Part 1 of our exclusive interview with The New Day
When you talk about the hottest acts in professional wrestling today, you would have to talk about The New Day. From start – stop singles careers that, at the pinnacle, saw them holding prestigious championships, to forming a faction that soon became the most entertaining aspect of the three hour RAW programming, The New Day has come a long way.
Story behind the trio coming together and forming The New Day
Kofi Kingston and Big E recently came down to India, and we caught up with the entertaining duo. When asked about their thoughts when the WWE Creative told them about their intentions of pairing them together, Kofi and Big E were quick to interject.
Big E: “That did not happen, sir. Actually, it’s very rare, I think in WWE that a trio (The New Day) gets together on their own. That’s the call that we made, and that’s the reason I think we’ve been able to be so successful. It was because we knew, the three of us together, would work as a unit. I couldn’t imagine – it just wouldn’t have — at that time in our career, I don’t think – there’s no one who would’ve said, ‘Hey, the three of you should get together and form a faction’. So that’s something we had to do on our own.
Because, honestly, we were kind of — I don’t want to use the term ‘discarded as talent’, but we were in a position where we were kind of floundering, and it was up to us to do something about our careers. And we talked to other talent too, not that we signed other people, but sometimes people come to us if they’re floundering. It’s because they know our story, and want our advice. And that’s the biggest thing – you have to take your career into your own hands at times, because there are only a very small group of guys who are always going to be looked up for, and always have plans.
We took it upon ourselves, so that was definitely one of the things — and that makes the success even more worth it – makes it even more enjoyable. Because it’s something that we did, and we struggled so much to get it off the ground at first. But then we eventually got to where we’re at right now.”
While The New Day has certainly been a revelation, that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when the fans hated their gimmick. However, The New Day took what was given to them, and made the most out of it. In the process, they won over the WWE Universe, and the WWE Creative team was forced to turn them ‘face’.
The WWE Universe and their relationship with The New Day
Asked if the WWE Universe’s recognition, and them eventually embracing the faction was a validation of sorts, Kofi Kingston said they were never looking for validation.
Kofi Kingston: “I don’t know if it was like a — I don’t know if validation is the right word, because I don’t think that — I mean, I can speak for myself, it wasn’t about pleasing the fans. You know what I’m saying? Obviously, the WWE Universe is very important; there is no us without them. We can’t have a show without them. But I don’t think that we, or I wasn’t out there saying, “Man I’m really trying to get these people to like us and this and that.”
We just wanted to be out there together, and we knew that it would be entertaining in itself. And most of the time, we’re out there entertaining ourselves. So I would say that initially, when we came out there, we were given this whole – as you were saying, the ‘Gospel’ type gimmick per se. And we’re just trying to make it work, you know what I’m saying? And we were rejected for that, and we received a lot of flak for the actual gimmick, as if it was our idea.
So, on that, no, it was kind of hurtful and angering. Because here we were working with the scraps that we were given, and we were kind of getting the blame for it. And this was not our idea. But were just kind of able to make it work with it because of our chemistry, and being entertaining. And that fuelled us, you know what I mean? The whole ‘power of positivity’ thing, we came out there literally saying, ‘Hey guys, be better. Believe in yourselves and you can do anything’, and everyone was like, ‘Aww, no you guys suck!’
‘Like what?!’ Okay, so now we’re going to keep doing it. So that fuelled it, and everyone kept booing us for that reason, and we just went off on the whole ‘power of positivity’ aspect, and then, I don’t know, becoming the “bad guys” because we were not practising what we preached. So that was satisfying in terms of being able to draw a reaction out of people, and then when they actually started to like us, it was, ‘Oh, okay. You’re getting really good at being bad.’ So, it was like a pat on the back, but at the same time, I think the key for us is that we’re not going out and pander to the people.
We’re just going out and we’re having fun amongst ourselves, and that’s what brought people in. And that’s what got people to be like, ‘Oh, I want to be a part of that because they look like they’re having fun’. So that’s what it was all about.”
The WWE Universe altering the careers of the Superstars
The WWE Universe’s involvement, and their ability to alter Superstars’ careers is nothing new. From Austin’s face turn at WrestleMania 13, to The Rock turning heel, dropping his ‘Rocky Maivia’ gimmick, the fans have always expressed their honest opinions about the Superstars.
When asked to give their thoughts on the same, Big E talked about the most recent example.
Big E: “I think it’s great. And to that too, I would definitely include Daniel Bryan as well. He’s a guy who – he would’ve had success even if people weren’t as boisterous. Because he’s extremely talented, but people were really able to alter his career for the better, because they were so vocal about his direction, and people wanted to see him being featured as ‘the guy’, and as a world champion.
So, it definitely was very beneficial to us that people — because honestly, the death nail for us would’ve been if people are so quiet – they dislike you so much that they’re ambivalent, and they just sit there and are quiet. Then we would’ve been done, we would’ve been dead in the water. But they were so vocal about their disdain for us that they ended up turning things around. So, I think it’s a good thing. It shows that our fans – the WWE Universe, they do have a say in the product.
Even though a lot of times, it may seem like they don’t, but we wouldn’t be in the position that we are — and much like what Kofi said. We always felt like we would do us, and people would see that and would enjoy it. But we never said, ‘Hey, we need to make this joke or write this line so people like us.’ We were just out there, honestly trying to make each other laugh.
But, it’s just – people felt an ownership, I think, in The New Day’s success, because they disliked us so much and were vocal about it. And it’s a good thing – it shows people that they can be involved in the product, and not just watch from the outside, but can honestly change the career and the path and alter the stories that take place. So I think it’s very unique in that way. I can’t think of any other aspect of entertainment where that’s even really possible.”
Kofi Kingston: “Yeah, in WWE, I think the most important aspect is the crowd participation. That’s why we’ve able to last for so long. And entertainment in terms of crowd participation – people come to the show to be involved in the show. So to have a voice, like he (Big E) was saying, it empowers people, because their voices are heard and changes are made. That doesn’t really happen a whole lot (elsewhere).”
You can watch the entire interview below.