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2. New Day

The New Day is an American professional wrestling stable consisting of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods. The stable is currently performing in WWE on the SmackDown brand. Big E is currently inactive after suffering a neck injury in March 2022.

2. New Day

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The stable was prominently formed by Xavier Woods with Big E and Kofi Kingston on the July 21, 2014, episode of Raw, but made their debut as The New Day on the November 28, 2014, episode of SmackDown. In April 2015 at Extreme Rules, they won their first WWE Tag Team Championship. Their second reign, which began at that year's SummerSlam in August, became the longest in the title's history, the first to last more than a year, and the last with the title being the sole tag team championship on WWE's main roster, as it was renamed Raw Tag Team Championship in September 2016 following the creation of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. In December 2016, they set the record for the longest male tag team championship reign in WWE history at 483 days (surpassing Demolition's 28-year-old record of 478 days with WWE's original World Tag Team Championship) and at that time, the longest reigning champions for any WWE championship over the prior two decades; since then, both accomplishments have been surpassed.

After being drafted to the SmackDown brand in April 2017, the stable went on to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Championship a record seven times; while part of the brand, Kingston also won the WWE Championship in 2019. In October 2020, Kingston and Woods were drafted to the Raw brand as The New Day, while Big E remained on SmackDown, separating him from the group. The stable briefly reunited on September 13, 2021, after Big E cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Raw to win the WWE Championship, thus transferring to Raw alongside Kingston and Woods. However, they separated again a month later after Kingston and Woods were drafted to SmackDown during the 2021 WWE Draft while Big E remained on Raw. Also in October 2021, Woods won the King of the Ring tournament. In January 2022, Big E would be moved to SmackDown, thus becoming a trio again with Woods and Kingston; however, an injury incurred in March has kept Big E out of action indefinitely. In December 2022, Kingston and Woods also began appearing on WWE's developmental brand NXT and won their first NXT Tag Team Championship, becoming the third WWE Tag Team Triple Crown Champions.

The early months of the stable as stereotypical black gospel babyface characters were marked by largely negative reactions from fans and critics alike, but after transitioning their characters into heels fanatically obsessed with the "power of positivity" in April 2015, they began to receive acclaim for their entertainment value, as well as for their in-ring performances.[1][2][3][4] In 2015, the trio were collectively named "WWE Wrestler of the Year" by Rolling Stone, while also being recognized as the "Best Gimmick" of the year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[5][6] Additionally, they became the first trio to win the Pro Wrestling Illustrated award for "Tag Team of the Year", doing so in 2015 and 2016 (the first two wins in a row in this category for two decades). Their new-found popularity resulted in the trio reverting to babyfaces in early 2016, which they have remained since. The three, who are close friends in real life, also appear or work together outside of wrestling, notably writing the 2016 book The Book of Booty: Shake It. Love It. Never Be It, and hosting a weekly podcast, Feel the Power (named after one of their catchphrases), since 2019. In 2021, The New Day topped WWE's list of the "50 Greatest Tag Teams" in the promotion's history.[7]

After wrestling in WWE's developmental territories Deep South Wrestling (DSW), Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) since September 2006, Kofi Kingston made his WWE debut on ECW in January 2008. He subsequently came to have an extensive singles career, becoming a four-time Intercontinental Champion and a three-time United States Champion; he had also been part of several tag teams, including with CM Punk, Evan Bourne and R-Truth, all of whom he won tag team championships with.[8] Big E began his career in FCW and then in NXT, where he became NXT Champion.[9] On the December 17, 2012 episode of Raw, he made his main roster debut aligning himself with Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee and later winning the Intercontinental Championship.[10][11] Xavier Woods, who previously wrestled in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as Consequences Creed, signed to WWE in 2010 and worked in FCW and NXT until the November 18, 2013 episode of Raw, when he made his main roster debut.[12]

Woods, then in college, had first met Kingston in 2006 or 2007 when he had entered the DSW building to apply for a wrestling job, and Kingston was working in the ring at the exact same moment. Woods got the job, but DSW closed soon after; when Woods came to FCW two years later to similarly apply for another wrestling job, Kingston was, coincidentally, once again present and working in the ring.[13][14]

The stable originated from an idea backstage by Woods, who, pitched it to WWE Writer Michael Notarile,[15] after not being given storylines or much time on-screen, worked on creating a "snarky, intelligent, running his mouth, just like total punk" heel character for himself. As his friend Big E was in a similar situation career-wise,[16] Woods and Notarile[17] decided to work together with Big E to form a team instead, spending several weeks taping promos and pitching ideas in order to create their new characters.[18] The three men felt that something was still missing from the team, and they had the idea of including Kingston, who was also at a low point of his career; however, they had doubts that WWE would let Kingston, who had been a babyface his entire career, turn heel, and changed the characters so they would be babyfaces who, according to Woods, were "three guys, who came from kind of the same background, that just want more from life, more from their jobs, more from their friends, more from everything around them."[19][20] In October 2020, the trio stated that they had considered adding a woman to the group, with Sasha Banks being their top pick.[21] Big E also revealed that Alicia Fox and Damien Sandow were considered to be additions to the faction.[22]

