Big E emerged as a people’s favorite in 2020 due to his commentary on social justice. Enthusiasm grew for the powerlifting champion even more when he broke away from The New Day when he was drafted to SamckDown and won the Intercontinental Championship. Things are going great for Big E; however, he’s received a significant piece of criticism, which he recently debunked.
Many believe WWE should push Big E as the face of the company. After all, he’s a versatile performer who is eloquent, magnetic, good in the ring, and looks like a killer. However, some feel the fun-loving, pop culture aficionado Big E portrays on television is the opposing route to superstardom.
The prevailing thought is only a trash-talking super-tough guy can occupy the lead role in WWE. Big E checks all the boxes, Yet he continues to dance, gyrating his hips, tell jokes, and wear Gremlins Christmas sweaters. Some can’t fathom why he continues to have fun instead of running through his opponents. Others feel it’s poor decision-making indicative of his inability to be the top guy.
Big E has addressed this criticism on several occasions. In an interview with Sportskeeda, he stated, “For so long when I watched wrestling, I wanted to be the a**-kicker. I wanted to be the badass.” He went on to say, “But I feel I can offer something unique to our industry, to WWE that I have. I feel like people enjoy my work and what I do in the ring as well, I think a lot of the appeal too is being charismatic.”
Perhaps Big E’s most telling assessment came when he cited, “There’s no room for me to become irate or incensed or to have this shift in temperament. If there is a reason given, if there’s an antagonist, if there is something that drives me there, then hey, I might be all for losing my smile or whatever it is! But why would I lose what makes me unique or special?”
Big E returned to action this past Friday on SmackDown after suffering an injury by Apollo Crews. The injury to Big E was precipitated by Crews’ heel turn. Big E did his friend a favor by giving him 3 IC title shots but felt a 4th was unfair to those vying for contention. An argument commenced, Crew’s snapped and injured his friend for denying him one more match.
Crews’ new heel persona calls to his Nigerian royal heritage. Now flanked by elite military guards, he carries an ancestral spear, calls himself a “Real African American,” and stating “I no longer beg…I DEMAND” with his sights in Big E’s Intercontinental Championship.
On SmackDown, Big E cut a serious promo. There was no fun, no dancing, no joking around. Extremely angry and vengeful, Big E told Apolo in no uncertain terms he’s coming for him. Big E went “Old Testament” with his verbal barrage. It was one of the best promos in recent memory and gave Big E’s critics what they’ve wanted from him.
One would say Big E “lost his smile” or had a “shift in temperament.” You can even say he found an antagonist in Crews that gave him a reason to go biblical. Big E said it, and now it has come to pass, proving not only he can do the tough guy thing, but he was capable of it all along.
I never believed Big E was incapable of filling the role. Still, it was confusing as to why he wouldn’t do it. Once he cut that fiery promo on SmackDown, it became clear. You can only listen to someone say, “I’m going to kick your ass” so many times before it gets stale. Big E’s gimmick allows him to win the day differently and entertainingly. Rarely getting angry will make Big E’s “Beast Mode” unique, making him more of an attraction.
I guess the champ knows what he’s doing after all.