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WWE stars The New Day reflect on recent NXT switch and Royal Rumble history

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The New Day are one of the most iconic trios in WWE history – but what does the future hold for them heading into WrestleMania season in 2023?

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have been forced to fly the flag for the faction for almost a year, with their teammate and former world champion Big E sidelined due to a serious neck injury.

The pair have moved over to the company’s developmental brand of NXT in recent months, as they look to rejuvenate themselves and continue to add to their legacy as one of WWE’s greatest teams.

In their short time in NXT, Kingston and Woods have already secured the tag team titles and have been able to work with some of the stars of tomorrow.

MORE: Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair headline SN’s 2022 Pro Wrestling Awards

Speaking exclusively to The Sporting News prior to the Royal Rumble, Kingston reflected on their move to NXT and believes it is an important step in their journey.

“It feels great to be able to go to NXT – I try to avoid saying that we are going ‘down to NXT’ because that has a negative connotation,” he said.

“There are some incredibly talented people over there – it’s not like going down to NXT, it’s going to the future of the business and the next generation and being able to pass on the knowledge we have in order to elevate them.

“It’s an honour to be able to do that for them, and for us to be around that energy and the uncertainty of where people are going to go or where their careers are going to take them.

“It’s cool to mix them up with some of those guys.”

Kingston is a legendary performer within WWE, producing countless moments across his 15-year career, capped off by winning the WWE Championship back in 2019.

The 41-year-old has also become synonymous with the Royal Rumble match, with his innovative and entertaining elimination saves making their way into the highlight reels and history books.

“I wouldn’t call it a storied history – the ultimate ending of the story would be to win the Rumble, which I have yet to do over the last 15 years,” Kingston said.

“But ultimately, our goal as WWE superstars is to find a way to stand out and no matter what is going on, when people go home after the show, we want them to think about us.

“We want them to think ‘this was a three-hour show, but look what Kofi did or what E did or what Woods did’ and for the Rumble it’s the same mentality.

“John Morrison is actually the one who did this first, he started this whole craze and I give credit to John Morrison. The next year, he wasn’t with the company any more so I saw an opportunity to fill that role and bring something unique to the WWE roster, in particular in the Royal Rumble.

“It’s cool to have become identified and synonymous with the Royal Rumble – it’s something I look forward to every year.”

Kingston and Woods are both expected to compete in the Rumble match itself on Saturday, January 28th in front of a packed crowd in San Antonio, Texas.

With all Rumble matches, the members of The New Day are hoping to see some surprise returns or one-off appearances in the 2023 edition. 

Woods is praying for a 2 Cold Scorpio return; Kingston is hoping to knock some sense into Hall of Famer and current NXT commentator Booker T in the match; while their sidelined partner Big E mentioned hardcore icon Bubba Ray Dudley as a potential surprise. 

Three men who The New Day would also love to see in the Rumble are very unlikely to appear – but the trio are holding out hope of a potential ‘dream match’ against AEW stars Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, affectionately known as The Elite.

“To be fair, we have been trying to mess them up in some sort of wrestling ring for the past seven or eight years,” Woods said.

“We couldn’t do it at one point, so we actually did it in video games.

“We’ve made it very clear that we would love to engage in fisticuffs against them, because we know they couldn’t beat us.

“They are great, they are incredible, they are the current trios champions over there – they are so good, so when we get the chance to beat them, everyone will realise and it will be in the history books that The New Day are that much better.”

Will Big E be in the Royal Rumble?

Unfortunately, fans hoping to see Big E return in time for a shock Royal Rumble return shouldn’t get their hopes up.

The powerhouse of the group suffered a broken neck in March 2022, ruling him out indefinitely and there remains no official timeframe for his return. 

Big E told The Sporting News that his recovery is tracking well, with the one-year mark approaching and upcoming scans to dictate any potential in-ring future.

“Shockingly, it hasn’t been difficult at all. I owe a lot of it to a great support system – the company, as brown-nosing as it can sound, they have been tremendous,” he said.

“The amount of support I have had from fans, from my peers and from the company has been tremendous. My response was never woe is me or why did this happen to me – it was just gratitude. I was so grateful to be alive, to be healthy, to have my limbs – I am really beyond blessed. It has not been difficult from that aspect.

“As far as where I’m at physically – I have been doing rehab now for about six months. I’m working on range of motion and strength, just because I was in a neck brace for 12 weeks and that kind of stiffens some muscles up by not moving much.

“We are looking at the one-year mark in March and having some more scans to see how everything is healing. I’m just really grateful for everyone that has reached out and wanted to show me support, everyone who has tweeted me or sent me a text.

“I’m really so grateful to be in a position where I’m still here, I’m still alive, I’m not in a wheelchair – there is so much life to live.”

Who will win the 2023 WWE Royal Rumble?

At this stage, Cody Rhodes is the favourite for the Men’s Royal Rumble match, with the likes of Sami Zayn, The Rock and Seth Rollins also rated strong chances of securing victory in the 30-man elimination match.

In the Women’s Match, Australian wrecking ball Rhea Ripley is the heavy favourite and front-runner to earn a title match at WrestleMania. 

How to watch or stream WWE Royal Rumble 2023

Country Date Channel + Live Stream (main card)
United States Sat. Jan 28 Peacock
Canada Sat. Jan 28 WWE Network
United Kingdom Sun. Jan 29 WWE Network
Australia Sun. Jan 29 Foxtel/Kayo & Binge

WWE Royal Rumble will be available on pay-per-view or via Peacock for fans in the U.S. 

Australian fans can catch the Royal Rumble live on Foxtel and Kayo, while subscription-based streaming service Binge has also picked up all WWE events for no extra cost. 

Outside of the US, Royal Rumble will be available on the WWE Network.

WWE Royal Rumble 2023 PPV Price: How much does the Royal Rumble cost? 

  • A Peacock Premium subscription costs $4.99 a month.
  • Subscribing to the WWE Network costs $9.99 a month. 
  • Subscribing to Binge in Australia costs $10 AUD a month. 


Credit: sportingnews.com

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