Big E spoke with Corey Graves on “After The Bell” to talk about his wrestling career, his thoughts on The New Day being split up in the WWE Draft, his run in NXT, and much more.
Here are some highlights:
Big E gave his thoughts on the New Day splitting up: “I think for us, obviously we had our promo with the three of us saying our goodbyes. One of the things that was important for us was we always had our in-ring promos that were nonsense and shenanigans. But, we wanted this to feel real to let people know how we really felt. One of the things for me is not just the fact that I was together for 6 years with two guys who I call my friends and my brothers, but I think back to all the stuff we did outside of the ring as well.”
Big E on starting in NXT as a singles star: “I realized pretty quick that ok, I’m a bigger guy. I’m billed as a powerhouse. But we already have Brock. We already have Mark Henry. I’m not even 6 feet tall. I’m thinking about all these guys that I’m going to be compared against and all the guys are going to occupy a similar lane. I’m thinking if I’m just another serious big guy, I don’t know how much traction I’m ever going to get in this company. For me, it was a matter of figuring out that hey, I can’t do what Apollo Crews does. I can’t do that stuff. I’m not as big as a lot of the other guys. I tried to figure out what makes me different. What allows me to stand apart?”
Big E said the goal when New Day started was to be a faction: “When we started, the goal was always to be a faction. I’m not saying we were forced into being a tag-team, this weird 3 man tag-team that I’m so grateful for. We always saw ourselves as this revolving door faction. Kofi can have his singles run and Woods and I could do tag stuff. Then we could have these interchanging parts. Or we could all have singles but we never really got that until last year when Kofi had his World Title run. That’s what I wish we could have had a little more of. I think that would have allowed us to show more sides. I’m so glad it worked out this way, but it’s interesting because thinking back to 2014, we always thought we would be a group that would always be trying to add more members. Looking back, I remember thinking Alicia Fox was someone we wanted to add because at the time she was doing the stuff with the tantrums. This was when we were more of the militant New Day. That idea was very quickly taken off TV. Get that off my TV screen while we cook up something more family friendly. That was the idea. We never talked to them about it either, but her and Sandow, we thought would be a great addition. The idea was we would be a group where we would recruit. I think that would have been a lot of fun. I wish we would have got that incarnation of The New Day. As grateful as I am that it went the way it did, I’m also kind of intrigued to see what it would have been like for us to go that militant route and what we could have done. We shot a lot of pretapes of all the ideas we put together. I thought we had something really special and I was excited about that. Obviously, I think it worked out the best the way we did because I don’t think we could have stayed together for 6 years as this militant group.”