Big E spoke with Sports Illustrated about how The New Day differ from a group like The Shield, and why breaking up may not benefit them individually. The WWE Superstar also gave big props to Xavier Woods for not only coming to him with the idea of the stable, but giving him new ways to develop his own character in WWE.

With the group being together for so long, there’s constant speculation of when they will finally break-off to do their own thing in WWE. Big E doesn’t see a split as the way to go for himself, Kofi, and Xavier.

“I think of The Shield,” Big E began. “Rightfully, they were the chosen ones. They were so talented. That wasn’t me, that wasn’t us. The New Day, we were three guys that had to get this on our own. We were all floundering when we came together. We all still have something to prove, and there’s been a fire lit under my ass.

“Our story is one of brotherhood. That’s so different. Why can’t you have three men, three Black men that really care about each other, that want to see each other succeed? It’s not about stabbing each other in the back, it’s about coming together for a common cause. Kofi said, ‘When I became World Champion, we all became World Champion.’ He didn’t say it to set up a feud, he said it because he meant it.

“If you look at any stable in the 10 years ? besides The Shield ? I can’t think of very many where a break-up benefited everyone. There is so much more you can get out of the three of us staying together and believing in each other.”

In regards to his early WWE days, Big E often looked to have a very serious demeanor, but he credited Woods for opening up the possibility to expand on that.

“I was so focused on being serious,” Big E recalled. “All the guys I enjoyed watching as a kid were in that vein ? Ron Simmons, Scott Steiner, Vader. The big, massive dudes that were ass-kickers, that’s what I wanted to be. But there were already guys that were taller and bigger on the main roster, like Brock Lesnar and Mark Henry, that were filling that role. I needed to find what made me different, what made me unique, and Woods really helped bring that out. He’s so free and creative and energetic, and goofy, and that allowed all of us to lean more toward that aspect of ourselves.

“There’s no New Day without him. If Woods doesn’t come up to me in 2014 and say, ‘Hey, I have an idea for a group. You want to join me?’ If that doesn’t happen, who knows where my career is right now, who knows if I’m even still employed here. He changed our lives. And the fact that he got the trombone over in wrestling? That’s incredible.”

With Kofi and Xavier currently on the shelf due to injury, Big E is moving forward with a singles run on SmackDown.