Last time I expressed concern about how WWE was handling The New Day, Xavier Woods ended up reTweeting an image of the post mocking me as a doubter after the trio broke the record for longest tag title reign in company history, so I confess to approaching this subject with some hesitation, but...
Where was New Day on Raw last night (Jan. 30)?
Without going back and reviewing the tapes, I still think it’s safe to assume this was the first Monday night where we weren’t implored to put our hands together for Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E in at least a couple years.
Some of it is no doubt a function of the value Creative assigns to the tag division, which isn’t much. The two teams that followed New Day as Raw tag champs played a supporting role to the top Women’s program this week, and the duo atop SmackDown’s scene were basically written out of the script for Royal Rumble.
But not having anything to do on the Rumble fallout show doesn’t bode well for finding any kind of meaningful spot on the Road to WrestleMania.
Surely, they’ll find something for the proven merchandise movers and crowd pleasers over the coming months. The card for Orlando is filling up, though, and Enzo Amore & Big Cass seem to currently be occupying the space New Day filled for WWE over the last couple years.
And look, it’s difficult to not ask questions about the possible role of race - and the ridiculous controversy surrounding Big E’s #BlackExcellence photo - in their current booking. As with women’s wrestling, WWE’s made great strides in improving their presentation of performers of color. But given pro wrestling’s track record, I’m not going to tell anyone who’s suspicious of New Day being moved out of the spotlight over the last couple months to not consider the color of their skin as a factor.
I hope I’m wrong and there’s nothing - especially no racial bias, real or perceived, conscious or subconscious - to their missing Raw or current lack of an angle. As my man ReverendKain said “Could be as simple as ‘Kofi bruised his chest eating the ringpost in the Rumble and they didn't want to send Big and Xavier out without him’, or some other perfectly normal pro wrestling mishap.”
But, either way, as my man Kyle Decker observed, “it's just poor booking in general to not have a plan for your hottest tag team after they lose their titles. There could have been a great story told about how they deal with no longer being the best... instead it's antics with Titus for a month.”
What do you think, Cagesiders? Are the Princes of Positivity in danger of drifting to the Raw undercard, or will X be shaming me with this post when he and E lift Kofi on their shoulders after Kingston wins the Universal title at SummerSlam?