In a recent interview on Busted Open Radio, Big E discussed his singles run on SmackDown, the importance of fan feedback, headlining WrestleMania, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Big E on his solo run on SmackDown: “We obviously created something special. I don’t get to this point in my career, and I’d argue I’m not even with WWE and might not even be on the main roster if it wasn’t for Woods and Kofi and the run we got. I was at a point in my career where I was definitely floundering. It’s such a weird time, and I’m so grateful we’re still able to work and to perform in the ThunderDome. But I feel like the true measure of title runs – I always think of the feedback from fans. I think of [Daniel] Bryan’s run and what he did is incredible. You think of people losing his mind, you think of the ‘Yes’ chants collectively. The same thing with Kofi’s run. I think of that immediate feedback from fans. As grateful as I am for this, I can’t really sink my teeth into it in the same way.
“In our business, the fans are the barometer. They tell you immediately if something is good or if something is bad. So, I can go out there all day and think, ‘Man, I’m killing it.’ But if I’m in front of 10,000 people and it’s crickets, then what I’m doing doesn’t mean much. That’s kind of the biggest adjustment. I’m literally trying to determine, ‘How is this working? How much are people really behind me? It’s one thing go on Twitter. That online feedback can be very different……I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I’ve enjoyed getting to do something different and show a different side because it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. I’m not in the mindset of, ‘I want to coast.’ I don’t want to think I’ve made it and can kind of phone it in. Once you’re there, it’s time to hang it up.”
On potentially headlining WrestleMania and WWE’s use of part-timers in WrestleMania spots: “I want this run to feel earned. I think there are a lot of people who have been clamoring for me to do more for a long time. I think a lot of times what you see – and I’m not gonna name names – you’ll see talent called up or brought in and there almost given too much too soon. Not that they don’t have the ability but as a babyface especially, I don’t feel like I’ve been with you if you’ve been on the main roster two weeks and you’ve already got a world title shot. One of the best things I think happened to Daniel Bryan is losing to Sheamus at WrestleMania in under 20 seconds. People had enough and they said this guy has been grinding. He’s been one of the best in the world for all these years and this is how you’re gonna treat him time and time again? That’s what caused his explosion. I don’t think he got vastly better and I’m not saying Bryan hasn’t made steps to improve, but he was always that good. He was always that guy.
“I think when it feels earned – I’m not saying I haven’t earned it with all the tag stuff – but I’m still fairly new to the singles run. I want to be like, ‘He’s jumped through all the hoops, he’s performed time and time again.’ I want to show that week in and week out I can do the solo backstage, I can do the solo promos, I can do the solo matches, and I can do every aspect of this business as a singles competitor. It’s earned. In the same vein, I’m not here to turn down any opportunity that comes my way either. You also know how it is. They’re going to go through a list of part-timers – big names and big money guys who work once a year. They’re gonna go through that list and if they can’t get all those guys booked for that Roman spot for WrestleMania, then it’s kind of like, ‘Now who do we look to who works here on a weekly basis who has actually been grinding and now maybe we give them an opportunity [laughing]?’ My goal is, you get what you’re given, and you make the best of it….you tell me the time, you tell me the segment, you tell me the direction, and I’m gonna give you the best I’ve got.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Young with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.