Kofi Kingston is loving life in the WWE right now. He is the WWE World Heavyweight champion on SmackDown having won it at WrestleMania 35 in April in what was his first ever singles title shot.
The 37 year old talked to The National ahead of the WWE's latest event in Saudi Arabia, Super ShowDown where he will defend his title against Dolph Ziggler.
Kingston spoke about his rise to the top after 11 years in the business, enjoying being in the main event scene and why he wants Brock Lesnar to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on him.
On winning his first network special title defence against Kevin Owens
Kingston beat Owens at WWE Money in the Bank on May 19.
Of the match, he said: "It was pretty awesome because to me this has always been a goal. I have waited a long time to be WWE champion and now that I am it is just awesome to be able to walk into a show and know that you are going to be in the main event.
"With a guy like Kevin Owens I knew the match would be good as we are two guys who want to go out there and steal the show every single time we are out there.
"Being on the European tour and being in the event every night for two weeks, it is what it is all about. It is what I had wanted for such a long time and to see that sacrifice and commitment and hard work pay off is a good feeling.”
On making sure he enjoys being champion
"It is really important. I want to perform to the best of my ability every time but I know this is a rare opportunity to have a lot of mic time and time to go out there and cut promos back and forth and tell stories so I am enjoying every bit.
"What you saw in London was a genuine smile. Just happy to be doing things that are the main event of the show.
"I love being in this position and I hope to be here for a long time to come."
Why he wants to be the one Brock Lesnar cashes in his MITB briefcase on
Brock Lesnar is the Money in the Bank briefcase winner and could either cash in on Kingston or Seth Rollins, the WWE Universal champion.
Kingston said he genuinely hoped Lesnar would come after him and his title.
"I have worked 11 years to get to where I wanted to be but that is not the end of the journey," he said. "This is now the beginning of the journey and my goal is to be one the greatest WWE champions of all time and the way you do that is by going up against great superstars and legends and Brock Lesnar no doubt is a legend. He is a Hall of Famer.
"For me to get in the ring with Brock Lesnar would be amazing. It is almost a measuring stick to see where I stand.
We wrestled each other at Beast in the East (in 2015) in a Network Special about four or five years ago.
"As a wrestler, a performer and a person I have grown so much since then so to get a second chance, at this point in my career, would be great.
"I am all about that. I do hope he chooses me. I think the match would be awesome but it would be an amazing challenge for me to see where I stand as a performer.”
On winning the title at WrestleMania 35
"It still feels as amazing now as it did on that first night.
"I think I was still in awe for the first couple of weeks. I felt like I was going to wake up from a dream.
"I look back at it, there were so many moments. It has been awesome. So many people have come up to me and told me how the match made them feel. It is so inspiring and humbling.
"I am just fortunate to have been in that position with a guy like Daniel Bryan, who is another who is one of the greatest of all time.
"Having the match against him was perfect. He was the perfect opponent in so many different ways. It still makes me feel emotional when I think about it and start to talk about it."
On the future of New Day
Kingston has been in The New Day faction with Xavier Woods and Big E since late 2014.
They have been WWE Tag champions five times in the past and Kingston is confident there is still plenty of good times ahead for the group despite his singles success.
"We have been together for five years and it is still a lot of fun.
I think we still have a lot of ground to cover and still there are so many things we can do and make people laugh, smile and have a good time.
"To be able to have this success with two people I consider brothers, and I mean that when I say it, has been amazing. The longer we are together the rarer the relationship I realise we have."
On returning to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown
"Every time we go to Saudi the show gets bigger and bigger. It is almost like a second WrestleMania to be honest with you.
"The fireworks, the people that are there, the spectacle, I love going to Saudi.
"I told this story before but before we ever had a show there I went there for promotional work. I was there for seven days and it was one of the greatest experiences of my WWE career.
"It was great meeting fans and people who had dreams of WWE coming to their country.
"Now you fast forward five years later and we have events now in Saudi that are just so big and I have witnessed the growth.
"To be a part of that is really special and every time we go to Saudi I look forward to that. The energy is of the charts and it is about putting smiles on people’s faces. I can’t wait to go back.”
Other confirmed matches on the card include The Undertaker v Goldberg, Triple H v Randy Orton, Roman Reigns v Shane McMahon and a 50-man Battle Royal.
Tickets are on sale and start from Dh25 and can be bought at www.shark.sa.