WWE New Day wrestler Big E will not settle: 'There's never a moment where I think I'm good enough'
Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press Published 6:00 a.m. ET Sept. 5, 2019
One would be hard-pressed to find a more dominant faction in World Wrestling Entertainment's modern era than The New Day.
The three-man alliance is currently covered in gold, with Kofi Kingston as WWE Champion while Big E and Xavier Woods reign as SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
But Big E, a Florida native born Ettore Ewen, said a key part of the team's success is "never feeling like we've made it."
"There's never a time where we're coasting now," he said. "In our minds, we're always trying. Even if it feels like there's a bit of a lull, we're always trying to keep pushing the envelope, trying to find ways to put a little spin on things. So it's a mix of that, of always trying to convey something unique, something entertaining on a weekly basis."
Big E's time in WWE has included six tag team championship reigns, as well as singles success as NXT Champion and Intercontinental Champion. But the former University of Iowa football player and power-lifter said he is always striving for improvement in the squared circle.
"I'm definitely very critical of myself as well, so there's never a moment where I think I'm good enough," he revealed. "I'm always learning. And I watch stuff that I've done even two or three years ago and I kind of cringe because I feel like I've made leaps and I'm continuing. I hope in another year or two that I look back at the stuff that I'm doing now and I kind of cringe. I want to continue to make steps to get better and better."
That drive seems to have only intensified in the wake of Kingston's championship victory at April's WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
"I want to feel like I continue to bring value to this team," said Big E. "So I guess seeing Kofi take charge he's our World Champion right now, he's the guy on our brand, on SmackDown Live so right now, I guess, for me, I feel that, you know what? I want to be able to keep up.
"(Kingston) is kind of like the pace car right now, and I want to be able to keep up as well. So I guess that's kind of one thing and I'm always looking. I'll use anything as motivation to continue to get better and display how good I am and what I want to bring to the trio."
Kingston's WrestleMania win was part of an historic night for the WWE. Kingston, who was born in Ghana, is the company's first African-born champion, and he took home the gold on the same night that Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey made history as the first women to headline WrestleMania.
Discussing WWE's push toward greater inclusion and representation, Big E said, "I think that it's incredible, and I think it's also reflective of what you see in media as a whole now, more representation across lines, not just in our industry but elsewhere."And I think the problem is a lot of times people bristle at the mere mention of race or representation or feminism or whatever minority group there is that's trying to have a voice in media, people don't even want to have that discussion. But I think for Kofi to be the first African- born champion I think is such an incredible feat. And also Becky Lynch and Ronda and Charlotte being able to close WrestleMania, to have the women close the biggest show of the year, is also pretty incredible.
"So I think it's a discussion that we just need to be open to. And I guess I don't really consider myself one for politics but I just think having this discourse and being able to talk about these things and being open to these things I think is big, so I'm glad we're doing a better job with that in our industry and I hope we continue to grow."
Big E, Woods and Kingston return to our area for a meet-and- greet session with fans at Freehold's iPlay America on Sunday, Sept. 29.
It's part of an incredibly eventful fall that will also include WWE's return to Madison Square Garden for "Monday Night Raw" on Monday, Sept. 9, and "SmackDown Live" on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
"SmackDown Live," home of The New Day, moves from its current Tuesday night time slot on the USA Network to Fridays on Fox starting Oct. 4. In the process, it will become the first weekly professional wrestling series to air on one of the "big four" broadcast networks.
"Honestly I think it's an incredible move," said Big E. "We're going to have so many more eyes on what we're doing, on our product, because it's Fox, it's big Fox. ... It's a great opportunity and we're all excited about the move. It means a lot of opportunity, I think, for more people to see what we do.
"People want to stand out and they want to do something that really resonates, not only with our hardcore fans but with with casuals as well. And so it's kind of a moment for a lot of us to I don't know if reset is the right word but a lot of us see it as an opportunity to do something new, to make an impression and to be a part of something big."
The New Day
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29
Where: iPlay America, 110 Schanck Rd, Freehold
Tickets: $75 to $200
Info: 732-577-8200 or www.iplayamerica.com/event/the-new-day