When The New Day formed in 2014, the gimmick was met with an almost immediate backlash. Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods came together as three preachers of positivity, which no one wanted to get behind.
The idea behind the gimmick came from Vince McMahon, who wanted New Day to be like the gospel group Hands Across America. And New Day knew it wouldn't work from the jump.
"We knew people would not like this. We knew they would take a dump on it. They would open the cheeks and release all over it. And that is exactly what happened," said Xavier on the New Day: Feel The Power podcast.
The trio was rejected by the audience, which in turn angered Big E despite the group getting a reaction.
"I didn't know if He Who Shall Not Be Named [Vince McMahon] would let us turn heel, but people cared," said Big E. "They may not like us, but they feel a certain way. They were making noise. That was the big thing. If people don't care, it aint working. It wasn't working in the way it was intended to work, but it was something we could use. I remember we were all in the ring, looking at each other, and there was a real moment of anger because we worked so hard to get on TV. We know this isn't good. The three of us are talented and we feel strongly in the bond as a trio. Ya'll talk about people being underutilized and how you want to see people like us be used in a better way. Finally, we're being used, and this is the reaction we're getting? That was a real moment of anger. Maybe some of it was misdirected, but it was a very frustrating time."
Kofi added, "We wanted to be bad guys, anyway. But we didn't have this vision in mind. The fact that we were getting to be bad guys made me very happy. But, at the same time, the way people were rejecting us, pissed me off because we worked so hard. You have no idea how hard it is to fight and get put on television as a group in the way we did it. Coming to work and enduring flack and people making fun of us in the writer's room and on the roster. And now the people that we're doing this for are coming out and rejecting us?"
It wasn't until months later that McMahon went forward and allowed New Day to turn heel. From there, the group took off and became featured players on television before turning back to babyfaces and reaching new heights in popularity.
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