Fightin' Fanboys

Fightin' Fanboys: Kenny King of Impact Wrestling

The X Division Champion talks about his upcoming challenge at Slammiversary, what he could bring to the X-Men and more!

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Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Photos courtesy of Impact Wrestling

By Ben Morse

With the speed of Spider-Man, the charisma of Iron Man and the strategic mind of Captain America, Kenny King could potentially be the total package in the Marvel Universe just as he’s become a major star in Impact Wrestling.

Less than a year into his current tenure with the company, King has captured the X Division title and begun building an historic reign with the coveted championship. On June 2 in Boston at Slammiversary, King’s path will come up against two former champions when Chris Sabin and Suicide challenge him for his belt.

We spoke to the champ and comics fan about his plans to acquire even more gold, his favorite Marvel characters, what he could bring to the X-Men, plus much more.

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Marvel.com: A year ago, you had just started with Impact Wrestling. This year, you’re going to Slammiversary as X Division Champion. You’ve accomplished a lot in 12 months. I want to ask how your first year went and how you feel like this show is going to cap it off for you.

Kenny King: It’s been insane the whole time. I came straight in and got to do cool things. I got to tag with Austin Aries; I got to wrestle Zema Ion for the X Division Championship. And then inexplicably, everything kind of slowed. You didn’t see me for a while. And then almost like I was shot out of a cannon, I was in a feud with Rob Van Dam and then I’m X Division Champion. I couldn’t have written this better. The guy who couldn’t win a match with TNA in 2006 is X Division Champion. It’s been a great ride.

Marvel.com: Now you’re the X Division Champion and there’s all these changes, in particular the new format where it’s all three-way matches. How do you feel about that and how do you feel that plays to your strengths or challenges you?

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Kenny King: It’s a challenge. It’s definitely a challenge to have to face two guys. Whenever you have two X Division guys, I feel like that poses a challenge even more. You have guys that are every bit as athletic and fast as you are. It comes from so many different areas. You’ve got guys like Petey Williams, Chris Sabin, Sonjay [Dutt], and Zema. They’re veterans and have been doing this for such a long time. It’s definitely a challenge to try to keep the belt. It guarantees that the fans will see the type of action that they love from the X Division because if two guys are going to tear it down, then you know three guys are.

Marvel.com: It seems like a really good move for the division, particularly for the style that you guys use.

Kenny King: It’s definitely a way to separate X Division from any other wrestling. That’s one of the claims to fame for Impact, where you get to see stuff you don’t get anywhere else.

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Marvel.com: You’ll be defending at Slammiversary against Chris Sabin and Suicide. Sabin you’ve faced two or three times but Suicide just came back. What do they bring to the table and how do you combat that?

Kenny King: Those are two completely different types of guys and completely different styles. Chris Sabin is arguably one of the greatest X Division competitors that TNA has ever seen. He’s been around since the very beginning [and] he’s won the belt multiple times. He’s won the Tag Team titles multiple times. Sabin’s no slouch. I obviously made fun of Chris Sabin on [television] but the bottom line is that anyone who can come back from not one but two ACL surgeries is a tough guy who doesn’t know how to quit. He’s a dangerous guy. It’s not Chris’s first dance and I’m sure he’s done his scouting on me. Chris is going to be gunning and I would say he has a lot more to prove than me or Suicide. Having a lot to prove makes him a dangerous guy.

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Suicide, on the other hand, is unpredictable. He’s crazy. You don’t have a name like Suicide if you have any kind of regard for your body. The things that he brings to the matches are the unorthodox and wildness. The type of stuff the X Division is prepared for. It’s hard to prepare for that kind of guy because you never know what he’s going to do. I watch film on my opponents but I never really worry too much about changing my stuff. They’ll adapt to me.

Marvel.com: A year ago, Austin Aries was in the position you’re in, he was the X Division Champion. Then he moved up, got a shot at the World title and ending up making the most of it and winning the belt. Is that something you see in your future or are you just content with ruling the X Division for now?

