New Day Say The Pitch to Put Them Together Had them as Preachers
On the inaugural episode of Feel the Power, the New Day recalled being informed that their group would be working under preacher gimmicks. The group initially debuted as a stable under the black gospel gimmick, but moved into their current incarnation when it was clear that the gimmick wasn’t getting over. Xavier Woods, Big E. and Kofi Kingston recalled their initial reactions to the gimmick and having to pretend that they liked it, knowing they would need to try to find a way to make it work.
Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:
Woods on when the idea was presented to them: “Finally, week after week after week after getting in here and doing this, the office told us, ‘Sit, wait, we’re gonna get back to you in a few weeks, and we’ll have something.’ ‘Okay, cool.’ So a few weeks pass, we get called back into the office, and [they] say, ‘Okay, we got it. You guys are gonna be preachers.’ And it was like, ‘…oh.’ Because when we first came into the meeting, we said, ‘Hey. There’s three archetypes in wrestling for black wrestlers. You’re either the big strong black guy, which was E. You’re the foreign black guy, which at one time was Kofi. Or you’re the dancing black guy, which was me. And those were the three characters that black guys and girls have. And we want to make sure that we are none of those, because we want to make something new, and make sure that kids understand that you can be whatever you want, regardless of shape, color, race, gender, whatever.’ And then we were told, ‘You guys will be preachers.’ And we were like, ‘That — well, that kind of…ah…’”
Big E. on McMahon’s pitch: “To kind of address this point, too. We were told we had the meeting. It was the four of us in the room with He Who Shall Not Be Named. And we were told, ‘You know guys, um, I’m sorry for all the months of the back and forth. I got it, I finally got it! It hit my like a bolt of intuition. This is the idea!’ And we’re all sitting there, because we don’t know. We’re all sitting there. ‘I got it, you’re preachers!’ Yeah, and then we’re all kind of doing are best to say, ‘Uhhh…’ But what can you say, because after pitching with him for a while and talking with him, you have an understanding of when there’s some flexibility, and when maybe there’s some push-pull here, or when he’s like, ‘Nope, this is the idea and you’d better find an idea to make this work.’ So when he told us, ‘I have an idea for vignettes, and all that,’ it was, ‘Oh, this idea is not good, but we have an opportunity.’”
Woods on his initial reaction: “So to hear that we’re preachers, we’re like, ‘Ohhhhh…hoo! It’s gonna be harder than we thought.”
Kofi on pretending to like the idea: “And that was the point where we’d been travelling together for like, you know, every weekend, talking on text or whatever, five months straight, you know? Really had our connections. So we’re just sitting there smiling and nodding at Vince. But we can all hear each other in our heads, like, ‘NOOOOOO! This is never gonna work!’ What are you doing?!?! Preachers, nooooo!’ We’re just smiling and nodding, like, ‘Yep! We’ll take the opportunity, Vince!’ Like, the biggest contrast in what was happening.”