New Day Credit Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Natalya For Getting Them Over As Heels

When New Day debuted in 2014, the original plan for Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods was to be babyfaces. However, the WWE audience didn't respond kindly to the positivity gimmick, greeting the trio with a chorus of boos almost immediately.

Despite the backlash, they continued to work as babyfaces until a 2015 European tour when Big E & Kofi were working against heels Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. During a match in Germany, the decision was made to switch things up on the fly.

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"It was you guys in the ring against Kidd and Cesaro. It was so loud against us and for them. [Cesaro] caught eyes with [Kofi] first and goes, 'Switch?' I go, 'Switch.' We switched the whole match on the fly," recalled Xavier on the New Day: Feel The Power podcast.

Big E continued, "We didn't know if it was going to be one night. In the middle of the tour, every single night, they were clearly over as babyfaces and we were clearly heels. I really have to give a ton of credit to Cesaro and Kidd for allowing us to have the run that we had. They were the perfect foils. If we were babyfaces and we worked heels that were lukewarm, we wouldn't have been able to do the double switch. If it wasn't for them, not just being so easy to work with and being so talented, but being so liked and over, that's the only reason the switch work. And if the switch didn't work -- if we didn't get to run as heels, I don't think we'd still be together. And Nattie too. [Xavier and Nattie] used to do a slap spot on the floor. She would slap the living hell out of you."

Natalya was the manager for Cesaro & Kidd at the time while Woods was used more as the mouthpiece for Kofi & Big E, who did the majority of the in-ring work.

In discussing the slap spot, Xavier said, "I have eczema, so I have very sensitive skin. So, if I get slapped, it'll bubble up. It looks like I've broken out of hives. Nattie slapped me, I'm screaming about it, and I turned to Kofi and he goes, 'Ohhhhh. What happened to your face?' I told you, I've got this sensitive skin. You go, 'You can see her fingerprints in your skin!'"

Following the heel turn, New Day became one of the most popular acts in terms of crowd reaction on the roster. The trio would eventually revert back to babyfaces a year later when the crowd began cheering them in a more organic way.

Elsewhere during the podcast, the group discussed how they knew the crowd would reject their initial positivity gimmick. You can read their comments by clicking here.

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