On last night’s Halloween edition of WWE SmackDown Live, fan favorite team The New Day dressed up as three WWE legends from the 80s. The New Day is one of those fun wrestling success stories that nobody could have really seen coming. Debuting in late 2014, the team of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were presented as happy, smiling babyfaces, only to be greeted with Rocky Maivia-style scorn. A few months later, The New Day would turn heel, and quickly become one of the hottest acts in the company.
As with the aforementioned Rock, The New Day became so entertaining as heels that before long their popularity with fans became so immense that WWE was all but forced to turn them into faces again. They’ve traveled on the side of good ever since, and remain one of the premier teams in wrestling today. The New Day also holds the record for longest-reigning tag team champions in the history of WWE, with a 483 day reign that eclipsed the 478 day reign of long-standing record holders Demolition.
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The New Day has never been known for having a conventional sense of humor, which is one of the main reasons the crowd loves them so much. This hilariously off-kilter sensibility very much applied to their Halloween costumes last night on SmackDown. Xavier Woods dressed as legendary manager Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart, while Kofi Kingston dressed as another infamous 80s personality, the red-faced Brother Love. Finally, Big E transformed himself into Akeem the African Dream, a ridiculous character played in the 80s by white wrestler the One Man Gang.
For those in need of a WWE history lesson, Hart once managed such high-profile wrestlers and teams as Earthquake, The Hart Foundation, Money Inc., The Honky Tonk Man, and even Hulk Hogan. Brother Love is probably best remembered for his regular interview segment The Brother Love Show and screeching “I Love You” catchphrase, although he was also The Undertaker’s original manager, prior to Paul Bearer’s arrival. Akeem was a gimmick that would never even make TV in today’s social climate, with Gang claiming to have suddenly embraced his so-called “African roots,” and proceeding to cut promos in which he spoke in a stereotypical “jive” accent.
New Day’s night on SmackDown wasn’t all fun and games though, as Big E was tasked with going one-on-one with old rival Rusev. Big E came to the ring decked out in full Akeem garb, but his Halloween quickly went sour, as Rusev picked up the victory with a brutal superkick. That “Bulgarian Brute,” he loves to ruin parties.