What makes The New Day work? ‘You can’t fake chemistry’
For a partnership that came out of nowhere, The New Day closing in on the record of being the longest WWE Tag Team Champions has been an overwhelming feat.
“It’s a huge reward for us. We see this as our baby,” said Big E in an exclusive phone call interview to INQUIRER straight from Tokyo, Japan.
“The three of us were put together here by someone else, but we’ve come together and really had the freedom to do the things we do. We had somewhat of a direction and creative control with what we do, so it’s really a genuine accomplishment achieving that record with our own hands.”
The three-man group, consisting of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods, are slowly inching closer to surpassing Paul London and Brian Kendrick’s 331-day reign with the belts.
But Big E admitted that it was not all fun and games when The New Day transitioned from singles competitors to a three-man team.
“There was an adjustment period for all three of us. Obviously, we had a rocky start, but we somehow made things work to our favor and made the gimmick work,” he said. “Obviously, Kofi was the veteran, and me and Woods had our own thing going on. But we all feel we had something with it and we just run with it. Working as a team and really trying to bring the best in all of us, we wanted to make the three-man faction work. It ended up being what it is today and we found a way make it work. It was an exciting challenge for all three of us.”
And, as they say, the rest is history.
Trombones, time machines, cereal boxes, and unicorns—The New Day has incorporated them all while twerking their way to the top of the tag team pyramid.
Big E said that all of these quirky habits in the squared circle are reflective of the trio’s fun-loving persona off-cam, with ideas being bounced around at any given chance.
“We are all collaborative. There’s no one person you can point out who had came up with all of the ideas. We all feel like we all want to be good, and we wanted to make something valuable whenever we take the ring. Woods definitely brings a lot role with the trombone, but you could also say the same thing with me and Kofi. We work very hard in collaborating with the things that we do. Some of our jokes in the car are some things that works in the ring. Again, we are all collaborative and we see this as our baby,” he said.
“I think what makes us click is that our chemistry is good. I believe people sees how close we are and it really shows with our promos. I always said that you can’t fake chemistry. I think it worked also for us because we had more control with the things that we do. The more influence we had with our character, the more it works because it’s something genuine. It’s something we can really say is ours.”
With the WWE seeing probably the biggest surge of talent the company has ever had, it has also opened gates for established squads from all over the world, as well as up-and-comers from the developmental ranks, to troop and test their mettle against the defending champs.
Big E welcomes this progress in the tag team division, saying they welcome the challenge.
“I think it’s an exciting time for the tag team division. You got some great teams in NXT and the biggest challenge for us is that with so much programming, it’s very easy for teams to be overexposed. We’re all looking for the next challenge.”
“I think American Alpha is a team that is ready to take off and ready for the main roster. The same goes for The Revival. There’s really an excitement with the new teams, especially in the last year and half where the WWE really invested in the tag team division. Though I would not say that we were responsible for the boom, we feel that having the WWE Tag Team titles for over a year, we want to lead the tag team division. With influx of teams coming in like The Vaudevillains, (Karl) Anderson and (Luke) Gallows, these teams which we have now that has great chemistry, we feel there will be a lot of guys who will be working together as a group in the next couple of years.”
Shoot for the heights
Despite all the accomplishments The New Day has already achieved, Big E said that there’s still a lot of things the trio wants to do and teams the group hopes to face.
“I think one of our favorite factions is the Nation of Domination,” he said, talking about the group which consisted of The Rock, Faarooq (Ron Simmons), Kama Mustafa (The Godfather), and D’Lo Brown back in the late 1990s. “Obviously, we could see lot of us in those guys and I think a lot that Ron Simmons can still go at it. There’s so many we could think about, but the Nation of Domination is definitely be a faction we would like to face.”
Big E also shared that with the WWE extending its boundaries and reaching out to independent promotions all over the world, he is hopeful that a dream match pitting The New Day and another charismatic trio will be made into reality.
“One of the biggest three-man units we want to face is Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. We think it’s something a lot of fans are going to get excited about, and we’ve been at it on Twitter talking about possibilities of having a match, so having that would be a lot of fun,” he said. “With the Cruiserweight Classic set, I think it will bring some of the stars fans never expected to be in the WWE ring. We hope it opens the doors for others like the heavyweights or tag teams.”
More than being a team, Big E said that The New Day remains hungry and wants to continue making milestones as a three-man unit.
“I think obviously, we love being the Tag Team champs, but we always shoot for the heights and the highest prize is to be the WWE Champion. Being at the very top is important for us and we’re thinking that it would be cool if we could use the Freebird Rule with the company’s biggest title,” he said.
The Freebird Rule allows all three members of The New Day to defend the Tag Team Championship at any given night, and Big E brought up the possibility of exploiting that rule with a singles title.
Looking back, it won’t be the first time that a singles belt will be defended, though it certainly could be the first official one, if chips fall into place as Big E would like to. Layla retained the Divas title numerous times in Michelle McCool’s behalf during the latter’s run in 2010. Only McCool’s reign has been officially acknowledged by WWE, but the duo would refer to themselves as co-champions.
And Big E’s wild ideas doesn’t stop there.
“We also want to bring back the King of the Ring and we think it would be awesome for all three of us to be kings,” he said.
“Overall, we just want to stay entertaining and our goal remains the same: to make people laugh and entertained at the same time.”
The New Day is part of the roster coming to the Philippines for WWE Live Manila in September 9 at Mall of Asia Arena.