This week on The New Day podcast, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E talk about facial hair maintenance, the damage kids do to houses, wrestling bears, snowmen, Kofi’s injury and how it happened and what it’s like to wrestle in front of virtual fans.
Big E said the following about wrestling in front of a virtual audience with no fans in the building: “There are wrestlers who are gimmicks who fans just love and they get that great reaction, but, they are not as good in the ring. Not as talented. Now in this era, they might not get the same screen time, the same pushes, the same limelight because, you know, there are certain people who are like, he doesn’t do this that well. He doesn’t do that, that well, but man, every single town we go to, all the live events, people are losing their minds for him. So, someone like that is kind of undeniable. How do you not put them on the card? How do you not find a place for them because people in every single town react to them. Now without that, it’s easier to get exposed when you don’t have that natural reaction and people are like, oh well, you can see more of the deficiencies. That is so different. That’s not a shot at anyone. So many of the more memorable characters in wrestling history were gimmicks and people like that can move a crowd and were loved or who got booed. They were characters and that organic response to them, that to me, is what wrestling is. When we have the WrestleMania week event, it always feels a bit weird to me to do the Hall of Fames and a lot of stuff that we dress up and we get together, because I often have this feeling that this is great that we all get together, but this isn’t pro wrestling Pro wrestling is getting in your car with your boys after a flight and going to Dubois after a flight and driving to Kalamazoo and getting to a town and doing what we do and having that fun. Hey, let me try this and see how the crowd reacts. That to me is pro wrestling. Now what we are doing because we are forced to be in this position where we don’t have fans because of Covid and the pandemic, but now we are doing our best to supply people with pro wrestling, but I feel like the heart of what we do isn’t there in the same way anymore.”
Xavier Woods talked about his cardio wrestling in front of no fans. He said, “It’s a possibility that we are breathing differently because the adrenaline from the fans isn’t there so our pacing is different. It’s almost like your cardio is exactly where it was, but, now the pacing is different because you don’t have that instant reaction of cheers or boos. So, you just keep going through instead of pausing or taking a second and looking around and things like that. The whole structure of how you do things changes and that might have an effect of what’s going on internally in your body which then plays into your performance when you’re out there. There are so many chess pieces on the board.”
Kofi Kingston on his jaw injury: “Going back to when I injured my jaw, I got kneed in the face by Cedric Alexander like three weeks ago. A couple of my teeth chipped. It was all fine. It was cool. The point of impact was like real sore. I thought, ok, it’s a bruise or whatever. The next week we had a six-man match and everything was fine. A little pain, but not terrible. Then the next week when we had our match, right before we went out, it kept feeling like it was loose, like, oh, this is weird. As soon as we got out to the ring, I’m moving around and now I’m feeling it come out of place and feel like it wasn’t set in. I feel like if the fans were there, I wouldn’t have felt that. Throughout the entire match, anytime something would happen, I would get hit or whatever, I’ll grab my jaw. I’m like, man, the entire match, I was thinking about it the entire time. But, if we had fans there, I’ve been, not necessarily injured, but been hurt in a match, and you feel like the adrenaline of a crowd and it makes you will your way through it. It changes the whole dynamic of how we do what we do and the approach. It is really strange. I don’t know if it’s for the better or the worse. I guess the best way I can describe it is different.”