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Kenny King: Oh, hell no. Don’t get me wrong, the X Division Championship is a huge accomplishment for me based off the history and how high the bar has been set as far as the matches are concerned. But everybody knows to be the man you have to be the heavyweight champion. I’m focused on the X Division right now but should the opportunity arise for the World, Tag Team, TV, or all three, then yeah. I’ll step up to it.

Marvel.com: Now you’re a fan of Marvel, both in the movies and the comics. Who are some of your favorite characters?

The X-Men

Kenny King: How much time you got? All time, it has to be between Wolverine and The Hulk. I’ve been a big time Wolverine fan; I’ve read all the Weapon X [books], all the way to Alpha Flight. Wolverine has always been one of my favorites because he’s a layered dude and he really doesn’t know how dangerous he is. I love the Hulk’s story [and] I was real big into X-Men. Anytime Hulk and Juggernaut fought, I loved it. Just that raw power was my thing as a kid; just these two big monsters plowing through stuff. I think my favorite X-Men team was Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler. I liked it better when Storm was the leader.

Marvel.com: The classics.

Kenny King: Yeah, the classics. You’re bringing a big smile to my face right now. I’m just thinking about spending summers just reading comics.

Marvel.com: We talk to a lot of people who are wrestling fans or active competitors whose love of comics translates over into some of the inspiration for their character. The two have a lot of crossover. Is there anything you bring from your fandom in comics to your work in wrestling?

Spider-Man

Kenny King: Not so much the character thing but I always liked comics because it was very visual. It is a larger than life thing and I think that’s part of why the demographics cross over so easily because wrestling is kind of the same thing where you have these epic battles that end in a grand fashion. I think that’s why I patterned my wrestling style the way that it is. I know that if I was watching me, I would want it to be intense, exciting and entertaining. Just kind of like Spider-Man. You never see Spidey sitting down for too long.

Marvel.com: I was going to say, you like the bigger characters like Juggernaut and Hulk, but when it comes to your character and in-ring style, you’re certainly more of a Spider-Man type with your high flying moves.

The Hulk

Kenny King: Yeah, because I wasn’t blessed with the Juggernaut’s size. [Laughs] But I was blessed with something like Spider-Man’s speed and agility so I get to show that off a little bit in the ring.

Marvel.com: If you could add any superpower to supplement the skills that you already have naturally in the ring and in real life, what would that be?

Kenny King: Oh man, either flight or telepathy. I’m not sure. That’s a question that I’ve had to answer many times over in my life. Flight would save me a lot of time. But sometimes telepathy would work because I would have an idea about what women are thinking. [Laughs]

Marvel.com: If you could have any Marvel character as a tag team partner, someone who could help you out going after the titles or just to watch your back, who would it be?

Rogue

Kenny King: Oh man, that’s a cool question. Let me give some thought to that one. Who’s the total package? You know who I would want? Rogue. She’s tough, and she’s a distraction. If you piss her off, she’ll sap your energy.

Marvel.com: Say that the X-Men come calling, they need a new member, and they bring you on board. What do you bring to the X-Men that they don’t have already?

Kenny King: I can bring a very slick PR aspect to the team. Sorry, Charles Xavier. Your mansion isn’t enough. Your School for Gifted Youngsters doesn’t work. The X-Men need a cool PR guy. They need someone who can talk to the press and win them over, because all they do is save the freaking planet. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to the press and get the press on your side. I’ll be the X-Men’s PR manager. I’m pretty good on the microphone.

Kenny King (image courtesy of Impact Wrestling)

Marvel.com: They’re feared and hated, so they could certainly use that.

Kenny King: Mutants aren’t that bad!

Visit the official web site of Impact Wrestling for more information on Slammiversary—coming June 2—and follow Kenny King on Twitter.

Tomorrow, we talk with World Champion Bully Ray!

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