Don’t you dare be sour? With most of the roster either hurt or unavailable , New Day is carrying the entertainment and wrestling load. It’s truly stunning that a tag team is one of the most popular acts in the WWE. A year ago, no one saw this coming. Whether it is a New Day rocks chant or New Day sucks chant, fans seem to come alive when they are up to bat. Yes, they’re silly, and yes, they are borderline unbelievable. But it’s working better than anyone could have ever expected. The New Day became popular. They became so popular that fans are now popping for them, and that positive reaction is changing everything. They eventually abandoned their church roots altogether, and today, The New Day can be best described as a weird mashup of nerdy jokes and internet memes. As the New Day grew more popular, their gimmick became increasingly absurd and outlandish. Woods, who had already embraced the role of the sideline loud mouth, began playing the trombone in time with the action.
It was the perfect mix of good and bad, of admirable intentions tempered with negative actions. The New Day talked a good game, but in the end, it was about three Superstars willing to bend the rules whenever necessary to get what they wanted. Now the live crowds don’t dread The New Day’s arrival; they anticipate it. As soon as the music hits, fans know it’s about to get fun, and that is what pro wrestling is all about. The WWE is a hyper-competitive work environment often governed by backstage politics. It’s difficult enough to succeed without factoring in systemic racism. Despite all that, the New Day are finally a prominent part of the WWE product, possible because the promotion is distancing itself from on-screen and backstage racism. Let’s look at some of the reasons why New Day Rocks.
Five Reasons Why New Day Rocks
Turned a Terrible Situation into a Positive one
When New Day first got together it looked like they might be a cheap version of the Nation of Domination. Remember Xavier playing Pied Piper and insisting, “This is our time.”? Then they disappeared for a few months and we heard rumors about Speed Force, which we suspected might be a superheroes gimmick. Eventually, they traded in the angry black man stereotype for the inspirational preacher man stereotype. Fans hated it. The team didn’t work when it involved them being cardboard black characters. They’re in a place now where their race doesn’t matter one bit. They’re just three really cool guys who happen to be black. It’s something the WWE has struggled to present since the Rock. Maybe it takes over sized personalities to break free of Vince McMahon’s stereotypical black wrestler gimmick generator.
Xavier Woods The People’s Hype Man
Pro wrestling had always had a form of that with managers, but soon saw the value of someone who can fight, prowl around the outside of the ring and also deliver catchphrases. A hype man added a more unpredictable element and, done right, it allowed guys who might be second banana afterthoughts to shine. Oddly enough, Triple H served as the hype man for the original incarnation of Degeneration X. “Let’s get ready to suck it!” Yet Xavier Woods has rewritten the playbook. He doesn’t really do catchphrases. His trombone, Francesca II, is a consistent part of his act, but he’s always adding new wrinkles. It’s more like he’s doing an improv act that a set routine. Forgot to mention, Xavier Woods got a Master’s degree in psychology and is currently working towards earning his Ph.D. He’s really into comic books and cosplay. And he spends hours playing video games on the road, in hotel rooms and at the arenas before Raw and Smackdown go live. He’s also a gaming YouTuber.
Nerds Are The New Cool Kids
First off, these are three intelligent, well-educated men. Kofi graduated from Boston College, Big E from the University of Iowa. Woods has a master’s in psychology from Furman and he’s working toward a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Then you add in the true nerd factor. Woods seems like the ringleader for this. He’s a gamer with a Legend of Zelda tattoo. He’s also come out as a brony. They’ve dared to be smart and goofy. There are some recent precedents in the WWE of wrestlers who got over by embracing geek culture, notably the power couple of CM Punk and AJ Lee. Punk now is, for all intent and purposes, a comic book writer. AJ got over in the wrestling business by being the ultra hot gamer girl next door of every nerd’s dreams. New Day’s charisma comes off very genuine. What makes it so genuine, their actually smart men.
New Day Is Extremely Entertaining
If you like a good time, then New Day might be for you. That’s why the face turn they’re taking with this League of Nations feud was inevitable. Fans love these guys. New Day gives people the entertainment value people were hoping for when they bought a ticket. The faction has been the WWE’s anti-Roman Reigns – the heels you cheer like crazy as opposed to the face who makes you boo your lungs out – and now they’re going to get to work like the fan favorites they are. Hopefully, that doesn’t make them bland.
Changed The Game And Made Themselves Relevant
It really looked like New Day was getting flushed down the toilet of history. Then, supposedly, they convinced the WWE to let them do their own thing and we got our beloved pack of nerds. New Day is the most striking recent example of wrestlers who escaped the WWE’s pipeline to irrelevance. We’ve seen Zack Ryder and Drew McIntyre go in that direction. Jack Swagger seems like he might be beyond rescue. Rumor has it that Wade Barrett soon will be leaving the WWE rather than let his decline become any more maudlin. To see three guys escape that death spiral is rare and fans seem to appreciate underused talents being given a chance to shine.On top of re-energizing the tag division, New Day has injected fun into an otherwise dour product. Unicorn horns, trombone riffs, and booty. These guys look like they’re having a blast out there and that sort of thing is infectious. More than that, it works because these guys are funny. New Day turning into a phenomenon after they chucked the Vince/Creative gimmicks to the side and now being one of the most popular acts on the roster by doing it their own way is perhaps the biggest, most surprising turn of events in modern WWE history, up there with Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” movement. Check out the good that can happen when they chuck the corporate playbook. We get something fresh, vital and fun. Seeing New Day thrive gives people hope that maybe the WWE will be willing to change direction in other areas as well. For instance, maybe it’s finally willing to listen to its fans who’ve made it clear they want Dean Ambrose and not Roman Reigns to be the people’s champ.