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Big E (wrestler)

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Big E Langston
Big E In March 2015.jpg
Big E in March 2015
Birth name Ettore Ewen[1]
Born (1986-03-01) March 1, 1986 (age 30)[2]
Tampa, Florida,
United States[2]
Alma mater University of Iowa
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Big E[3]
Big E Langston[1][4]
Biggie Langston[1]
Ettore Ewen[1]
William Langston[1]
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[5]
Billed weight 285 lb (129 kg)[5]
Billed from Tampa, Florida[5]
Trained by Florida Championship Wrestling[1]
WWE NXT[1]
Debut December 17, 2009[1]
Competition record
Powerlifting
Representing  United States
USAPL U.S. Open Powerlifting Championships[6]
1st 2010 125kg
USAPL RAW National Powerlifting Championships[7]
1st 2011 +125kg

Ettore Ewen[1] (born March 1, 1986)[1] is an American professional wrestler and former powerlifter and American football player who is currently performing under the ring name Big E, shortened from his previous ring name Big E Langston. He is signed to WWE where he is one third of The New Day along with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, where they are the current WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. All three perform on the Raw brand.

Prior to the WWE, Ewen was a powerlifter and became USA Powerlifting champion. Since signing a contract with WWE in 2009, Big E is a one-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time WWE (Raw) Tag Team Champion, and a one-time NXT Champion while in WWE's developmental system, NXT.

Background[edit]

Ewen was born in Tampa, Florida to Afro-Caribbean immigrants Eltore and Margaret Ewen. He attended Wharton High School where he won a number of athletic honors, including a state championship in high school wrestling and being named Hillsborough County's "Ironman of the Year".[2] Upon graduating from Wharton, Ewen attended the University of Iowa, where he played American football as a defensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Ewen was redshirted in 2004 and missed the 2005 season due to an injury sustained in pre-season camp, playing a single season as a sophomore in 2006.[2] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[1] After college, Ewen turned his attention to the sport of powerlifting. His debut was in 2009.

Powerlifting career[edit]

Ewen competed in his first USA Powerlifting (USAPL) meet on July 11 at the 2010 United States Open Championships at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. He became the top heavyweight lifter and broke all four Florida state raw powerlifting records in the 275-pound class[8] and bested raw national records in the deadlift and total. His lifts included a 611-pound squat, a 490-pound bench press and a 749-pound deadlift for a 1,850 pound raw total. Ewen also won the 2011 USAPL Raw Nationals in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This time, he competed in the super heavyweight division (275+lbs) and broke the raw American and national records in the deadlift (799 lbs) and total (2,039 lbs).[7][8] All of his national and American raw records have since been broken.[8][9][10]

Personal records[edit]

Set in official competition
  • Squat – 711 lbs (322.5 kg)[7] raw without knee wraps
  • Bench press – 529 lbs (240 kg)[7] raw
  • Deadlift – 799 lbs (362.5 kg)[8] raw
  • Powerlifting total – 2,039 lbs[8] (711-529-799) 925 kg[7] (322.5-240-362.5) raw without knee wraps

The American[11] and National Championship Records[12] in the deadlift are held at 410 kg (903.9 lbs) since 1995 by Mark Henry, who also became a professional wrestler in WWE. Langston has also bench pressed 575 lbs (260 kg) raw touch and go in the gym, but it was not a competition lift.[13]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2012)[edit]

Big E at WrestleMania Axxess in April 2012

In 2009, Ewen signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He was assigned to its then-developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he debuted on December 17, 2009 under the ring name Big E Langston.[1][14] On May 12, 2011, Langston and Calvin Raines defeated Richie Steamboat and Seth Rollins to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship, but they lost the championship to CJ Parker and Donny Marlow on July 21, 2011.[15] During the WrestleMania XXVIII Axxess event in April 2012, Langston defeated Antonio Cesaro.[14]

NXT Champion (2012–2013)[edit]

When WWE rebranded FCW into NXT,[16] Langston made his NXT debut on August 1, 2012, defeating Adam Mercer.[17] This marked the start of a winning streak for Langston, who from September started repeatedly performing his finisher on his opponents and demanding that referees count to five (rather than the usual three) before awarding him pinfalls.[18][19] After Langston rejected Vickie Guerrero's managerial services,[20] Guerrero promised a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could put Langston "on the shelf"; but attempts to claim the bounty by Chad Baxter and Camacho were firmly squashed by Langston.[21][22] The bounty was ultimately declared void by NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes.[23]

