On the latest episode of “The New Day: Feel The Power” podcast, WWE Champion Big E talked about his journey from NXT to WWE’s main roster:
“I do harken back to being at Full Sail, the very first Full Sail ever. I’ve been wrestling, I think at the time, it was the start of the new rebranded NXT, and NXT is going through another rebrand right now, but at the time, this was probably 2011 or 2012. I’ve been wrestling for a little. Still young. I think I’m progressing. I see we are doing a full taping and I am not on the show. In fact, I’m on the dark match, so I’m on the show, but I’m not actually on the show that was recorded but never really aired. It was a pilot episode. I was in a three minute match with the young, but still a vet, and that was you Woodsie (Xavier Woods), and you beat me in three minutes.
I thought, ‘Man, I have some work to do.’ You know how it is. NXT is starting, and you think, ‘I have something to offer here’, and it’s clear at the beginning there are no plans for you and I, at least as far as we know. I think back to those moments. I think back to moments where I thought I was getting better, and I’m wearing an orange or yellow collared shirt in the parking lot. I don’t want to mention any other people I was out there with, but you know some of those people who didn’t have great careers in WWE. I think back to times in my career where I thought I had something to offer, but I wasn’t being put in the positions that I thought maybe I was ready for. The beautiful part is I’m glad I stayed the course.
It’s been 12 years with the company, and almost 9 years on the main roster. There are a limited number of spots, and it takes a lot of work to get to a good spot. I think there are definitely times where you have doubts if you’re just going to be just a guy who did some cool stuff, made some people laugh, and that’s about it, or whether you’re going to get an opportunity to get to that next step, the upper echelon. That’s been the really cool part is it feels rewarding that even going back to 2014, that we never gave up, that we didn’t relent, that when we were told no or laughed at by certain people, talent, fans, whatever it was, I’m proud of us for continuing to stay that course and for dealing with all the hurdles.
Honestly, I don’t remember a moment where I thought, ‘All right, we should just pack this thing up and go back to doing whatever we were doing before.’ We believed so much in the three of us. I don’t want this to sound corny or cliche, but there really is something to betting on yourself and believing in yourself. I knew that we developed a chemistry very, very quickly. We all saw the business the same way. We were all excited to do something new in our careers almost 7 or 8 years ago. Obviously, I don’t get to this point without The New Day for many reasons. It allowed me to grow as a character. It allowed me to grow as a performer. I got more comfortable. We were also able to do so many cool things as a trio as well.”
— Ettore “Big E” Ewen (@WWEBigE) September 27, 2021