The image of Big E emotionally celebrating with his best friends, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston, much like the way “KofiMania” culminated with the New Day celebrating together, was a deeply heartwarming sight. It produced a memory the WWE Universe will remember for a long time to come.
For months, maybe even years, WWE RAW has been criticized for being repetitive and, at times, somewhat tedious, but neither of those words describes what fans saw on Monday night. The sheer joy on Big E’s face and the genuine excitement generated by his win left most viewers feeling happy, if not hopeful for the future of the red brand. More than practically anyone, Big E deserved to get his flowers with this championship victory. If anything, it’s overdue, as he was arguably ready to be given the proverbial ball years ago.
But Big E himself said that he’s glad the journey took this long because this triumph subsequently feels earned. As a result, no one can take this away from Big E. On paper, it’s not too soon to give him the gold. Countless fans and wrestlers throughout the wrestling world quickly took to Twitter to congratulate the new champion, further demonstrating the feeling that Big E is one of the most beloved stars in WWE, if not wrestling itself. For this reason alone, putting the title on him is a slam-dunk decision.
— WWE (@WWE) September 14, 2021
Naturally, many fans are curious, if not nervous, to see how WWE follows up with this show-closing title change. Will it produce a transitional reign that ends in a month, maybe two at best? Or will it usher in a new era, where “The Powerhouse of Positivity” will reign supreme as WWE RAW’s world champion? Only time will tell, but hopefully, WWE will choose door number two. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to blame fans who feel cheated out of the chance to see Big E get his overdue run at the top of the card.
Looking ahead is a dangerous game; in doing so, one runs the risk of losing sight of the emotional brilliance produced by Big E’s victory. Still, it’s important to note that the execution of this triumph wasn’t perfect. Earlier in the day on Monday, Big E publicly announced his intention to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on WWE RAW, shortly after reports broke the news that he’d be on the show. This announcement fueled some heated speculation, as fans immediately questioned whether WWE would actually have Big E win the title like this, if he’d lose his cash-in, or if it was all a ruse.
A few hours later, the fan-favorite star indeed kicked off the broadcast and emphasized that he would cash in on the winner of the main event title match between Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton. All night long, he repeated this intent a few times, making it even easier to doubt whether he, and the company, would go through with it. However, once Lashley defeated Orton and hurt his knee in a post-match attack, the writing was on the wall. Big E ran to the ring, cashed in, and after a brief tease that he would lose the match following a Spear from Lashley, the challenger won the match and the gold.
— WWE (@WWE) September 14, 2021
Plenty of the discourse leading up to, and even following, Big E’s victory has focused on the notion that WWE put the title on him as a reactionary move to AEW Dynamite defeating RAW in the demographic rating last week or, in a more general sense, AEW’s hot momentum. It’s easy for some to connect the dots there; up until last Friday, Big E had been teasing his plan to cash in on Roman Reigns, the WWE Universal Champion who has dominated SmackDown for over a year now. As a result, Mr. Money In The Bank’s announcement that he’d be cashing in his contract on RAW, and his ultimate victory over Lashley, felt somewhat abrupt and rushed.
Even with some reports indicating that Big E’s win had been in the cards for this episode of RAW for several weeks, some hint at this direction prior to Big E’s tweet on Monday could have been beneficial. But here’s the thing — no matter what the reason for the title change was, that shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying it and cherishing Big E’s run in the sun, however long it lasts. While it would have been nice, and arguably more effective, to have the cash-in built up a little longer, WWE threw the fans a bone and did what many viewers have been practically been begging them to do for a long time.
Again, Big E’s crowning moment is somewhat overdue, and no one deserves it more. For now, let’s be thankful for this truly wonderful moment and embrace the power of positivity, just as Big E and the New Day have taught us to.