Langston then began to feud with The Shield, and on the January 9, 2013 episode of NXT[24] Langston defeated NXT Champion and Shield member Seth Rollins in a no disqualification match to win the NXT Championship.[25] After successful titles defenses against Conor O'Brian, Corey Graves, Brad Maddox and Damien Sandow,[26][27][28] Langston eventually lost the NXT Championship to Bo Dallas on the June 12 episode of NXT.[29]

Alliance with AJ Lee (2012–2013)[edit]

Big E (back) on Raw in April 2013 with World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler (center) and their manager AJ Lee (foreground)

Langston made his WWE main roster debut on the December 17, 2012 episode of Raw, attacking John Cena and aligning with AJ Lee, thus establishing himself as a villainous character.[30] Langston went on to act as an enforcer for Lee's storyline boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler.[31][32] On April 7, 2013, at WrestleMania 29, Langston and Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) for the WWE Tag Team Championship.[33] Langston wrestled his first singles match on Raw the following night, defeating Bryan.[34]

After Ziggler suffered a concussion in May, Langston wrestled in a best-of-five series against Ziggler's opponent for the World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio, which Del Rio won 3–2.[35] On the June 10 episode of Raw, Langston was revealed as the secret admirer of Divas Champion Kaitlyn; this in turn was revealed to be a ploy by AJ Lee, the number one contender to Kaitlyn's title, to humiliate Kaitlyn.[36] Langston and Lee continued to mock Kaitlyn over the following weeks, with Lee ultimately winning the title at Payback.[37] On the July 15 episode of Raw, Ziggler ended his relationship with Lee, which led to Langston attacking him later in the evening.[38] On the July 29 episode of Raw, Langston was defeated by Ziggler by disqualification after Lee interfered and attacked Ziggler.[39] In a rematch on the following week's Raw, Langston defeated Ziggler following a distraction by Lee and Kaitlyn.[40] On August 18 at SummerSlam, Langston and Lee were defeated by Ziggler and Kaitlyn in a mixed tag team match, effectively ending their feud.[41] After this loss, Langston stopped aiding Lee altogether and started wrestling alone.

Intercontinental Champion (2013–2014)[edit]

On the October 18 episode of SmackDown, Langston lost to CM Punk and turned face after the match when he took offense to Paul Heyman downplaying Punk's victory over Langston and calling him "a rookie". He then aided Punk in fending off an attack by Ryback and Curtis Axel.[42] Three days later, on the October 21 episode of Raw, Langston teamed up with Punk to defeat Ryback and Axel, with Langston pinning Axel. He was set to receive a title match for Axel's WWE Intercontinental Championship at Hell in a Cell, but Axel was pulled from the match shortly before the pay-per-view due to a legittimate hip injury. Langston then renewed his rivalry with The Shield, and instead challenged for Dean Ambrose's WWE United States Championship at the pay-per-view. Though Langston won the match by countout, he did not win the title. The following night on Raw, he was granted a rematch for the title, winning the match by disqualification, but not the title once again after Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins interfered.

On the November 18 episode of Raw, Langston received his postponed championship match with Axel, defeating him to win his first main roster championship.[43] Six days later, at Survivor Series, he defeated Axel again in his first title defense.[44] Langston then successfully retained his championship against Damien Sandow at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.[45] At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, with his ring name now shortened to Big E, he successfully defended the title against Jack Swagger.[46] Big E competed in the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal at WrestleMania XXX, which was won by Cesaro. At Extreme Rules on May 4, Big E lost the Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett, and failed to regain it in a rematch the following night on Raw. Big E later became involved in a feud with Rusev, which led to consecutive bouts at Payback[47] and Money in the Bank, both of which Big E lost. At Battleground, Big E competed in a battle royal for the Intercontinental Championship, which was eventually won by The Miz.

