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WWE Champion Big E says winning the title was ‘not the plan’ he’d been aware of for his singles push – calling his last year ‘beautiful.’
The phenomenally popular star captured the WWE title from Bobby Lashley recently in one of the most feelgood moments of the year so far.
It ended a lengthy reign at the top for a dominant Lashley, with many hoping that the New Day member can also now enjoy a prolonged spell at the summit after a steady rise.
Big E broke away from The New Day a little over a year ago after the trio were separated in the WWE Draft – but didn’t fully split up.
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Afforded a chance to go it alone, many fans were quickly pulling for the 35-year-old follow in the steps of teammate Kofi Kingston in shining as a singles star.
At the very start of his solo push, Big E told Daily Star Online he had ‘been told where it may go’, with plenty speculating that it would indeed lead to a WWE title reign.
We caught up with the champ again this week ahead of the WWE Draft, and checked back on those remarks to see whether this has been the grand plan all along.
Curiously, he revealed: “This was not the plan that I’d heard.
“I’m trying to remember what I was alluding to – [it was] maybe the Intercontinental Championship which was kind of in the works for a bit.
“But I had heard talks years ago about maybe putting the title on me – or possibly becoming a world champion – multiple times, but that kind of came and went every time.
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“It’s kind of hard to fathom getting here, but in many ways it’s not. So many of my peers had been so kind, and so many people over the years had said ‘yeah, this is something that you’re ready for’ or ‘that you deserve these opportunities.’
“I guess over time I kind of thought ‘yeah, I guess I am!’”
While many have indeed backed Big E for more than tag-team stardom in WWE, the man himself accepts that his longer wait and enabled him to grow.
He’s now completed a remarkable journey from being, in his own words a ‘failed’ footballer to one of the biggest wrestling names on the planet.
“It has all been very rewarding these last couple of weeks or so,” he added.
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“I still, in many ways, think of myself as a failed football player who stumbled into this job.
“But that was 12 years ago, and I know what I’m doing and have been to grow a lot as a performer.
“I think sometimes people get that rocket, that push, too soon. I could argue that I got it later than I could’ve or should’ve, but I am grateful for the time that I got to grow in the ring and outside the ring.
“I feel abundantly ready for whatever comes.”
As for the time of champ Big E wants to be? He was adamant in saying: “I have no desire to be anyone else but me – I never want to be a Cena copycat or a Roman copycat.
“I feel like it’s very early in, but I feel like it is working and going well, and I want to keep it up.
“It’s interesting to reflect on the last year or 13 months, because I didn’t know if this is where the end game would be.
“It has been beautiful.”
Catch Night One of the WWE Draft on Friday Night SmackDown, airing live on BT Sport in the UK.
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