On Friday Night SmackDown, many fans’ hopes and dreams were answered when Kofi Kingston walked out of the trainer’s room. It was there where he revealed to his partner Big E that he was going to be unable to compete for six weeks. And no, the dreams that fans have has nothing to do with Kingston and everything to do with Big E. Kingston told Big E that it was his time now. With both he and Xavier Woods out, it was finally time for Big E to chase single’s success after all these years as a member of The New Day. Kingston added how selfless his partner had been for some time and that both himself and Woods were behind Big E breaking out as a singles star. Big E, reluctant at first, accepted.
That means it is time for Big E, someone who many believe should have been a world champion by now, to begin his rise as a singles star. Of course, this won’t be the first time in his career that he is on his own. But it’s a singles push long coming.
From Football And Powerlifting To Wrestling
For you pro rasslin' fans:
Big E aka Ettore Ewen was once a defensive tackle at Iowa who would have been really good at football if not for knee injuries.
Hope he gets back ok. https://t.co/9cKbKZkldZ
— Ari Alexander (@AriA1exander) April 13, 2019
Big E never had the background like an indie wrestler when he signed with the WWE. Instead, he came from a football and powerlifting background. He went into a Division 1 college to play football as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes. It was an injury in his college career that began his eventual leave from football. It was only in his sophomore year that he actually played for the Hawkeyes before moving on into powerlifting. In 2010, he proved that this was his future as he broke all four of the Florida state raw powerlifting records at the 275-pound weight class and even bested raw national records. He won two championships in his powerlifting career before completely shifting to wrestling, as he actually signed his WWE contract in 2009.
Big E came into wrestling as an incredibly raw, but high potential individual with a bright future. As a member of Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) under the WWE, he was given his name of Big E Langston and began to develop some sort of character that would work. On the podcast, “New Day: Feel The Power,” Big E discussed a number of characters he considered including being a mailman. Thankfully for his career, that was not the route, and instead, when it came time for NXT to take over FCW as the developmental promotion of the WWE, Big E found his calling via the five count.
Five Count To The NXT Championship
When Big E finally figured out who he was, he essentially exploded when it came to popularity. Big E, who took the “five count” from King Kong Bundy as an idea from Dusty Rhodes, he became a true favorite. For those who are unsure of the “five count,’ it was the version of Big E who thought a three-count to win a match was far too easy. He instead wanted the referee to count to five and crown him the winner. In an interview with Fightful, Big E talked about how it was originally supposed to make him a heel but the popularity took over.
“It was supposed to be a heel gimmick that got booed. ‘One, two, three,’ I’d look at the ref, ‘I demand a five-count’ and I’d count the four and the five,” Big E said in the interview. “And people started coming with the five count. I would go to walk away and they would chant ‘One more time!’ We didn’t exactly know how to play it, ‘Should we listen to them? Should we walk away and get booed?’ After talking to Dusty and people in creative, we leaned into it. [Adam Rose] told me it felt like an event.
“That always stuck with me. Having that energy. I would come out and walk down the aisle and people are already chanting for the ‘Five-Count,’ looking around with this maniacal look on my face with the Five up, I’d go in and that was when I felt like I had something special and unique. The New Day run has been incredible, I’m grateful for the stuff with Dolph, but as far as pure energy and that reaction from people, there was nothing like that for my career. I gotta thank the people at Full Sail because if that didn’t catch on, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now.”
Big E would go on to feud with Seth Rollins and The Shield over the NXT Championship. It was there that he would defeat Rollins, becoming the second-ever NXT Champion in the process. This also was a clear sign that the future would be bright as the potential to be a world champion was there down the line if he were to put it all together. And while he was called up to the main roster and not completely ready, he has figured it out now.
An Intercontinental Championship Run Goes Poorly
At the end of 2013, Big E won his first championship as a member of the main roster when he defeated Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship. Unfortunately for the powerhouse athlete, it wasn’t his strong suit when it came to cutting promos to get the fans to truly understand him. That became something of a downfall to him, as his 167 reign was almost an afterthought and forgotten by many now. Big E didn’t even defend the championship at WrestleMania that year. He was a whole different competitor and his reign eventually ended at Extreme Rules at the hands of Bad News Barrett.
This was the beginning of Big E being somewhat lost in the shuffle for a number of months and joining a group that many didn’t believe in was what turned his career around for the better.
New Day, New Way
The New Day has carved their names in history as one the most successful and greatest groups in the history of WWE. And it was there that Big E became the complete performer that we all see today. In NXT, he showed dominance and silence could work for him to rise up the ranks. But on Raw and SmackDown, that hasn’t been the case for a long time when it comes to world champions. As a member of The New Day, he learned from Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods while also being able to open up and be himself more. He’s become one of the most successful WWE wrestlers of the past decade because of all of his tag team success and it has led to the popularity he has and the continuous support he receives from the fans in hopes of him breaking off like he is about to.
The New Day was a gift in disguise for Big E, as it went from this preacher gimmick to a fun, upbeat powerhouse (much like Big E himself) that has been the signature of the WWE for years now. As an 8-time tag team champion, he has accomplished all he needs to in that field. It’s his time now. It’s time that he becomes the contender he deserves to be and in time, the champion.
Ready To Be A World Champion And The Jolt WWE Needs
Big E is ready. He has been ready for the better part of the past three years. There is a reason he was trending on Twitter as soon as Kofi Kingston told him it was time to pursue his future. And most of us hope WWE sees that. The WWE has a star deficit on SmackDown and it has been that way ever since Roman Reigns stopped wrestling due to COVID-19. The ratings continue to plummet and the Universal Champion Braun Strowman clearly is not the answer to be the face moving forward. Big E can and should be the answer long term. He has shown in the past that if it is time to be serious, he can make you believe that he will live up to his word.
It was only the SmackDown after WrestleMania this year that Big E showed his singles prowess all over again when he won the SmackDown Tag Team Championships alone. It was then that I questioned Strowman and Bray Wyatt, saying they needed another singles star and Big E was the perfect answer. Now they have another chance to use him as the answer. He is great inside the ring, on the microphone, and as an overall human being. People want to cheer him. People want to see him succeed. It is time for Big E to be the answer WWE has been looking for and this is the beginning of his rise to the world championship glory. That will be the story WWE has been looking for if they follow it.
More From LWOPW
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE and NXT content on the WWE Network.