New Day Rocks Final Fantasy Cosplay at Wrestlemania 33

New Day Rocks Final Fantasy Cosplay at Wrestlemania 33

And WWE commentator Michael Cole stumbles over the word "Chocobo," bless his heart.

When I was an RPG-obsessed young thing in 1994, trying to tell my game-loving peers about Final Fantasy VI for the SNES was like trying to hock a bizarre new religion to passers-by on the street. People would regard me with gentle confusion, shrug, and quickly change the subject.

April 2, 2017: Wrestlemania 33 is sponsored by Final Fantasy XIV.

Editor's pick

Final Fantasy XIV Lets You Play Up To Level 35 For Free

Whether by happy coincidence or arrangement, Wrestlemania 33 was also hosted by The New Day, WWE's longest-reigning tag-team champions. One of the team's members, Xavier Woods (AKA Austin Creed) is not just a huge game fan, but also a tremendous RPG nerd (I'd love to get him in Axe of the Blood God sometime, but the longest RPG discussion I ever had with a famous wrestler is a Twitter exchange with Kenny Omega about how Final Fantasy VI is the best Final Fantasy). Creed runs a YouTube gaming show called Up Up Down Down, so his attire for Wrestlemania 33 – a Monk costume, topped with a shoulder-mounted Moogle plushie – was delightfully relevant attire.

The additional members of The New Day were hardly underdressed themselves. Big E cosplayed as a Samurai (a new class for Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming Stormblood expansion), and Kofi Kingston arguably won the Best Dressed award for every media event ever with his oversized, hyper-glittery Red Mage hat.

The Final Fantasy Festivities didn't stop there, either. The group drove an ice-cream cart (part of a previous gimmick – bit of a story, there) adorned with a Fat Chocobo and about a dozen Moogles.

Now, geek culture is certainly more mainstream than it was twenty years ago, but that doesn't mean Joe Schmoe off the streets can tell you anything about Final Fantasy other than "some of the characters kind of look like Speed Racer, I guess?". WWE commentator Michael Cole clearly had no idea what he was looking at when The New Day paraded down the Citrus Bowl's long (long!) ramp in full regalia, but since Final Fantasy XIV was a sponsor for Wrestlemania, he couldn't simply make a few confused noises. He was contractually obligated to say real worlds about the series, so did his best to inform the audience he saw "Moogle and…Chocobo", and assured us he "loves Final Fantasy."

It was a good effort, but when I re-watch The New Day's intro I'm reminded of that Simpsons bit where Jimbo weasels "Vote Mayor Quimby" bumper stickers from Lisa and Bart by declaring "Uhhh yeah, I love Grimby."

It was an uplifting start to a show that ultimately ended with the Undertaker retiring after 33 years of wrestling. I'd suggest The New Day should've capped off their hosting duties with another set of thematically relevant Final Fantasy cosplays, e.g. Cecil dragging the corpse of a Mysidian mage, Locke holding Rachel's broken body, and Aeris with a sword through her abdomen. The WWE has yet to contact me for any writing input, though. It's a mystery.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Related articles

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.