The New Day (2014–present)[edit]

Main article: The New Day
Big E (center) with Kofi Kingston (left) and Xavier Woods (right) as The New Day in January 2015

On the July 21 episode of Raw, after Big E and Kofi Kingston suffered another loss as a team in a recent string of defeats, Xavier Woods came down to the ring to address them. Woods told the two that they could not "get ahead by kissing babies and shaking hands", and that it is "their time". The duo then joined forces with Woods,[48] and on the next day episode of Main Event, Woods managed Big E and Kingston to a decisive victory over Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil.[49] However, Woods' group quickly and quietly disbanded, as on the August 8 episode of SmackDown and on the August 12 episode of Main Event, both Big E and then Kingston reverted to wrestling singles matches with no sign or mention of the other two members of the group.[50][51] Despite being disbanded on WWE television, Big E, Kingston and Woods maintained their alliance at house shows.[52][53]

From the November 3 episode of Raw, WWE began airing vignettes for Big E, Kingston and Woods, with the group now being billed as The New Day, and presented as overly-positive babyface characters.[54] The New Day made their in-ring debut on the November 28 episode of SmackDown in a winning effort against Titus O'Neil, Heath Slater and Curtis Axel.[55] At WrestleMania 31, Big E and Kingston unsuccessfully challenged for the Tag Team Championship in a four-way tag team match. All three members of New Day also competed in the André the Giant memorial battle royal that same night, which was won by the Big Show. New Day then transitioned into villains after fans responded negatively to the group. At Extreme Rules, Big E and Kingston won the Tag Team Championship for the first time from Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.[56]

New Day defended the title under the Freebird Rule, which allows any two members of a stable to compete for the title, although typically would be defended by Big E and Kingston with Woods acting as a manager. They defeated Kidd and Cesaro in rematches on SmackDown and at Payback, with Woods interfering in both matches.[57] At Elimination Chamber, all three New Day members competed in the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match, where they lastly eliminated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) to successfully defend their titles.[58] However, at Money in the Bank, Big E and Woods lost the titles to the Prime Time Players.[59] New Day won the titles for a second time after they defeated the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando), and the Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) in a tag team fatal 4-way match at SummerSlam. The following night on Raw, after New Day's victory over the Lucha Dragons, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) made their WWE return and attacked the New Day. After a successful title defense against the Prime Time Players on the September 14 episode of Raw, New Day lost to the Dudley Boyz by disqualification at Night of Champions, retaining their tag team titles in the process. On the October 5 episode of Raw, Big E unsuccessfully challenged for the United States Championship after responding to John Cena's U.S. Open Challenge. The New Day ended their feud with the Dudley Boys after defeating them at Hell in a Cell.

The New Day during the WrestleMania Axxess in April 2016

2016 saw the start of what would eventually become a face turn for New Day as the crowd was starting to get behind them. Despite this, they still worked as villains in their Royal Rumble win against The Usos. They appeared at WWE Fastlane as a guest on Edge and Christian's talk show, The Cutting Edge Peep Show and tease an eventual confrontation with the stable referred to as the League of Nations, comprising King Barrett, Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio. This would later be confirmed and what would eventually become a best of three series would take place, starting at Roadblock, with The New Day scoring the first win. They went on to face the League again at WrestleMania 32, where they lost after interference from Barrett. The feud ended the next day on Raw, where New Day retained the tag team championship against Sheamus and Barrett. At Extreme Rules, The New Day retained the tag team championship against The Vaudevillians and at Money in the Bank in a Fatal 4-way Tag Team match against The Vaudevillians, Enzo Amore and Big Cass and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. On July 19 at the 2016 WWE draft, Big E, along with his fellow New Day teammates, were drafted to the Raw brand. Three days later, on July 22, the New Day became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, breaking the record of 331 days previously set by Paul London and Brian Kendrick. After SmackDown established the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships due to the brand split, the titles held by the New Day were renamed the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships.

On the August 1 episode of Raw, Big E suffered a contusion to the groin area, in storyline, after an attack by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.[60] At SummerSlam, Big E returned from injury by attacking Gallows and Anderson during their match against Kingston and Woods, resulting in Gallows and Anderson winning by disqualification.

Other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Total Divas Himself Guest star

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Big E is a one-time Intercontinental Champion
Big E is a two-time and longest reigning Raw tag team champion along with The New Day

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Big E, Kingston and Woods defended the title under the Freebird Rule. On September 5, 2016, during the New Day's second reign, the titles were renamed the Raw Tag Team Championship after SmackDown established the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.

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  101. ^ "The New Day's first Tag Team Championship reign". 
  102. ^ "Big E Langston's first NXT Championship reign". 

External links[edit]