WWE's first-ever interactive movie, Escape The Undertaker, was officially released on Netflix on Tuesday. The 30-minute horror film sees Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods try to navigate their way through The Undertaker's haunted mansion in order to gain the powers of The Urn while also trying to avoid running into "The Phenom." The movie's release comes mere weeks after Big E won the WWE Championship for the first time in his career and the big man sat down with ComicBook recently to discuss the whirlwind that has been his last few weeks. E started off by breaking down how this project came together.
"So, it was pre-pandemic, I want to say early 2020, but I can't remember now," E said. "So, essentially they hit the three of us up and kind of explained the premise very quickly, wanted us to record some lines to hopefully get an idea of it and help sell the idea. So, we did some stuff, but then this entire pandemic happened and so much of the world changed, and we just really hadn't heard anything for probably a year or so.
"Then they hit us back, and we're all trying to remember what the project was, and then they kind of got back into... But they let us know, hey, it's been approved," he cotinued. "This is the plan, and this is what we're going to move forward with. So, things all kind of happened pretty rapidly for us, but it was so much fun. Those guys have been, for the last year or so, close to a year, have been on a different show. So we haven't really interacted a ton until recently. So, it was just all so great. Those guys, we're still very close friends, still love seeing those guys. So, just spending a few days together shooting it was a ton of fun, too. But the idea, everything kind of came together very, very quickly."
Check out the full interview with Big E below!
What was it like working with Undertaker?
It was great. So, the nice thing is, as much as he's in many ways from a different era, even though he's done stuff recently, he's been around enough that we have a bit of a rapport with Taker. His daughters have been New Day fans for a while and they do unicorn theme stuff and he shared that, and it's been very, very sweet. So yeah, just being able to be there with Undertaker, and we would sit sometimes while we're all eating and hear some of his stories.
It's just really cool because I remember, and this is not to age him, but I used to watch the Undertaker when I was a small kid. I am 35 now. He's been around for a very, very long time, and it's just cool to have a living legend amongst your presence, just shooting takes with you and eating catering. So, it was a good time.
Did he stay in character the whole time while on set?
No, we've been around Taker enough. He can kind of let his guard down, at least with us. So yeah, it was just cool. He told a few stories. Our trainer, Larry Heck and Taker, like Larry's been around for a long time, so he was beaming at the thought of playing cards again with Taker and exchanging stories. Yeah, man, it was cool to see Taker let his guard down and just hang out,
During the movie you get your head trapped in a glass box full of spiders. Are you afraid of spiders in real life?
That was the most fun I had the entire shoot. That was my favorite thing, the tarantulas were. I had an opportunity beforehand to just get familiar with them, and they put one in your hand and make sure you're at ease, but I don't have an issue at all with spiders or tarantulas.
I have weird phobias with chickens. If it was a chicken around me, that would be a problem. I have some, farm animals for some reason kind of freak me out, so I probably shouldn't have said that because now I feel like I'm going to open myself up to people attacking me with farm animals.
Between winning the WWE title, reuniting with New Day, taking on The Bloodline, beating Bobby Lashley in a Steel Cage and now working with Drew McIntyre you've had a crazy few weeks. Have you had the chance to just take in the moment?
A little bit. I'm not sure it's entirely sunken in yet. It's still very cool. As much as I think I'm ready for this, and I feel very confident in that in many ways, and I keep saying this but, in many ways, I still harken back to being a failed former football player who took this job on a whim. I'm just a guy who likes being obnoxious, doing splits in rings and making people laugh. For some reason, they took me seriously enough to put me in this position. That is pretty cool. But yeah, it's only been a couple weeks, maybe a little over a couple weeks, but it's been, I think it's been a good start. Like you said, man, already, in these few weeks, we've done stuff. We've had a tag match, a dream match with The Bloodline, a triple threat that you could also, that's a WrestleMania caliber match with Roman (Reigns) and Bobby (Lashley) and, like you said, the cage match with Bobby.
