Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E was on today’s episode of the WWE After The Bell podcast where he discussed his new singles run on SmackDown as well as the original ideas The New Day had for themselves. This year, WWE named The New Day “the greatest faction of all time”, but Big E said on After The Bell that they always wanted to be a true faction as seen last year where one member could hold a singles title and the other two could be tag team champions.
“The thing that I think of most is the fact that when we started The New Day, the goal was always to be a faction,” Big E recalled. “I don’t want to say we were forced into being a tag, team this weird three-man tag team, and I’m so grateful for it because I had an incredible time, but we always saw ourselves as this kind of revolving-door faction where Kofi [Kingston] can have his singles run, and [Xavier] Woods and I can do tag stuff.
“And then we can just kind of have these interchanging parts, or we could all have singles, and we never really got that until last year when Kofi had his world title run. And that’s kind of what I wish we had done a little bit more of. I think that would have allowed us to kind of show more sides, and that’s just kind of the one thing that comes to mind is I just wish we got to operate more as a faction.
Big E has said in the past that The New Day had considered adding members to the group. He revealed on After The Bell that they considered Alicia Fox and Damien Sandow to join their group back when The New Day had a more militant persona.
“And I’m so glad I worked out this way, but it’s interesting when thinking back to 2014, we always thought we would be a group that was always trying to add more members,” Big E revealed. “It’s funny looking back, but I remember thinking Alicia Fox was someone we wanted to add because at the time, she was doing the stuff with the tantrums. We had this idea when we were the more militant New Day.
“That idea was very quickly taken off TV. Just ‘na, na na. Get that off my TV screen and y’all sit in the back while we cook up something more, I guess, family friendly,’ but that was kind of the idea I remember. We never talked to them about it either, but her and Sandow, we thought would be a great addition. That was kind of the idea is just a group that would recruit, and I think that would’ve been a lot of fun. I wish we got that incarnation of The New Day. As grateful as I am that it went the way it did, I’m also kind of intrigued to see what it would have been like for us to have gone that militant route to see what we could have done because we shot so much stuff in pre-tapes.
“All the ideas that we put together, I thought we had something really special, and I was excited about that. Obviously, I think it worked out the best going those the way we did. So I don’t think we would have been able to stay together for six years as this militant group, but those are just things where I think back and I know we had the ability to pull it off where I think that would have been fun. I think we could have done something unique there too.”
Corey Graves pointed out that everyone in The New Day is always positive not only on-screen but also backstage as well. Big E explained why he keeps a positive mindset and why he’s grateful to continue his WWE run.
“I think we’ve been wonderfully blessed man. I never want to have this moment where I think I made it, and I can just rest on my laurels because I always think back to 2014. I always think back to how hard it was to get this group off the ground. It was six months of every week thinking at some point, ‘well, this is over. All that work is for naught,’ so I always remember that. I also think, I don’t know when this window is going to close. I’ve been fortunate. I started at 23. I’m 34 now. The fact that I’ve been doing this, under contract with WWE, for over 11 years. A job I took on whim, and I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world. I’ve been to Tokyo four times.
“I’ve been to places I never thought I’d be able to go all on WWE’s dime getting to entertain people. That’s incredible man, and so I always try to, for lack of a better term, count my blessings and realize man, this could be over tomorrow for me. I feel like this should be the time of our lives and not saying that things can’t get better, but if we’re not enjoying this run and if we’re to mired in complaining or in the negatives, and we never get to see the silver lining, I feel like it’s such a wasted opportunity.
“I don’t want to be 50 years old and look back and say, ‘man, I really should have treasured that, and I just griped and moaned and complained and thought about the times I only slept two hours and had to do 6:00 a.m. media. I’m really grateful for this opportunity. It’s changed my life profoundly and tremendously, and so that’s what I try to always remember is it’s been an incredible run. And it’s had its ups and downs, but the ups, so far, outweigh the downs.”
The New Day were split up at this year’s WWE Draft, and the group were able to cut a promo about their split and share a moment with themselves. Big E discussed why he liked the way they went their separate ways noting that there was no turn or double-cross and that they got to show their emotions as close friends.
“The New Day, I’m not going to say we’re the greatest faction ever. I don’t know where you want to put us in those terms, but we got to do something unique,” Big E pointed out. “I’ve never seen a faction go on a break, a split whatever you want to call it. The way we got to do it our way, to have an emotional goodbye, to not have to stab each other in the back or hit each other with a chair, getting to do something that feels unique, getting to portray brotherhood and love between three friends is really important to me.
“We got to do something so different from anything else that I remember watching as a kid, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of that man because I don’t know when this is over for me. It could be another four years, could be shorter. I have no idea. So I just always want to be grateful for that.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.