The New Day was ridiculous. From the moment WWE began running vignettes of Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston bouncing around in front of a church choir, the overall opinion was not good. When the three began working together on Raw, fan reception was even worse.
The trio was not over, as the consensus among fans was that it would crash and burn in no time. But that assessment could not have been more wrong, as The New Day is now WWE's most entertaining act.
How did this happen? How did three guys with very little in common get stuck with an impossible gimmick, yet completely turn it around to become the fun bunch we see now? The easy and most obvious answer is time.
New Day simply had to wait until the connection was made with fans. Repetition bred familiarity, and that led to the live crowds finally accepting them, especially after their heel turn. The best thing about that heel turn is that they have no idea they're heels at all.
The question of how exactly Kingston, in particular, would switch sides was always up for debate. Many fans likely believed he was meant to travel the same path as Ricky Steamboat and never turn heel; he was just too nice and too likable to ever be booed.
So instead, Kingston became funny. He didn't turn on the crowd as much as he just did not understand why they didn't relate to where The New Day was coming from. If only people would follow their positive way of thinking, they would be so much happier.
It was very obvious to The New Day that they were right.
Big E and Woods adopted the same attitude as Kingston, and before long, it became apparent that The New Day was not going to be the typical heel faction. It was meant to be lighthearted, and that directly translated to annoying for fans.
It was the perfect mix of good and bad, of admirable intentions tempered with negative actions. The New Day talked a good game, but in the end, it was about three Superstars willing to bend the rules whenever necessary to get what they wanted.
They smiled, laughed, had fun and were absolutely hated for it. It worked on every level.
But something happened to this gimmick: The New Day became popular. They became so popular that fans are now popping for them, and that positive reaction is changing everything.
Time may have been the crucial element that got them over in the beginning, but it's their willingness to relax and have fun that's working for The New Day now. The ring entrance alone sparks the reaction, and that carries over to the match itself.
Kingston, Big E and Woods clap and gallop their way down the ramp, looking stupid silly and not caring in the slightest. They spend their time in the ring smiling and having fun, trying to persuade the fans to support them along the way.
Those fans who were once chanting "New Day sucks" are now chanting "New Day rocks."
Now the live crowds don't dread The New Day's arrival; they anticipate it. As soon as the music hits, fans know it's about to get fun, and that is what pro wrestling is all about.
No one is overthinking the gimmick now. It's not about the somewhat stereotypical initial idea behind The New Day; it's about the entertainment factor. The New Day is so over that they could turn face, but it would likely not be as fun anymore. They're great just like they are.
The constant refusal to see how oblivious they are to the world around them is enough to keep them heel. The fun is in their ignorance; they believe they're bringing people together but have no idea they're on the wrong side of the fence.
But perhaps their mission could be declared successful now, as fans simply can't get enough of them. Yes, they're silly, and yes, they are borderline unbelievable. But it's working better than anyone could have ever expected.
The New Day is still ridiculous, and fans would not have it any other way.
Tom's work can regularly be found on Bleacher Report, and his podcast Tom Clark's Main Event is available on iTunes, Google Play, Windows Phone, Amazon Android and online here.