The New Day started out on WWE television as huge babyfaces. This was not an idea that worked. Vince McMahon really thought that people would cheer for them, but Xavier Woods was so confident they needed to be heels that he put his career on the line.
Woods told a story on The New Day: Feel The Power about how he literally put his job on the line to get Vince McMahon’s permission to turn heel.
“So I ended up going to [Vince McMahon’s] office and asking him again about turning heel and giving him all the points about why I feel in this day and age what we’re doing very specifically what we are doing is not going to get us that babyface reaction, but if we lean into it a little more and we allow it to be taken as heels then I think that’s what’s gonna really get us.”
“He told me that Kofi Kingston is that consummate babyface. He’s always been a babyface. This is what people know. This is what people love. This is Kofi Kingston. People will never buy him as a heel.”
“So, that’s when I asked him if we could get a microphone. I told him if people don’t boo Kofi by the fourth week and we’ve talked four weeks in a row then I’m not good at my job and I shouldn’t be here.”
“He said, ‘So, that means you’d be fired?’ I said, ‘Yeah if I can’t talk well enough if I’m not good enough on the microphone to make them boo Kofi Kingston who you think is this consummate babyface who will never be booed then I don’t need to have this job and you’ve got 70 dudes in NXT who deserve my spot.’ He said, ‘Alright, I guess you’ll talk tonight.’ That’s when we started getting those in-ring promos.”
Woods remembers that the first week the fans booed him, Big E got a little boo, but Kofi Kingston got no boos. The second week was about the same. Then the third week Big E got boos, but by the fourth week there were boos for Kingston.
Vince McMahon took off his headset when The New Day went backstage after that promo and he gave Woods a nod. Xavier Woods still remembers how happy he was that he still had a job. Now his job security is pretty amazing after recently signing a new five-year contract with the company.
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