WWE Superstar Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods is highly educated, wildly talented and insanely creative. As one-third of the trio The New Day on World Wrestling Entertainment’s Smackdown Live, Woods has quickly become one of my favorite WWE performers.
Who Is Xavier Woods?
Austin Watson, who you might know as Xavier Woods, was born on September 4, 1986, in Columbus, Georgia. When he picked up the trombone in 6th grade, there was no way he could imagine that one day he’d be hosting Wrestlemania with a trombone named Francesca in hand. Joining his high school cheer squad was more in line with his future career. With no wrestling team at his school, Woods realized he’d learn tumbling as a cheerleader. It was also a great opportunity to learn how to work the crowd.
Just days after graduating high school, Woods embarked on his quest to become a professional wrestler, but he didn’t let his ambitions stop him from attending college. While attending Furman University – where he later earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy – Woods wrestled part-time with Ultimate Christian Wrestling, then the World Wrestling Council. He took on the stage name Austin Creed, loosely based on Apollo Creed from the Rocky movies. His next step was NWA Anarchy, where he was part of the tag team Awesome Attraction and was named NWA’s most popular wrestler of 2006. He also became the first DSW Heavyweight Champion after Deep South Wrestling left the WWE in 2007.
TNA, New Japan and Joining the WWE
In 2007, Woods joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, evolving from Austin Creed to Rasheed Lucius “Consequences” Creed. It was in TNA that Woods first met Ron Killings, known then as The Truth, and the pair became Truth and Consequences. Also during his time in TNA, Woods joined forces with future WWE stars Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Jay Lethal, as well as other younger wrestlers, to form The Frontline. Woods would eventually become World Tag Team Champions of TNA with Jay Lethal as the team Lethal Consequences.
Woods left TNA in 2010 and joined New Japan Pro Wrestling for a short stint. That led to his first developmental contract with the WWE, as part of Florida Championship Wrestling. It was then that Woods took on his current name, Xavier – from an X-Men character – and Woods – a nod to the nickname Tiger, given to him by a TNA referee. He found early success with tag team partner Wes Brisco, but that was followed by a mostly unsuccessful attempt at a singles career. In 2012, FCW became NXT and Woods made his television debut, hitting the ring with the persona of a lover of 90s pop culture, which required little acting on Woods’ part.
2013 saw Woods reunited with Killings, now known as R-Truth, on WWE Raw. But his biggest career move came in 2014 when Woods approached his current partners Big E and Kofi Kingston to suggest a partnership, The New Day. Although their gimmick flailed in the beginning, these real-life friends knew they had something special and kept working on the WWE fandom. The New Day debuted on Smackdown in November 2014. The trio was known for trash talking the crowd and opponents, and Woods often interfered during matches.
In 2016, The New Day was drafted to WWE Raw during a restructuring of the WWE Universe, and it was there that they became the longest running WWE Tag Team Champions (an astounding 483 days!) and the first WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. Another restructuring in 2017 brought Woods and his partners back to Smackdown, where they now preach the Power of Positivity.
Although Woods, who stands 5 foot 11 inches and weighs 205 pounds, has held many titles, the majority of his success has come in Tag Team Matches. His signature moves, the Honor Roll, Lost in the Woods, and Midnight Hour, have led to the following achievements in the ring:
- 2 time Raw Tag Team Champion
- held Tag Team Title for a record 483 days
- 3 time Smackdown Tag Team Champion
- TNA World Tag Team Champion
- NWA Most Popular Wrestler of 2006
- First Ever DSW Heavyweight Champion
- Florida Tag Team Champion
Woods, along with Big E and Kofi Kingston, also hosted Wrestlemania 33.
Woods’ Life Away From Wrestling
While Woods is currently working on his Ph.D. from Capella University, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Psychology. He is married to Jess Watson and the couple has a son, born in 2017.
You’ve likely seen Woods outside of the ring:
- Woods and his The New Day partners have their own cereal – Booty-O’s – and a book, The Book of Booty: Shake It, Love It, Never Be It
- Woods played the trombone and tambourine in the music video of “What is Love” covered by Postmodern Jukebox
- As Austin Creed, he voices the character Vincent Mensah on the PlayStation 4 game 2064: Read Only Memories
- Woods appears with other NXT stars on ESPN’s E:60 Behind The Curtain
- You can be Xavier Woods on the video game WWE 2K15, 2K16, 2K17, 2K18 and 2K19. Woods also appears in the game Super Bomberman R
Or perhaps you’ve come across Woods’ YouTube Channel, UpUpDownDown, his project devoted to his love of gaming. Although he uses his former name Austin Creed, you’ll see Woods and fellow WWE Superstars playing video games together. His channel is the most subscribed to celebrity YouTube channel, with close to 2 million subscribers. Further proof of his love of video games is the tattoo on his left arm, inspired by the Legend of Zelda.
Whether you’ve followed Xavier Woods for a while or just learning about this charismatic performer, you’ll find that he’s as entertaining as they come. And he’s showing no signs of slowing down!