30 Day Wrestling Challenge: Day Four = Favourite Tag Team

Now, this one is kind of left open, but I’m going to go with the presumption that today’s challenge is for me to talk about my favourite CURRENT tag team in WWE. This was the only one so far where I’ve really had to think about it… I would’ve gone for a certain tag team that aren’t with the company anymore, I could’ve gone for The Usos, maybe the Street Profits, maybe Moustache Mountain if they tagged together more often… But I’ve gone for the team who give me the most joy to watch, the most entertainment and the one I’m most emotionally invested in… The New Day.

Now for me, you break down the run so far of The New Day into four sections:

  • Their start of being presented as babyfaces, not getting over, getting booed and then turning heel.
  • The record breaking run as Tag Team Champions
  • The feud with The Usos, which for me is the best in modern WWE tag team wrestling.
  • KofiMania, and everything that went into that.

So lets get started shall we, and let me tell you the amazing rollercoaster story of three of the most talented and underutilised guys in WWE, who came together to form an ALL-TIME GREAT tag team group.

The Start; “New-Day-Sucks” 

July 21st 2014. A new tag team of Big E and Kofi Kingston suffered yet another loss since they joined forces. Out would come afterwards Xavier Woods, himself very much a mid-card guy, and as they say… the rest is history…

After this they would go away for a little while… until some months later vignettes began to air on Raw signifying that it was indeed a NEW DAY! As Woods along with Kingston and Big E were presented as an heroic group backed up by a gospel singing group… It was an interesting gimmick, but it was fun,happy and definitely babyface…

So The New Day had arrived in WWE. And to begin with they were presented as pretty strong, racking up wins against the likes of Goldust & Stardust, but soon began a feud that would be critical in the early days of the team. At the 2015 Royal Rumble The New Day would lose to the team of Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (a team that came to an end tragically before they should have been ended). From here The New Day went on to Wrestlemania 31, but failed on the pre show to take the titles from Kidd and Cesaro. It was audible though from watching the match, the crowd that day DID NOT like The New Day…

The next night on Raw this would carry over into an eight man tag team match. It was Kidd & Cesaro with The Ascension (a heel team new from NXT) against The Lucha Dragons (a new babyface team from NXT) and The New Day. During the match, with the typically raucous Raw after Mania crowd, the ‘NEW-DAY-SUCKS’ chants were very VERY loud. A few weeks later it had to be addressed, the people just didn’t want The New Day at that time… and so… they responded…

That night their heel turn was cemented by an attack on the Lucha Dragons. And The all singing-all dancing positive New Day became… the exact same act, only as heels. Yes they’d use underhand tactics now and be more heelish in promos, but the majority of the act was the same as before. Only now they embraced the negative crowd reaction and used it to their advantage. Genuis.

“…YOUR; W-W-E-WORLD-TAG-TEAM-CHAMPIONS!” 

At Extreme Rules 2015 New Day won the tag titles for the first time from Kidd & Cesaro. During this run as champions they started, now as HEELS, to be cheered by large portions of the audiences. The New Day had embraced what they were, and they were just… them, and people dug it. Their first reign as champions would end all to quickly at Money in the Bank that June to the team of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. They would though win the titles back at SummerSlam 2015. We didn’t know it then, but we had all just seen the start of history. Around this time the chants of ‘NEW-DAY-SUCKS’ became ‘NEW-DAY-ROCKS’, then… after that… The Dudley Boyz, The Lucha Dragons, The Usos, The League of Nations at WrestleMania 32 (Which led to…)

After turning officially babyface around this time, The New Day became probably most popular team in the WWE. Feuds with The Vaudevillians, Gallows and Anderson, The Wyatt Family (a really underrated feud that was way too short for me). They were then made exclusive to Raw during the 2016 draft, as their WWE tag team titles became the Raw tag team titles, then went on to feud with Gallows and Anderson and then Sheamus and Cesaro. It was becoming more and more talked about just how long they had been champions for, it was approaching record territory… and so going in to the Raw of December 12th 2016, they were on the verge of history. But to do so they were presented with a mammoth task… TWO triple threat tag team matches; the first against both Gallows & Anderson and Sheamus & Cesaro, and the second taking on then Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho and United States Champion Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins…

At the PPV that Sunday The New Day’s reign as tag team champions would be ended by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, at 483 days. They remain, and probably will for some time, the longest reigning champions in WWE history.

New Day vs The Usos 

So New Day did a fair bit in the time after that. They would have various different reigns as champions, but for me for a little while became lost in the ever-growing tag team division of WWE. By April of 2017 The New Day were moved over to SmackDown, and soon set their sights on then SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. Now, I don’t know what it was, maybe a lot to do with the real-life friendships between the two teams, but the street thugs of Jimmy and Jey versus the all-dancing babyface New Day was just absolutely magic. MITB 2017 New Day won by countout, and in the build up to their next match the two teams engaged in a rap battle in a July 4th special… and we saw one of the finest segments in some time… go out of your way to find the full version but here’s a snippet…

Battleground 2017 New Day won the titles, SummerSlam 2017 was an interesting one as their next match was set for the dreaded kick-off show, despite how hot their feud was. Maybe somewhat frustrated by their placement, the two teams proceeded to KILL IT with a tremendous match that saw The Usos win the titles back. A ‘Sin City street fight’ saw New Day win the titles back on the September 12th SmackDown. Before the feud culminated at Hell in a Cell 2017 in a tag team Cell match for the ages. It was at least a ****1/2 match and widely viewed as the best tag team cell match there’s been by a long way, but The Usos took home the tag team titles after. It was during this feud that for me The New Day were no longer just another tag team, they were one of the absolute best.

After various wins and losses and tag title runs in the time that followed, the already Hall of Fame run for The New Day reached another level in February 2019…

KOFImania 

You all know the happy ending. I’m sure you all know the story, but the best part of this story for me was the final roadblock to get us to WrestleMania. After Kofi Kingston shone as a last minute replacement for the injured Mustafa Ali in a gauntlet match ahead of the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the upcoming PPV. The crowd support behind Kingston was incredible, organically it just grew and grew to the point where at the PPV, the final two were Kofi and then champion Daniel Bryan. This time it was not to be as the crowd were left heartbroken as Bryan pinned Kingston to retain his title. But it was the final footage we saw of that PPV that was most telling, it wasn’t Bryan celebrating, it was Woods and Big E consoling their beaten yet heroic brother.

Now we’ve all seen how this goes, long shot of the babyfaces after a crushing loss… but this time I didn’t want it, I’m watching it just going ‘don’t turn on him, please don’t turn on him’… but, they didn’t… thank GOD!

Kofi would though not be denied. The story of Kofi Mania was really a story of The New Day. A brotherhood who would do anything for one another. Big E and Woods just wanted their friend Kofi to get his shot at glory after so long. Kofi was made to jump hoop after hoop by Vince McMahon, but they kept fighting and going, even at times they came close to giving up, they fought on, the ultimate babyface tag team for me. But as I said the story for me took it’s most compelling twist at the final hurdle. At the March 26th SmackDown, the penultimate before WrestleMania 35, The New Day seemed to reach the end of their tether…

And that night, Big E and Xavier Woods put on a babyface tag team masterclass. All for the goal of getting not themselves, but their friend Kofi, a shot at his dream.

 

They did it! They did it for Kofi. Right there and then The New Day cemented themselves as my favourite tag team… and the rest as they say… is history…

Image result for THE NEW DAY MANIA

 

Josh. 

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