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Tampa’s Big E is the New WWE Champion

Area residents now hold the promotion’s top two singles championships.
Tampa native and resident Ettore Ewen, who performs as Big E, celebrates after winning the WWE Championship.
Tampa native and resident Ettore Ewen, who performs as Big E, celebrates after winning the WWE Championship. [ Courtesy of WWE ]
Published Sep. 15
Updated Sep. 15

TAMPA — Add another world title to Champa Bay’s resume.

On the most recent episode of Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, Tampa native and resident Ettore Ewen, who performs as Big E, won the WWE Championship by defeating Bobby Lashley.

The 12-year WWE veteran did so by cashing in his “Money In the Bank” contract that he won in July.

Such a contract guarantees a match against a world championship whenever they choose.

Ewen, 35, cashed it in immediately after Lashley defended the WWE Championship against Randy Orton.

“It was a spiritual experience,” Ewen told Sports Illustrated. “It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

Related: Tampa Bay wrestlers dominate WrestleMania men’s world heavyweight title matches

The WWE Championship is currently defended exclusively on Monday Night Raw.

Area residents now hold the promotion’s top two singles championships.

Brandon’s Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, who performs as Roman Reigns, holds the WWE Universal Championship that is defended exclusively on Friday Night SmackDown on Fox.

“So PROUD of You,” tweeted the WWE’s Titus O’Neil, who is really Tampa’s Thaddeus Bullard. “CONGRATULATIONS AND WELL DESERVED.”

Born in Tampa and raised in Carrollwood and New Tampa, Ewen won a state wrestling title as a junior at Tampa Prep. During his senior year at Wharton in 2004, he was named Hillsborough County’s “Iron Man of the Year” for playing well on offense and defense as a football player.