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Black History Month | The New Day

Three friends set out to change the culture and perception in professional wrestling by breaking down racial barriers within sports-entertainment. Their names are Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods. These three men would form a history-making trio who called themselves “The New Day.” The New Day truly transcends the industry in what all that they have already accomplished and continue to add more accolades during their respective careers in WWE.

Kofi, Big E, and Xavier quickly began to develop a strong and personal friendship with each other. In what started out as a duo featuring Big E and Kofi Kingston, they felt something was missing creatively for both men and they just needed that extra spark to fuel the fire that could take them to that next level. Xavier Woods ended up being a talent who made the group’s chemistry even more real due to all three becoming friends in reality. One fateful Monday night on the July 21st, 2014 episode of Raw, The New Day was born. For wrestling fans they could sense such a great energy combined with dynamic charismatic personalities and we as fans started to see a gimmick like no other. People got behind The New Day, they easily became one of the more popular tag-teams and overall teams in WWE history.

Early on The New Day were positioned as heels.

One date changed everything when Big E and Kofi Kingston defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro at Extreme Rules on April 26, 2016 to capture their first ever WWE Tag-Team Championship. It was a refreshing touch to witness two African-Americans holding Championship gold in the company. Pretty soon instead of fans disliking them, fans would cheer on and support The New Day with fans shouting “New Day Rocks,” to sold out crowds whether that was on television or on house shows. The trio would dominate both Raw, Smackdown, and PPVs equally. Big E and Kofi would have popular rivalries against other great teams such as The Dudley Boyz, Sheamus and King Barrett, The Lucha Dragons, and The Usos. New Day also feuded with teams like Gallows and Anderson, this is also included a program with The Wyatt Family.

The team was also interchangeable having any two out of the three team up and they would go on to headline WrestleMania and many other big pay-per-view events. The trio served host to WrestleMania 33 and this Mania proved to be significant because it was on that same show where Kofi Kingston defeated Daniel Bryan to become the first African-born WWE Champion. What a monumental feel-good moment, as it represented the American dream and Kingston’s real-life story made it more special and magical all at the same time. Later on an October 9th edition of Smackdown, both Kingston and Woods defeated Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, which saw the duo win their 7th consecutive Smackdown Tag Team Championship. When the WWE 2020 draft happened, The New Day was separated and Big E. was drafted and stayed on Smackdown while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were drafted to Raw. Kingston and Woods would trade their Smackdown Tag-Titles. Woods and Kofi also were Raw Tag Team Champions in 2020.

2015 saw The New Day as a trio being named “WWE Wrestler of the Year” by famous magazine Rolling Stone, and it was recognized as the “Best Gimmick” of the year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Kofi, Big E, and Xavier became the first trio to win the Pro Wrestling Illustrated award for “Tag Team of the Year,” going back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. December 14, 2016 will go down as one for the history books, The New Day showed they belonged with legendary company by breaking a major record which had been held by the iconic Tag-Team Demolition’s 28-year-old record of an incredible 478 days as the longest reigning World Tag Team Champions. The New Day had it for a record 483 days. They enjoyed milestone achievements with having the most reigns as Smackdown Tag Team Champions at seven. Not to mention they are 10-times your WWE tag-team champions overall. Currently Big E is your WWE Intercontinental Champion wrestling on Smackdown.

I wanted to recognize our African-American wrestlers who are heroes in the eyes of the fans and the successful trio continues to inspire all of us everyday. There are true role models for people to look up to. Big E, Kofi, and Xavier deserve all their success and respect not only from fans, but their peers, and for an amazing work ethic.

So we say thank you to future WWE Hall of Famers in The New Day. Yes,  “New Day Rocks.”

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