In a world where New Day has the longest Tag title reign in company history, two members who are former WWE champions, and were named the promotion’s greatest ever team, it’s hard to remember that the group was not a hit when they were introduced back in 2014-2015.
Most fans put the blame for the rocky reception Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E initially got at the feet of creative. After being teased as a Nation of Domination-like gimmick, vignettes introduced them as a gospel act. Fans rejected the group as babyfaces, turning the “New Day Rocks” slogan we now know and love into “New Day Sucks”. The trio adapted, turning the Power of Positivity into heel schtick, and eventually winner over all the doubters & haters.
I bring that history lesson up because Kofi Kingston offered some new insight into New Day’s origin as Ryan Satin’s guest on FOX Sports’ latest Out of Character podcast. Kingston reiterates the three friends’ dislike of the church-y idea Vince McMahon had come up for them, but that they were confident they could get over. McMahon made that a challenge:
“When we were given the gimmick of positivity preaching preachers, I’ll never forget it. We had been going back and forth with Vince about what we wanted to be. We wanted to be some guys who were not pleased with our positions in the company. He’s like, ‘Okay, well, how about you guys be preachers and you guys come out here and there’s gospel music.’ We’re just sitting there and we know that the people are going to reject this idea because nobody comes to WWE to go to church. But this is what he wanted us to do.
“We told him, ‘Whatever you give us, we’ll make it succeed because of our chemistry. We believe in it.’ He’s like, ‘Alright, I’m going to put that to the test. You guys are gonna be positivity preaching preachers. Go get it over.’ We’re just like, alright, this is our chance and we supported each other. There were a lot of people who took a big dump on our aspirations. You know, they didn’t believe in us. They made fun of us when we were just trying to get over. But now you fast forward, and those same people have come back around, and they admitted that they were wrong.”
Seems like a very Vince McMahon story: Even though they didn’t love it, The New Day earned the WWE Chairman’s respect by becoming popular with his idea (or the germ of it, anyway). Somewhat unfortunate that he loves them together so much that he seems hesitant to do too much with them as singles, but such is life in WWE.
Check out Kofi’s entire chat with Satin on Out of Character, where they also cover his history playing a Jamaican, here.