The New Day On Kofi’s ‘Happy Guy Who Loses’ Past, Early Comparisons To The Nation Of Domination
Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images
There was a first day for the New Day, yes there was! The New Day: Feel The Power podcast dropped this morning and Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E all start off the episode with sharing how the famous trio came to fruition thanks to them all being in a place of discontent and uncertainty.
Before that, Kofi shares how he started in the WWE and what inspired him to have a Jamaican persona. A big proponent of that for Kofi was noticing how veterans like Arn Anderson and Ricky Steamboat never saw a Jamaican character in wrestling before and realizing that having a character was paramount back then.
“Everyone was so excited, I’m like, yeah I just decided to talk like a Jamacian in promo class and all of a sudden it was a thing, you know? And the reason I did was because of the Damian Marley album had come out and at the time, everyone was saying that like to be in WWE you had to be a character so I’m trying to think of a character to play, Damian Marley “Welcome to Jam Rock” comes on, I start singing along with it, I get to the school and all of a sudden cut a promo on Ric Flair about him stealing my Jamaican beef patty…”
Kofi’s career took off, but once 2014 came around, he found himself in a place of stagnancy. What he was doing wasn’t as fun anymore and he could feel his motivation waning as his job just became being “the happy guy who loses.”
“So to be able to have all those accolades was awesome. I was accomplishing my dream, doing everything that I always wanted to do, I thought I was having fun and then it got to the point where I would be the happy-go-lucky guy that would come out, have a good match and end up losing. You know, do some high-flying unique moves, lose the match and that was my character and persona so I was getting like real bored,” Kofi said. “Just really not fulfilled coming into work, just I knew what was going to happen, I didn’t really know who I was going to face but I knew what the match was going to be and then I was approached by Woods and E one day and they asked me to join this group. They asked me if I was interested in joining a group of guys who were like disgruntled with their positions with the company. I was like, ‘100%.’
“I was all about it because I wanted to have a change in my career, number one and then number 2, be able to use whatever kind of like, I guess influence or like veteran status that I had to be able to kind of like help you guys as well. Give you the old rub, if I could.”
Woods, E and Kofi found their initial group being likened as the new Nation of Domination. Kofi saw it one way as Big E took a bit of his own angle to comparison.
“It was disgruntled, you know what I’m saying?” Kofi said. “But I feel like the difference between us and The Nation was that we weren’t promoting any kind of racial anything, it was just legitimately being like -”
BIG E: “I thought we were kind of dancing around it? We were kind of using thinly-veiled…”
XAVIER WOODS: “I was not.”
BIG E: “I was.” (Trio laughs)
XAVIER WOODS: “I can understand like shades of it because our shade is brown and so people were like, ‘Oh man, it’s The Nation of Domination.’ I was like, ‘You never called The Wyatts The Godwins and that’s like the same thing.'”
KOFI: “And then I think when people started trying to like label it, we took it upon ourselves to be like, ‘No. You don’t get to tell us what it is. We’re going to make it into whatever we want it to be, you know and kind of like took ownership of it that way.”
Woods bounces back a bit further in the past, stating how his idea for the three to get together stemmed from his days with Big E in developmental.
XAVIER WOODS: “So I sat and thought about it for a few weeks and that’s when I realized, this idea that we had in developmental called the PLAN, it was The People’s Liberation Of American Nationalism. It was me, E, [Byron] Saxton and Abe Washington. The New Day is kind of an evolved thought of that, but it was essentially people who were not happy with their position in the company and wanted more from themselves and from their job and so that’s when I talked to E about it and we kind of shot a bunch of different things and pre-tapes and kicking back and forth ideas and that’s when it really hit me like ‘none of this is really clicking. None of it is really working.’ I was like, ‘I think we need a third person for this to actually work.’ He was like, ‘Who?’ I was like, ‘I think we need to get Kofi.'”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
The full episode of Feel The Power is now free to listen to on Apple, Spotify and anywhere where podcasts are available.