Big E was a collegiate football player at the University of Iowa and later became a powerlifter and a USA Powerlifting champion. Upon signing with WWE in 2009, Ewen was assigned to its developmental brand Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).
After FCW was rebranded to WWE NXT, he became the second-ever NXT Champion. Since arriving on the main roster in 2012, he has become a one-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time Raw Tag Team Champion, and a four-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion.
As a part of The New Day, he holds the record for the longest tag team championship reign in WWE history at 483 days. Big E entered the 2019 Royal Rumble but was eliminated by Samoa Joe. In the lead-up to WrestleMania 35, Big E's New Day teammate Kofi Kingston was attempting to earn a shot at the WWE Championship and after many attempts, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon granted him the title shot after Big E and Xavier Woods defeated Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev, The Bar, The Usos, and Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan in a tag-team gauntlet match.
Shortly after WrestleMania, Big E suffered a legitimate knee injury which sidelined him for weeks. He later returned and eventually earned another SmackDown tag team title opportunity at Extreme Rules. At the event, Big E and Xavier Woods defeated Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan and Heavy Machinery to win the titles.
During a long interview with Fightful, he talked about Xavier Woods' eyesight: “Oh, he did have glasses, didn’t he? He was trying to look more erudite, know what I mean? Weren’t they like the Malcom X [specs]? That boy can see well. In fact he has Lasik. He’s had Lasik for years!”