HIDALGO — Big E and the rest of The New Day, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, have become one of the most dominant tag teams in the WWE, recently wrapping up a record-setting 483-day title reign.
On July 23 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, The New Day will have the chance to capture the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships when the trio faces off with the Usos, Jimmy and Jey, at the WWE Battleground pay-per-view. Before that, The New Day will be in action when the WWE rolls into Hidalgo for a WWE Live: SummerSlam Heat Wave Tour event at 7 tonight at the State Farm Arena.
During their title reign, The New Day accomplished many memorable feats and created moments that will stick with the three forever, including an interaction with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his cousins, the Usos, on the Jan. 25, 2016, episode of Raw.
“One for us would be the segment with The Rock,” Big E said. “He’s arguably the greatest to ever do it. I don’t know if there is anyone better than him with the entertainment aspect of our industry. For us to go toe-to-toe with him was incredible. It was a great honor.”
All the while, the three New Day members have remained unapologetically themselves. They make jokes referencing popular memes, Woods hosts a YouTube gaming channel called UpUpDownDown, where all three appear regularly, and above all else they own the fact that they are African-Americans in a predominantly white industry that has had a problematic past with racial issues.
“That is big for us,” Big E said. “Not just in WWE, in our industry, but in entertainment as a whole. A lot of times we don’t do a good job of representing ourselves. A lot of times we fall into stereotypes.”
The members of the New Day all grew up very similarly, Big E said. They all come from middle class families, and they are all college educated.
“We felt like a lot of times when you grow up like that, people say, ‘Oh, you are not black enough,’ or ‘You talk white.’ We felt like there is no shame in being black and being yourself. We wanted to show that that should be celebrated. You don’t have to fall into these boxes. You don’t have to feel the pressure to be something you aren’t.”
Also advertised to appear on tonight’s card are Randy Orton, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, WWE United States Champion A.J. Styles, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Charlotte Flair.