University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz may not follow professional wrestling closely, but he's definitely aware of his former player Ettore 'Big E' Ewen's success in WWE.
During his press conference on Tuesday (September 14) afternoon, Ferentz praised his former defensive lineman's historic WWE championship win one day after Big E successfully cashed-in his 'Money in the Bank' contract and defeated former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley on RAW.
Ferentz said "it's really been neat that he's gone on to have all this great success," but admitted to being vaguely familiar with his former player's in-ring persona, although seemed to be pretty accurate in his assumptions of Ewen and his longtime allies, the New Day.
"I don't follow that really that closely, now is he the pancake guy? I know my wife brought the truck, right? Those little trucks, you know, for our kids and the grandkids. Not my kids, but, you know, you get the picture," Ferentz said. "But yeah, Ettore, or what is it? Whatever his nickname, Big E, isn't there a pancake connection somewhere in there?"
A reporter explained that the New Day did have an affinity for pancakes and longtime partner Xavier Woods played the trombone during their entrance.
"Alright," Ferentz said smiling, with several reporters laughing in the background. "But anyway, yeah, so, I think it's great. Like I said, it's really great."
Big E seemed to appreciate his collegiate coach's response, tweeting, "Oh man! This is incredible! That's my coach!"
Hours prior to defeating Lashley, the multi-time former tag-team and Intercontinental champion tweeted his intention to cash-in his contract for an automatic title match later in the evening.
"Let’s let that cat out of the bag…I intend on cashing in my Money in the Bank contract tonight and cashing in to become WWE Champion," Big E tweeted.
Big E won the Money in the Bank contract at the pay-per-view event with the same name in July, which allows him the option to cash-in for an immediate title match against the WWE or Universal Champion at any time.
The Tampa native lived up to his promise, cashing in on the title match after Lashley successfully defended the title against Randy Orton during RAW's initial main event and hitting his finisher, 'The Big Ending,' to earn a pinfall victory.
Big E's victory over Lashley also marked the first time the WWE championship changed hands between two consecutive Black wrestlers in its 58-year history.
Big E celebrated his first world championship with longtime New Day partners Woods and Kofi Kingston as RAW went off-air.
Big E was drafted to SmackDown last October while his former New Day teammates were drafted to RAW, setting up a singles push for the former Iowa football player and powerlifter.
However, winning the WWE Championship could put Big E back on RAW full-time and allow him to simultaneously represent New Day during a singles title run, much like Kingston did as WWE Champion in 2019, although that could be affected by the upcoming WWE Draft.