Big E was the latest guest on Corey Graves’ podcast After The Bell. Here are some of the most noteworthy observations from the show.
Saying goodbye was hard but he has no regrets.
“Saying our goodbyes, we usually have (in ring promos) filled with nonsense and shenanigans. We wanted this to feel real and to let people know how we really felt. I think back to all of the things we did outside of the ring. I think back to seeing Kofi’s kids grow up. I remember him leaving a European tour because he was having a baby. Kofi got back just in time to see his child born. We spent a lot of time together. I couldn’t imagine a more enjoyable time. Sure I could have won more titles, sure I could have been world champion. This has been the most enjoyable. I couldn’t imagine when i started wrestling that I could have had this much fun.”
It’s solo time for Big E
“I know it’s been a while but I’ve got to remind people that I was the second ever NXT champion. I was an intercontinental champion. I didn’t start eleven years ago in a tag team. I’ve been doing this for years as a singles wrestler. A lot of our audience is kids. I get a lot of time has passed. Six years is a long time. It’s my job to remind people that I have accomplished things on my own.”
Different from the start
“OK I’m a bigger guy, they are going to build me as a powerhouse. We already have Brock, we already have Mark Henry. I’m not even six feet tall. I kept thinking if I’m going to remain as a serious guy, I don’t know how much traction I am going to get. It was a matter of trying to figure out what makes me different. I was doing goofy stuff.”
“I spent a lot of time in church. I think that preachers are some of the best orders there are. So just that style of delivery was something that was ingrained in me. I’m not a naturally talkative person. It was the one style that was in my head. I was so resistant to it. You don’t want to be disrespectful.”
It wasn’t easy…
“It took me so long to feel comfortable. I remember my first year of wrestling I remember suddenly being very self aware that I am half naked. I’m just very self conscious. I remember just not being able to feel in the moment and lost in the character. It wasn’t until the New Day run where I thought I feel more comfortable in the ring than I am in real life. When I am wrestling now I feel completely free.”
He has gold on his mind
“If a world championship is not in my immediate trajectory then I feel like I am doing a disservice to the fans, to Kofi and Woods. If this split wasn’t for something big then why are we doing it. I think there is something to feel like the opportunity is earned. I’m not saying I’m going to have a Daniel Bryan type run, but my point is I want to feel like the opportunity is earned. I’m ready to jump through the hurdles. I don’t mind going through the obstacles. The world champion is the ultimate goal.”
What could have been…
“When we started the New Day, the goal was always to be a faction. Kofi could have his singles run, me and Woods do tag team. We can have these interchanging parts and all have singles. We never got this until last year when Kofi got his title run. I wish we got to operate more as a faction. When we started in 2014 we always saw ourselves as this group that were trying to add more members. I remember thinking Alicia Fox was someone we wanted to add. Her and Sandow would be a great addition. I wish we got that incarnation of The New Day. I’m curious to see what it would have been like to go down that militant route. Obviously I think it worked out best going the way we did. But those are things that I knew we had the ability to pull it off.”
Preacher vs Messiah in the future.
“I think Rollins and I. We have done stuff with The Shield pre New Day actually. I would love to do stuff with Rollins. I still think he is one of the best in the world. I often look around for new blood. I wish there was a bit more. In a company as large as ours I don’t know why our roster seems small at times. I look at the singles list on Smackdown and I’m like that’s it? We did something very quick with Undisputed Era on survivor series. I would love to do stuff with them.”
Vince didn’t like Big E throwing things
“I think it was pancakes. I think you had an on cam and I completely disrupted it. He (Vince) asked us to stop throwing things at you. If I’m told not do something i’ll stop. Then I will wait a month because he usually forgets. And I will start doing it again. If he doesn’t say anything I will just keep doing it.”