WWE Champion Big E is having a career year. The muscle of the New Day began the year as Intercontinental Champion, and went on to capture the Money in the Bank briefcase later this summer. A couple of months after that ladder match victory, Big E turned that briefcase into championship gold when he successfully cashed in against then-WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.
Even as he enjoys the run of his WWE tenure, Big E is still looking at the bigger picture.
“I’ve got a few more years left in me. I don’t really know when that time will be, but when you’re 23, 35 feels like it’s ages from now and that you’ll be an old man and beat up,” Big E told The Sun. “So 35 felt like at the time a good time to get out and I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
The 35-year-old initially expected to hang up his boots at his current age, but he is obviously set to eclipse that retirement estimation.
“I was talking to one of our refs, Rod Zapata, and I’ve known him since I got to FCW – so I’ve known him for 12 years,” Big E said. “We’ve talked about how I’d spoken about getting out at 35 but I think, in many ways, a lot of wrestlers’ primes are like 35, 40. We’re seeing Bobby Lashley now having his best run in his mid-40s.
“We have so many guys now, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, Bobby Roode, Dolph Ziggler – so many guys in their 40s performing at such a high level. They look great and are aging well. So, I don’t know if I’m going to wrestle into my 40s as I always told myself that I would make sure I was out before then, but my body feels great.”
The former NXT Champion noted that as great as his accomplishments can be, it all comes down to how he’s feeling physically.
“In the ring, I feel leaner and my cardio is getting better. There’s so much about where I’m at physically that I’m really appreciating,” Big E said. “So, if my body holds up, I’m feeling good and it makes sense, then we’ll keep going for a few more years.”
The unpredictability of health has Big E avoiding any five-year plans, as he is content enjoying life day by day.
“For me, I try not to make any solid plans because I’ve learned that life has a way of throwing detours in your path that you never, ever would have expected,” Big E said. “If you asked me at 22 what I’d be doing with my life and asked me to list 200 things then being a WWE superstar would not be on that list. Then this really incredible thing came along and 12 years later I’m still doing it.
“So I just try to be open for whatever may come,” Big E continued. “I really love the craft, I love being in the ring and entertaining people and if there are other ways to do that when I’m done falling down for a living then maybe I’d be open to it.”
Former active in-ring stars like MVP have found success in WWE as managers for top talent. While Big E’s transitional period remains a way’s away, he emphasizes he’s “open to everything” down the line.
“It is an incredible business and I’d love to find some way to stay involved but maybe life takes me in another direction,” Big E said. “I just want to be open to everything.”
Big E defends his WWE Title in a Fatal 4-Way against challengers Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins at WWE Day 1 on January 1, 2022.
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