There’s a problem with this article on Vice Sports, editorially speaking. It sets up a kind of straw man argument: that The New Day, as singin’ and dancin’ black folk, are perpetuating a decades-old racial stereotype befitting an unfortunate longtime trend in wrestling. The fact of the latter, that wrestling has a problem with race and “being black is the gimmick”, is inarguably true, to varying extents. But that intro doesn’t credit Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston with any agency in the way their characters, as they are now, are portrayed. I mean, the quotes from their own voices confirm that they know exactly what they’re doing, and always did.
The real story here is how, and why, they had to bide their time to make their gimmick work: they didn’t so much have to “remake the script they were given” as mash it up with the direction they already had in mind. It also does a disservice to fans like myself who saw the potential from the beginning, and knew that what the guys themselves were developing was at odds with the profoundly ignorant happy-clappy first incarnation of The New Day that Vince signed off on, and that the only way it could work was by sending it up. (And when that finally started to happen? New Day rising, indeed.) There’s a book in that, on the larger issue of wrestling’s problem with race; one I’d very much like to read.