The New Day’s six-year run as a trio came to an end after the 2020 Draft, as Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston were drafted to Raw with Big E staying in singles competition on SmackDown. Over the duration of their run, they won 10 WWE tag team championships, while Woods and Kingston are currently RAW Tag Team Champions.
But the original plans for The New Day were much different than what they ended up being. Byron Saxton joined New Day’s Feel the Power podcast, where the four of them recalled what was originally in store for the group in 2014.
“The plan was a faction of me, Bryan Saxton, and Woods when we were in FCW,” said Big E. “We got to do it in promo practice. We were excited about it but it never saw the light of day on any shows. That was in 2014, which is what sparked the idea for The New Day. Honestly, if we had not done that when we were in FCW, who knows where my career would be or where Woods would be. Kofi would still be fine, I’m sure.”
Saxton then gave his recollection on the original New Day plans, which were to include him as part of the group.
“I don’t have the best memory in the world because you what promo day is like,” said Saxton. “This was one of those cases where you had several talented individuals, like yourself, who were down in FCW, and it’s like, ‘Hey, we’re throwing stuff against the wall. Let’s give it a shot and see what happens.’ And we all still have very distinctive personalities. I thought it created a very good match.”
Woods was still a WWE newcomer at the time and has perhaps the best memory of The New Day’s plans. He discussed the individual roles that he, Big E, and Saxton would have within the faction.
“The plan was ‘The People’s Liberation of American Nationalism’. It was a situation where we all tried to stay in one certain lane. I was the smallest guy in the group, so I was the extreme hothead because I would be the one yelling. E was the muscle. Saxton was the calm and collected one,” stated Woods.
Saxton then recalled an interesting artifact from FCW promo class that he still keeps with him today.
“There was one day we were supposed to do a promo and I couldn’t be there,” said Saxton. “I remember going to FedEx, and I had a blowup photo made of myself. I still have it in my house to this day.”
The first New Day vignettes featured the group as a black gospel gimmick, and the attire they wore was much different than the flamboyant gear they wear today. The members recalled the gear that they had and why WWE halted the plan for them to wear that.
“That’s where the white and red suit that Woods wore and we all wore white and red during the promos came from,” said Big E. “We did that for a month or so. We actually, at one point, thought that we were going to get called up with the gimmick. There was a similar faction, I think, with Camacho before he was Camacho – Hunico, Primo, and Epico. We were told we were too similar to them, and they were like, ‘shut this down.'”
“Yeah, I remember,” replied Saxton. “It was kind of the gang implication, and they were trying to stay away from that, and so, it kind of gotten blown up.”
“It was crazy,” responded Woods. “After that first promo, Dusty [Rhodes] was like, ‘Yes!'”
As with most gimmicks created in FCW at that time, Dusty Rhodes had his fingerprints all over The New Day, and he supported the group. Saxton discussed Rhodes liking outside-the-box gimmicks like this that were different from the norm in wrestling.
“But Dusty loved controversial characters. He loved controversial storylines that were going to push the edge, and make you think a little bit, and make you a little comfortable. He thrived on that,” said Saxton.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The New Day: Feel the Power with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.