On the July 21, 2014 episode of Raw, after Big E and Kingston, who had started pairing up in tag team matches earlier the same month, suffered another loss in what had been ongoing losing streaks for both, Woods came down to address the two and he declared that they could not "get ahead by kissing babies and shaking hands", and that it would be "their time to shine".[23] The duo then joined Woods and on the following day on Main Event, Woods managed Big E and Kingston to a decisive victory over Slater-Gator (Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil).[24] However, the group disappeared from television soon after due to WWE creative being unconvinced by their gimmick; they continued to make appearances together at house shows in two-on-two tag team matches, regularly switching the two competing members while the third one acted as manager.[25][26][27][28][29]

From the November 3 episode of Raw, WWE began airing vignettes for Big E, Kingston and Woods, with the stable now being billed as The New Day, displaying a heroic black gospel gimmick.[30] The New Day made their in-ring debut on the November 28 episode of SmackDown in a winning effort against Curtis Axel, Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil.[31] On the December 1 episode of Raw, Kingston and Woods competed in a tag team turmoil match to determine the number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship, eliminating Gold and Stardust, before being eliminated by Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.[32] At the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pre-show on December 14, Big E and Kingston defeated Gold and Stardust.[33]

On the January 5, 2015 episode of Raw, while Big E was on his way to a victory against Adam Rose, the team of Kidd and Cesaro, masquerading as Rosebuds, interfered by laying out Woods on the outside and performing their finisher on Big E in the ring.[34] At the Royal Rumble, The New Day's winning streak came to an end when Tyson Kidd and Cesaro defeated Big E and Kingston.[35] A fatal four-way match for the WWE Tag Team Championship took place on the WrestleMania 31 pre-show on March 29, including The New Day, but they failed to win the championship.[36]

On the March 30 episode of Raw, they were involved in an eight-man tag team match alongside The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) against Kidd, Cesaro and The Ascension.[37] During the match, the live audience responded negatively to The New Day with loud "New Day sucks!" chants which carried over into the following weeks.[38] When asked about the crowd's disapproval of them in a backstage interview on the April 6 episode of Raw, The New Day claimed that they were hurt and responded in a more aggressive tone, yet maintained their upbeat nature. During their following match against The Lucha Dragons, Kingston attempted a cheap shot from the outside, even though he was not actually involved in the bout, turning all three men into heels in the process.[39] On the April 20 episode of Raw, The New Day defeated The Lucha Dragons via countout to become the number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship after Woods held onto Sin Cara's feet to prevent him from re-entering the ring.[40]

At Extreme Rules on April 26, The New Day defeated Kidd and Cesaro to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship; Big E and Kingston were the participants in the match, but WWE also recognized Woods as champion under the Freebird Rule, in which any two members of a stable can compete for the titles.[41] At Payback on May 17, Big E and Kingston defeated Kidd and Cesaro in a two-out-of-three falls match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship after Woods pinned Cesaro, despite not being a legal participant in the match.[42] At Elimination Chamber on May 31, all three New Day members competed in the first-ever tag team Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Tag Team Championship, where they lastly eliminated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) to retain their titles.[43] However, at Money in the Bank on June 14, Big E and Woods lost the championships to The Prime Time Players. Big E and Kingston then lost their rematch at Battleground on July 19.[44] The New Day would regain the championship after they defeated Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando), The Lucha Dragons and The Prime Time Players in a fatal four-way match at SummerSlam on August 23. Despite being heels, the trio received heavy positive reactions from audiences who began to chant "New Day rocks!". The following night on Raw, they were attacked by the returning Dudley Boyz, with Woods being put through a table.[45] This started a feud between the two teams, setting up a title match at Night of Champions on September 20, where Big E and Kingston lost by disqualification, though, by rule, they retained their titles. They lost via disqualification to retain their championships again in a rematch against The Dudley Boyz at WWE Live from Madison Square Garden,[46] but defeated them via pinfall at Hell in a Cell on October 25 to retain the titles, thus ending their feud.[47] The New Day led their own team at Survivor Series including Sheamus and King Barrett, but left the match prematurely to tend to Big E after his elimination, leading to their team's eventual loss.[48] At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13, they retained the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Lucha Dragons and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) in a triple threat ladder match.[49] The New Day then successfully defended their titles against The Lucha Dragons on the special December 22 episode of Super SmackDown Live![50] and against The Usos on January 24, 2016, at the Royal Rumble event.[51] 041b061a72

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