WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E has recalled the first time he lost the coveted championship and how it affected him to the point where he was constantly frustrated.
On the November 18, 2013, edition on Monday Night Raw, the artist then known as Big E. Langston – who had ditched Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee and turned babyface – captured the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Curtis Axel. The victory was meant to propel him into the upper card picture but six months later his reign came to an end in unspectacular fashion.
Instead of a momentus reign which pushed him into the main event scene as many hankered for, Langston dropped the gold to Bad News Barrett at WWE Extreme Rules 2014 before entering the career altering faction of The New Day.
However, speaking with Samoa Joe on WWE’s latest chat show series Grit and Glory, the current incumbent of the strap stated that at the time of his first defeat for the title he felt that his career was at an impasse less than two years after making his main roster debut:
“It was hard and it was frustrating for sure. Because I know I had more to offer. I had only been maybe a year and a half into my run over on SmackDown, and I knew I just had not shown everything I was capable of. And the biggest thing for me was just staying in the game. That’s one of the things I learned in developmental is hey, you are gonna go through ups and downs in your career, but don’t take yourself out of the game.
I don’t know what’s gonna come for me next. I don’t know what door is going to open. But stay in the game, keep working, keep training, keep being in the best shape you can be, and create those opportunities for yourself. And it worked out for me.”
What came next was arguably the biggest few years in the star’s career as The New Day joked and wrestled their way into the hearts of wrestling fans worldwide. Their success elevated Kofi Kingston to the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35 and is currently aiding Big E on his ascension to the top of the company in a much talked about singles run.
Currently, Big E is embroiled in a rivalry over the WWE Intercontinental Championship with Apollo Crews and to a lesser extent Sami Zayn as the company enter WrestleMania season.
Credit for the interview: WWE Grit and Glory
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.