Big E might stand as WWE Champion and one of the biggest stars in WWE in 2021, but things could have been very different.
The New Day star arrived on WWE’s main roster with a whole load of momentum having held the NXT Championship in early 2013. Before the year was out, he had also captured the Intercontinental Championship.
However, by the time that Extreme Rules 2014 rolled around the picture was looking a lot less rosy. Crowd reactions weren’t as favourable and Big E lost his Intercontinental Title to Bad News Barrett. Shortly after the match the star was told that WWE had nothing for him.
Speaking to Matty Paddock for The Independent, Big E reflected on his night to forget in May 2014.
“I was in a program with Bad News Barrett,”
“He was super over and had that scissor lift and was getting great reactions. The night that I dropped the title, I was blowing my comeback and getting booed and, as a babyface, that’s the worst!
“When you’ve got your heel rocking and rolling and you’re getting booed… oh no! Things have gone awry! I ended up losing the title that night and it got to a point afterwards where [WWE agent] Road Dogg said: ‘We need to get you to work on something and find something because we have no plans for you right now.’ Thankfully, that same day [Xavier] Woods came up to me and pitched doing a faction. That took some time to get going of course!”
Continuing on, the WWE Champion explained that things got worse before they got better. The former Tag Team Champion recalled being told that he would no longer be needed on Raw.
“It said that [I] wasn’t going to Raw anymore and was only needed for SmackDown,” he recalled. “At the time it typically meant those people were either doing dark [non-televised] matches, and not long after were either back on [developmental show] NXT or were fired. For me that felt like, ‘Oh, my career is not going the way I wanted it to…’ and that I was either going to be either demoted or let go very soon.
Luckily for Big E, riding those waves brought him to Money In The Bank 2021 and eventually the WWE Championship.
On the October 4th episode of Raw Big E came to the ring to reflect on his victory over Bobby Lashley. This naturally led to the subject of Drew McIntyre who came out at the end of the match to seemingly challenge The New Day star. In response, Big E asked for the Scottish Warrior to come to the ring.
Before the Scot could formally lay down his challenge for Crown Jewel, the pair were interrupted by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Ziggler proceeded to highlight his history with both men saying that all he wanted was a thank you for the role he had played in their careers. What Ziggler got instead was a match alongside Roode against Big D and Big E.
After Big E and McIntyre emerged victorious, it was confirmed that the two men will meet for the WWE Title at Crown Jewel.