WWE's Big E Discusses His Short Film Project Bridges

Former WWE Champion Big E (real name Ettore Ewen) hasn't wrestled since breaking his neck in early 2022, with some doubt that he'll ever be able to return to the ring. However, Ewen has been staying quite busy in his time off, including with a short film project titled "Bridges." Appearing on "UnDrafted AllStarz Podcast Show," Big E revealed some details regarding the project and why he feels passionately about it.

"To give you the backstory — so George Floyd happens, and a lot of us are sitting with these emotions," Ewen said. "I had so many of my friends I was reaching out to, and we would talk about run-ins with the police. We would talk about all the things we dealt with."

Ewen stated that was very aware of the platform he held as a pro wrestler and he had a desire to do something positive. With that in mind, the WWE star contacted artist and regular New Day ring gear designer Jonathan Davenport to create wrestling gear featuring Black historical figures in the art style of "Schoolhouse Rock." After hearing from many of his non-Black friends who saw the gear and wanted to learn more about the inspiration, Ewen decided to go even further with spreading his message.

"I thought, 'Let me use this opportunity to tell this story,'" Ewen continued. "Eventually I sat down with Johnny Davenport, who wrote and directed our short film, and with Andreas Hale, and we made this — to me — a short film that I just really love."

Passing Down Black History To Future Generations

Big E revealed that the animated short film will feature original music and will prominently include the story of Ruby Bridges, who famously became one of the first Black students to attend a previously all-white school starting in 1960. Rather than focusing on grief and tragedy, Ewen shared that he had different aspirations when helping develop this project with Davenport and Hale.

"I think, for a lot of people, education — especially Black history — can be filled with pain and trauma," Ewen said. "So we wanted to make it fun and engaging and give you an entertaining story. We have this nine-foot robot and futuristic museum, but we want to tell this story of Ruby Bridges using hip-hop, using sci-fi, using animation."

Bringing together education and entertainment can be difficult to balance, but Ewen's original inspiration, "Schoolhouse Rock," did just that. The upcoming "Bridges" project holds a lot of importance for Ewen for various reasons, and that includes making sure future generations remember the struggles of the past.

"That's the goal, is to teach our kids these stories, because they need to know about the Ruby Bridges of the world," Ewen stated. "They need to know about the James Baldwins of the world. Especially in Florida, you have too many people who are trying to erase our history. They're trying to pretend like it never happened, and we want to make sure these stories are never forgotten."