that match.
Kingston suffered the jaw injury at December’s TLC pay-per-view but wrestled on the December 28 and January 4 episodes of Raw. He spoke about the injury on The New Day’s Feel the Power podcast last month:
So going back to when I had injured my jaw, I got kneed in the face by Cedric Alexander like three weeks ago. And a couple of my teeth chipped. It was all fine — it was cool. And the point of impact was just real sore. I thought okay it’s a bruise or whatever. The next week we actually had like a six-man match and everything was fine. A little pain but not terrible.
And then the next week when we had our match — right before we went out, it just kept feeling like it was like just loose. Like, ‘oh, this is weird.’ And as soon as we get out there to the ring, I’m moving around and now I’m feeling it kind of like come out of place and just feel like it wasn’t set in. And I feel like if the fans were there, I wouldn’t have felt that. Like throughout the whole entire match, anytime something would happen, I would get hit or whatever, I’ll grab my jaw. And I’m like, the entire match thinking about it the whole time. But, if we had fans there — I’ve been, not necessarily injured, but have been hurt in a match, and you just feel like the adrenaline of the crowd and it makes you will your way through it. So, I don’t know man, It changes the whole dynamic of just how we do what we do and the approach even. It’s just really really strange. I don’t know if it’s for the better or for the worse. I guess the best way I can describe it is just being different.