The Big E was born Ettore Ewen on March 1, 1986 in Tampa, Florida. During his high school years, he won a State wrestling Championship and had the distinction of being named the “Ironman of the Year”.
He played football at the University of Iowa and successfully completed his Bachelor of Arts degree. He then turned his attention to powerlifting.
In 2010 and 2011, Ewen had tremendous powerlifting success, breaking all Florida State raw powerlifting records as well as winning the Raw Nationals in Pennsylvania.
He signed to the WWE developmental territory of Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), debuting in 2009 as “Big E Langston”. In 2011, Langston and partner Heath Slater would win the FCW Tag team Championships from Richie Steamboat and Seth Rollins.
Once FCW turned into NXT, Langston embarked on a winning streak and started to channel King Kong Bundy by demanding a 5 count rather than three when applying his finishing maneuver, “The Big Ending”.
Langston drew the ire of Vickie Guerrero who placed a $ 5000 bounty on Langston’s head for any wrestler that could put him out of wrestling, but this bounty was eventually vetoed by Commissioner Dusty Rhodes.
Langston defeated the Shield member Seth Rollins to win the NXT Championship which he would end up losing to Bo Dallas 6 months later.
In late 2012, Langston got his shot at the big time by appearing on Raw and acting as the enforcer for Dolph Ziggler as a heel. Ziggler and Langston would team together but were unsuccessful at capturing the WWF Tag team Championship held by Kane and Daniel Bryan (Team Hell No).
Langston tried his hand at singles competition, but was unsuccessful at acquiring the WWE Heavyweight Championship held by Alberto Del Rio. Due to Langston’s affiliation with Ziggler, Ziggler’s on-screen girlfriend, AJ Lee and Langston would team up against Lee’s Diva rival, Kaitlyn.
Ziggler eventually broke up with Lee, prompting a feud between himself and Langston who remained loyal to Lee. The two engaged in a series of singles and tag team bouts with either side emerging victorious.
Langston then fared as a singles competitor, feuding with Shield members and getting a shot at Dean Ambrose’s US title. He was never able to capture to gold despite victories by disqualification and countout.
In November of 2014, Langston successfully acquired the WWE Intercontinental Championship by defeating Curtis Axel. He would successfully defend the belt for an impressive near 6 months after dropping it to Wade Barrett.
Big E made several attempts thereafter to attain the championship to losing efforts. He then formed a very unsuccessful tag team with Kofi Kingston, with the two losing a string of successive bouts.
In an attempt to garnish some success, the duo teamed up with Xavier Woods initially as faces but later turned heels when the fans failed to accept their over-the-top optimism.
They were dubbed “The New Day” and went on to capture the WWE tag team titles from Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.
The New Day had the privilege of defending the belt under the Freebird Rule, but typically it was Kingston and Langston as the competitors with Woods as manager. The duo would lose the belts to Titus O’Neil and Darren Young (The Prime Time Players) at the “Money-In-The-Bank” Pay-Per-View event. The New Day would regain the belts from the Players in a fatal 4-way bout at the SummerSlam Pay-Per-View event. They successfully defended the tile for a record-breaking astounding 483 days. Their defenses included bouts against The Vaudevillians (Aiden English and Simon Gotch), Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and Paul London/The Brian Kendrick.
Their loss occurred at the hands of Cesaro and Sheamus at the “Roadblock” Pay-Per-View event in 2016. To date, The New Day are still together, but have not been able to regain the straps.
The Big E has had a remarkable career both as a tag team member and as a solo competitor. His impressive weight-lifting credentials catapulted him to the top of the WWE Universe and he is showing no signs of slowing down his momentum.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.