Recently on The New Day: Feel The Power, former WWE creative writing team member Michael Notarile, joined the program. Notarile has been so instrumental in the formation of The New Day, that Kofi Kingston, the former Big E Langston, and Xavier Woods recognize Notarile as the fourth member of The New Day. During the podcast, Big E talked about how Notarile helped The New Day navigate WWE's creative process. According to Big E, Notarile helped The New Day understand WWE's creative process. Moreover, the muscle of the group admitted that there would be no New Day without Notarile.
"Well, Mike was a writer for WWE, fighting the good fight for many a talent and I would say for many an under-utilized talent," Big E said. "You were often the go-to for guys trying to reboot themselves or get off the ground. And I think you started working with Woodsy in 2014, maybe earlier. But, anyways, we got together as a collective around 2014 and you were our entry in. You were the man who knocked down those doors, that got us into the creative [meetings], or at least got our ideas into the creative rooms. You were the one who told us that it is crazy how many talent don't understand the creative process.
"They don't know what goes on in the meetings. They don't hear the feedback that they could probably benefit from. And you really schooled us. You put your boys on game. You put us up on game, and you taught us, and it was so collaborative. You truly are the fourth member of The New Day because we don't ever get on TV without you. Not only did you allow us to understand the creative process, but you were in there truly fighting for us. You were in the meetings fighting for us. You were talking to us about what we needed to fix, what we needed to tweak, what we needed to do. You were there collaboratively with our promos. You were extremely instrumental.
"There is 100% chance - I'm phrasing this oddly - there is a 100% chance The New Day never makes TV without you."
Kingston, who recently invited Hollywood A-Lister Charlize Theron to compete in WWE, noted that many WWE writers do the opposite of what they are supposed to do, while Notarile was always direct and straightforward with them.
"Man, it's funny, man, because, like, the role of a writer in our industry is supposed to be someone who, like, keeps you informed, someone who is honest with you, someone that gives you the info that you need to be able to succeed, and to enhance your career," Kingston explained. "And, more often than not, the opposite of that happens. Do you know what I mean? It's not uncommon that someone finds out that they are doing the 'wrong thing,' either getting under someone's skin or they weren't talking a certain way, too late. And I was always so appreciative of the fact that you were always, like, straight-up with us to actually let us know what we were supposed to do."
Notarile recalled that Big E wanted to continue his five-count gimmick on the main roster, but the company had other intentions.
"I remember one instance where Big E, right, he was over in NXT the five [count] thing," Notarile said. "I didn't really watch NXT, so I don't really know much about it, but I know of it. He was over with the five thing and we were trying to come up with new stuff for him. So I was working with E on a promo. I think he was doing something with Jerry Lawler near the entrance or something, like, an after a match or a prematch promo. And I'm working with E, I'm the show runner at the time, and it's like, 'let him say whatever he wants to say - let him be his real person,' right? I go up to him and I'm like, 'work on whatever you want to work on.' I leave and I hear over the radio, 'Big E wants to go over the promo'. I'm like, 'come on, man! Figure it out on your own!'
"But again, to his credit and I empathize with him - he didn't know what to talk about, right? So I work with him on the promo. Now he finally starts to express a little frustration and he goes, 'I just want to say the five thing. I just want to do the five thing.' I'm like, 'oh man. Oh man.' 'I want to do the five thing!' I don't want to have this conversation with him because, again, I don't know much about it. I'm just like, 'oh, I don't think they want you to do it. Let's do this.' And he's like, 'no, but I was really over in NXT with the five thing.' I'm like, 'you have to do something else.' And at that point, I think E, he got it, right, because someone finally told him, and not a polite, 'no, don't do it! Like, you need to do something else.'"
Apparently, Notarile snuck a line in one of Kingston's promos about he and Big E being friends to plant the seeds of the formation of The New Day.
"In his promo, like four sentences, again, I don't remember the specifics, but it was some version of, 'you took down all of my friends, you took down my friend Big E last week, now I'm going to put an end to that.' Some version of that, right?" Notarile said. "And I told Kofi why I wanted to put that in there. 'If I can establish you and Big E as friends, now I can pitch on something that already exists in the next week's meeting. Kofi left it in there. He said it. The insert [picture-in-picture promo during entrance] went on TV. Next week, in the production meeting, we're talking about different segments. I raise my hand. I go, 'why don't we actually team Kofi and E in this match against whomever? Don't forget, last week on RAW, Kofi did say him and Big E are friends and he was going to try and avenge the loss for Big E.'
"Now, that week on RAW, Kofi and E are on a tag team. That happened for several weeks and I remember E telling me recently, like, that's what started getting you guys booked together on live events, right? You two were already established and now we just needed to get Woods into it. And I think the first time we got Woods into it, and this is a time I will never forget, it's that promo. And I will never forget the look on Woods's face. The look on Woods's face when I handed him that microphone to cut that promo, and Woods, I forget what you said, but I remember you saying, like, this is your moment, this is the moment you've been working for and we've all been working for and it's on your shoulders and you took that mic, and, by the way, you cut one hell of a promo, but that was then, 'okay, we got Kofi and E on screen together and we'd been working this idea, working this idea, and we were already more than half way there. All we had to do is put Woods in the center of it, get him to cut a promo, but that was the moment of 'now you guys are on TV.'"
With respect to The New Day wearing matching tracksuits, Woods claimed that they started to wear a team uniform because they wanted to get around WWE's dress code at the time.
"There was a time when there was a dress code in the company, and in order to not have to wear a three-piece suit when we travel, we asked, 'hey, we're a team, so instead of wearing a suit, can we wear a team uniform?' And so we had little stitched-on New Day logos that we put on these Adidas tracksuits." Woods noted, "so we ended up getting them and [Notarile] as our fourth member, we had to get you one as well."
Also during the podcast, Kingston named some of people he looks forward to visiting with the most backstage at WWE events.
"When you go to work there [are] certain people who you look forward to seeing," Kingston acknowledged. "I know when I go to TV, there's like a list of people that I'm going to see. Do you know what I'm saying? Like aside from you guys, Tyson Kidd, I'm going to go over there and get a story, I'm going to get a laugh. Heath Slater, I'm going to find him. Do you know what I'm saying? The Major Brothers, I'm going to find them."
Check out the podcast here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The New Day: Feel The Power with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.