Big E has held a number of championships in WWE. He is a former WWE United States Champion after defeating Velveteen Dream on an episode of Smackdown. Following the closure of the brand, Big E went on to unify the belt with the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series 2019. He is also a former 2x WWE Hardcore Champion and a former WWE Tag Team Champion with Shinsuke Nakamura.
He is also a national powerlifting champion who has set multiple national and state records in the raw division.
Ewen was born in Tampa, Florida to Afro-Caribbean immigrants Eltore and Margaret Ewen. He attended Wharton High School, where he won a number of athletic honors, including being named Hillsborough County's "Ironman of the Year". Upon graduating from Wharton, Ewen attended the University of Iowa, where he played football as a defensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Ewen was redshirted in 2004 and missed the 2005 season due to an injury sustained in pre-season camp, playing a single season as a sophomore in 2006. Ewen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
As a Florida high school wrestling state champion and a Division I college football letter winner, Ewen competed in a number of different athletic disciplines at an elite level before turning his attention to the sport of powerlifting.
Ewen competed in his first U.S.A. Powerlifting (USAPL) meet on July 11 at the fifth annual United States Open Championships 2010 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. He became not only the top heavyweight lifter but also broke all four Florida state raw powerlifting records in the 275-pound class and bested raw national records in the deadlift and total. His lifts included a 611 pound squat, a 490 pound bench press and a 749 pound deadlift for a 1,850 pound raw total.
Ewen also won the USAPL Raw Nationals 2011 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This time he competed in the super heavyweight division (+275) and broke the raw American and national records in the deadlift (799 lbs) and total (2,039 lbs) in this weight class as well.
Although all of his national and American raw records were broken in 2011 and 2012 by Michael Tuchscherer, Brad Gillingham and Randall Harris, Ewen still holds the USAPL Florida State Raw Records in deadlift and total in the SHW division as well as all four raw powerlifting records in the 275-pound class.
- Set in offical competition
- Squat - 711 lbs (322.5 kg) raw without knee wraps
- Bench press - 529 lbs (240 kg) raw
- Deadlift - 799 lbs (362.5 kg) raw
- Powerlifting total - 2,039 lbs(711-529-799) / 925 kg (322.5-240-362.5) raw without knee wraps
The American and National Championship Records in the deadlift are held at 410 kg (903.9 lbs) since 1995 by Mark Henry, who also became a professional wrestler in WWE. Langston has also bench pressed 575 lbs (260 kg) raw touch and go in the gym, but it was not a competition lift.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment (2009–present)
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2012)
In 2009, Ewen signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He was assigned to its developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he debuted on December 17, 2009 under the ring name "Big E Langston". On May 12, 2011, Langston and Calvin Raines defeated Richie Steamboat and Seth Rollins to win the Florida Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles to to C.J. Parker and Donny Marlow on July 21, 2011. During the WrestleMania XXVIII Axxess event in April 2012, Langston defeated Antonio Cesaro.
NXT; #2HHBG with Mark Henry (2012–present)
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Langston made his NXT debut on August 1, 2012, defeating Adam Mercer. This marked the start of a winning streak for Langston, who from September started repeatedly performing his finisher on his opponents (often at the urging and to the delight of the Full Sail audience) and demanding that referees count to five (rather than the usual three) before awarding him pinfalls. After Langston rejected Vickie Guerrero's managerial services, Guerrero promised a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could put Langston "on the shelf"; but attempts to claim the bounty by Chad Baxter and Camacho were firmly squashed by Langston. The bounty was ultimately declared void by NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes. On the December 6, 2012 tapings of NXT (which aired January 9, 2013), Langston defeated NXT Champion and The Shield member Seth Rollins in a no disqualification match to win the title.
On March 2, 2013 at the tapings for the March 28 episode Langston lost the championship to Michael Riley in a triple threat match that also involved Bo Dallas.
On the May 2, 2013 episode of NXT Langston was to receive his rematch for the title against Riley and Leo Kruger, however the match ended in a no contest when Xavier Woods interfered and attacked all three men. On May 30, 2013 at the tapings for the June 6, episode of NXT, Langston regained the NXT Championship in a fatal four way match involving Riley, Kruger and Xavier Woods pinning Kruger for the win.
Langston's reign wouldn't last long as he would go on to the lose the NXT Championship a few weeks later to Bo Dallas. On the June 24, 2013 episode of Raw Langston made his main roster debut with Mark Henry revealing themselves as the new #2HHBG.
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