Professional wrestler Kenny King has made a living off of being in shape, both inside and outside of the ring. When the former Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion isn’t wrestling for Total Nonstop Acting Wrestling or the No. 1 wrestling promotion in the Southwest, Future Stars of Wrestling, he can be found at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino working as a “Chippendales” dancer. Still, King’s fit physique doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any food weaknesses.
“I’m a sucker for red velvet cake and cookies and cream,” King told Examiner.com. “I try to avoid them, but why workout if you have nothing to work off?”
A Las Vegas local, King had plenty of restaurant recommendations to share with Examiner.com’s readers when asked what his favorite restaurants in town were.
“I think the best sushi in town is at Oyshi Sushi on Rainbow Boulevard,” King said. “I also really like STK at The Cosmopolitan—the filet there is well worth the money. Rao’s inside Caesars Palace is good, too—they have good meatballs—and I also like Cafe Rio.”
Given King’s busy travel schedule, which is only about to get more hectic now that TNA announced it will be taking “Impact Wrestling” on the road starting in March, King admitted that it can be difficult to watch what he eats while he’s on the road. Still, he did have some advice for those who are trying to watch their calorie intake in the New Year.
“You just have to plan ahead,” he said. “I mean, sometimes when a show is done the only thing that’s open is Burger King or McDonald’s, so I just have to bite the bullet, but I try not to pig out too much if I know I haven’t done much earlier that day.”
King’s definitely keeping busy these days, though, competing for the coveted X Division Championship on “Impact Wrestling” and teaming with his group, the Hater Nation, to take on FSW Heavyweight Champion Tyshaun Prince and Tag Team Champions the Suburban Commandos at the upcoming FSW “Ground Zero” show, being held Feb. 23 at the Silverton’s Veil Pavilion. If the Hater Nation loses, they must disband. If a member of the Hater Nation pins their opponent, however, they will win that belt.
Not only is a lot on the line for King at “Ground Zero” as he continues his quest for gold, but a lot is on the line for Future Stars of Wrestling. The Feb. 23 show marks the first time the wrestling promotion will be performing at the Silverton, following appearances everywhere from “a swap meet to Jerry’s Nugget.”
“This show is huge for FSW,” King commented. “I’ve known Joe [DeFalco, FSW’s owner] for a long time, and he just wants to bring quality wrestling to Las Vegas. There are a lot of dedicated fans here, and for the money people pay, it’s well worth it. This isn’t a WWE-style type of show where there’s a lot of talking. There are stories to get behind and characters to root for, but there’s a lot more action. I like to compare it to Ring of Honor when I first got there—there are just a lot of guys hungry to perform who want to wrestle in front of people who love wrestling. They’re just trying to put on the best show possible and they’re dedicated to being as good as they can be.”
Part of FSW’s lure with audiences is its roster, which boasts both familiar names and up-and-coming superstars. Other notable wrestlers currently wrestling for FSW include former WWE Tag Team Champion and TNA X Division Champion Brian Kendrick, former WWE and TNA Superstar Daivari and former WWE Tag Team Champion Paul London. However, while the broad range of styles may keep things interesting for fans, the mix of talent also appeals to wrestlers just starting out in the business because of what they can learn from the vets in the locker room.
“There are just so many people who have been in this business for a while that can help the young guys out,” King stated. “We have Disco Inferno, The Godfather, Rico…Mike Modest has been in this business for 20 years. Really, there’s no one better to teach them.”
King would know, having been taught the tricks of the trade by Al Snow, Bob Holly, Chavo Guerrero and Ivory during the second season of WWE’s hit reality television program “Tough Enough.” When asked if he watched the series when it returned in 2010, King just laughed and said he could only get through 10 minutes.
“They could use their cell phones,” he said with a laugh. “That’s not the ‘Tough Enough’ I went through!”
Still, all jokes aside, King credits his experience on the show with getting him where he is today.
“It was instrumental,” he replied. “That’s where I started out and learned to love the business. Not only did it get my name out there, but the training was second to none. It really helped me start in the middle and not at the bottom.”
When asked if he would ever return to the company that helped him get his start, King said he was happy where he’s at now, but that “no one in their right mind would ever say no” to WWE.
“That’s where the money is—that’s the top of the mountain for this sport,” he replied. “If I got the opportunity, I’m sure I’d take it, but for now I’m happy where I’m at. It’s too crowded over there; at TNA, I get some space.”
Plus, there are still some TNA Superstars King wants to wrestle. Aside from his X Division feud with Rob Van Dam (“I patterned my style off of him, so it’s just so surreal now to see me in the same ring with him,” King stated), King said he’d love the opportunity to go one-on-one with AJ Styles. He’d also like the opportunity to one day feud with former WWE Superstar Shelton Benjamin.
“Shelton’s sort of a double-edged sword, as I’ve constantly been compared to him throughout my career,” King said. “But I think our levels of athleticism would complement each other nicely, and we’ve never fought each other one-on-one before.”
For now, though, King is just focused on wrestling in TNA and FSW and bringing more professional wrestling events to Las Vegas. Is there any chance TNA may return to Sin City to tape a future episode of “Impact Wrestling?”
“I’ve already talked to Dixie [Carter, TNA’s president] about it,” King said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to coax her into it.”
In the meantime, tickets to FSW’s “Ground Zero” are $15 for general admission or $25 for ring side seating. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. To reserve your seats, click here, and for more on Future Stars of Wrestling, visit FSW’s official website.
“Impact Wrestling” airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. only on SPIKE TV.