I feel like I've had four months' worth of programs and pay-per-view caliber matches in a few weeks, but I've had a lot of fun doing it. It's been a lot of work, as they tell you, with interviews and media, but it's been fun, man, and everyone's been so kind. I'm trying my best not to squirm and bristle and deflect with the compliments. I'm trying to do a better job accepting my flowers. So, it's been really cool to have so many people be so kind, and it's been a good start so far.
Earlier this year WWE named its top 50 tag teams of all time and put The New Day at No. 1. Naturally, it caused a lot of debate, but now that you've given the group its second WWE Championship reign will that quiet down the critics?
It will not for a lot of people, and I get that, too. Also, nostalgia is a massive part of wrestling, especially for people who are in their thirties or older. So, for a lot of people, it will not matter what we do. We can win all the titles, have all the five star matches, and they're still going to have their childhood favorites at the very top, and I'm not here to take that away from anyone.
I'm also a person who doesn't really love making lists. I don't love ranking people because, especially with art or, or something like that that is fairly subjective, and what we do is fairly subjective. So, I'm not going to tell anyone to take their favorites and drop them below us, but I'll say that I'm just proud. I'm very proud of what we've done. I'm proud of the work we've done. I'm proud of the fact that we never coasted. We never rested on our laurels, that the three of us have always worked, even though we've been baby faces for so long, we've always tried to do our best to not be stale and try to add little elements here or there.
We've also been fortunate. KofiMania came along at an incredible time. The ability to move to SmackDown, I think in 2017, and have that four or five month long program with the Uso's came at the perfect time. So, we've also had these like really these really fun, indelible moments that kept us kind of fresh or kept us doing something, so I'm grateful for all of that, and I just have the two best partners, man.
How did cashing in Money in the Bank compare to when Kofi won the WWE title at WrestleMania?
Both were incredible. KofiMania, that's hard to beat, that whole run, that rise, seeing people with him from his first match to that title. When seeing just the amount of people who cried tears of joy and sent us evidence was really incredible. This one was different. I guess the Kofi one's unique because I can look out, I'm outside of it in a way, even though I'm in it, because I can say, "Oh, of course, Kofi's deserving of it, and he's ready for this, and it's the right moment and everything's built perfectly."
It's a little bit different for me when it's just me, and I'm trying. It's a lot of the work I've done, as well, on myself, but I'm trying to do a better job at realizing and seeing myself outside of myself and not telling myself the lie that, "Oh, I'm not worthy or whatever it is," and I've done that too often in my life, is kind of tell myself these mistruths and these lies. We all do that, that negative self-talk.
So, it's just different in the sense that I can objectively watch Kofi and be happy for him and know, hey, what an incredible human being but, when it's me, there's still that part of me that wants to say, "Everyone's too nice." I'm a bit all over the place with this description, but it feels like an acknowledgment that I've done things the right way. Sometimes, you don't know.
Woods talks a lot about winning King of the Ring, but do you think there comes a day when he becomes WWE Champion?
I think so. I think he's a guy who is still underrated, still very underrated. I think he has all the tools. I think it's just a matter of changing perception and getting him the opportunities that he deserves to be pushed more, to be given that opportunity. I think he's incredible in ring. I think the stuff he did with Bobby, that Hell in a Cell match they had was incredible.
I remember he had a random match with Riddle on Raw that I watched a few months ago and absolutely loved and was blown away by. He's so incredibly talented and such a great talker, charismatic as hell. He has all the tools. He just has to be given those opportunities that Kofi and I have been given in our careers. Once he's given those opportunities and you see him shine, you see him taken more credibly, you see him in those (big matches), -- I hope he gets that King of the Ring opportunity to show he can really kill it but. Once you start putting him in those positions with main eventors and with top guys and you let him go toe-to-toe and you let him prove himself, once that perception changes of him, I don't think it's far off. I'm not saying that by any means, but I think he just needs that door opened and you'll see how good he is. You'll see that he is capable of being a world champion, and I root for him.
Since it became a meme, will we ever get "Big Meaty Men Slapping Meat" merchandise?0comments
We need to. We need to. I tried to, but legal would not clear it. So, we're working on something else but, sometimes, you just got to push those through those barriers, so we'll see. I hope so.
Escape The Undertaker is available on Netflix now.