Xavier Woods achieved his imagination his way.
Becoming King of the Ring successful WWE has been Woods’ extremity since the tourney sparked his wrestling fandom arsenic a kid. He tin yet telephone himself king aft getting the triumph implicit Finn Balor successful the last astatine the Crown Jewel pay-per-view successful Saudi Arabia connected Thursday.
The New Day subordinate was the people’s choice. Woods, 35, built a groundswell of enactment connected societal media by being a vocal proponent of the bringing King of the Ring backmost and expressing however overmuch a triumph would mean to him. After watching Kofi Kingston and Big E some triumph satellite titles successful the past 3 years, Woods has a large singles accomplishment to telephone his own.
The Post caught up with King Woods aft the large infinitesimal for immoderate Q&A:
(Edited for clarity and length)
Q: This is simply a infinitesimal you person been dreaming astir and talking astir for a agelong time. Is determination immoderate mode to picture what you’re feeling and what this meant?
A: I consciousness royal. I tin archer you that. On a existent note, this is what I cared astir successful wrestling. This is the archetypal happening that I ever wanted. This is the lone happening I ever wanted. So evidently we’re going to usage this king concern to instrumentality implicit (WWE) and summation arsenic overmuch power arsenic humanly possible, which volition beryllium full power due to the fact that the SmackDown kingdom belongs to maine now.
But arsenic a kid, this is what I was obsessed with. It’s truthful chill to beryllium portion of a tourney due to the fact that each lucifer matters, each lucifer means something. The information that I adjacent made it to the finals, it means truthful overmuch successful itself. But past to triumph and beryllium crowded king, thing I ever dreamed of and it’s conscionable surreal that it conscionable happened.
Q: You’ve talked a batch astir however this was a accidental for you to radiance arsenic singles wrestler and get this moment. What’s that meant, adjacent if you hadn’t won, to get this accidental to amusement radical what you tin bash connected your own?
A: It means everything. Because arsenic you stated, this was a accidental to interruption retired and amusement everybody successful the institution that I person worked successful immoderate capableness that I tin beryllium enactment in. I’m not conscionable a tag squad wrestler. I precise overmuch americium a tag squad wrestler, but I precise overmuch judge that singles competitors person a harder clip transitioning into tag squad wrestlers due to the fact that tag squad wrestling is truthful analyzable and truthful intricate and determination are truthful galore much bodies. I consciousness similar tag squad wrestlers person a overmuch amended accidental astatine becoming unthinkable azygous performers due to the fact that they are utilized to truthful galore much bodies and truthful galore much things coming astatine you. You got to support your caput connected a swivel astatine each time. You don’t cognize if you’re going to get deed from the near oregon the right. So for maine to beryllium capable to construe my tag squad occurrence into singles occurrence into go royalty is for me, successful my career, virtually the champion lawsuit scenario.
Q: What was cooler, putting the crown connected your caput oregon proceeding the announcer say, “All hail King Xavier”?
A: I would accidental putting the crown connected my caput due to the fact that I notation to myself arsenic King Woods. I’m going to person to person enactment with that antheral with the microphone due to the fact that helium said it incorrectly. It’s going to beryllium precise hard to chant, Hail King Xavier. Too galore syllables. So I deliberation Hail King Woods due to the fact that I privation my radical to person an casual time.
Q: Did the teen successful you travel retired grabbing and looked astatine that crown?
A: The five-year-old successful maine came retired putting this robe connected and grabbing the scepter, grabbing this crown. That’s wherefore it meant truthful overmuch to maine due to the fact that this wasn’t thing that conscionable came astir successful conscionable precocious school. But this is thing that successful simple schoolhouse erstwhile (they ask) what bash you privation to beryllium erstwhile you turn up and (I) accidental I privation to beryllium a pro wrestler, this is what I was reasoning about. I wasn’t reasoning astir thing but the crown. And past aboriginal connected successful beingness I understood the conception of relationship that became specified a large portion of my life. That’s erstwhile I gravitated toward tag squad wrestling but inactive ever that thought of becoming king and having the crown arsenic conscionable the main extremity successful the backmost of my mind, that itch that I had to get scratched, the happening that would marque maine enactment awake astatine night.
Seeing Kofi go heavyweight champion, seeing E go heavyweight champion, I’m truthful blessed for my friends and their occurrence and it’s conscionable existent emotion erstwhile you’re honestly blessed for idiosyncratic to bash something. I’m conscionable gladsome that I was capable to amusement the satellite that I’m pulling my value successful this group, too. We each person accolades that we tin speech about. We are each occurrence successful our ain right. It feels bully to unopen the haters down.
Q: What has it meant to conscionable spot the outpouring of enactment you’ve gotten, whether it’s from the fans, wrestlers successful your company, successful different companies? It conscionable seems similar determination has been this propulsion and emotion for what’s gone connected with you successful this tournament.
A: It’s nice, due to the fact that evidently arsenic you know, wrestling is precise antithetic from what it utilized to beryllium 10 years ago, 15, 20 years ago. With the advent of societal media, you tin link with radical successful positions similar I americium connected tv wherever radical similar maine privation to interact with radical who are interacting with our product. So it’s chill to beryllium capable to speech to those radical straight and fto them cognize however I honestly consciousness astir things and however overmuch things truly mean to me. Because I deliberation everyone tin subordinate to things similar that. They tin subordinate to idiosyncratic who has a goal, who has a imagination that they’re trying to achieve. They’re seeing that idiosyncratic enactment hard conscionable similar that are successful life, whether that’s to get a caller job, whether it’s to get a promotion, whether it’s to get a important other, to get a caller car. So I deliberation that radical truly resonate with the information that I person unbashfully been screamed astatine the apical of my lungs for King of the Ring to travel backmost ever since I’ve been connected the main roster. And I consciousness similar that information that successful 2019 I got passed up for it, I took that deed precise personally.
Being successful the tourney disconnected the rip, I felt incredible. So each clip I precocious that feeling grew and I deliberation that radical felt that with maine due to the fact that erstwhile idiosyncratic is genuine and they archer you however they truly consciousness it’s truly hard to not rotation with that due to the fact that you tin subordinate successful immoderate signifier oregon form.
I truly deliberation societal media gave maine that opportunity. Doing things similar (the show) “Up, Up, Down, Down” gave maine that opportunity. Being successful a gaming abstraction and not a wrestling abstraction gave maine that opportunity. There are a clump of gaming nerds who I subordinate with and we’re relating connected a antithetic level. When I marque those kinds of friends and those benignant of fans successful the gaming space, they spell “Oh you wrestle?” and they commencement watching wrestling and they go, “What’s King of the King?” And past done my societal media I’m capable to explicate that to them truthful they tin recognize it, adjacent if they don’t ticker the merchandise yet. When they spot that I’m successful a lucifer and I’m excited and I’m acceptable to spell and this is the astir important happening successful my career, they tune successful due to the fact that we person that connection. It’s not thing that you summation from seeing idiosyncratic connected TV. It’s a idiosyncratic transportation with gathering with them, from conversing with them connected Twitter, Instagram, immoderate it is. So erstwhile these things happen, I deliberation that radical truly consciousness it. And that, to me, is the caller mentation of pro wrestling. Everything doesn’t person to beryllium done connected surface connected the show.
I deliberation that maine winning this crown is an highly bully illustration of that. While successful promos each erstwhile successful a portion would driblet hints of the King of the Ring. I deliberation 85 percent of what I did was connected societal media, oregon “Up, UP, Down, Down” oregon successful the gaming space. To spot the effects of it, it tells maine that what I’ve been doing, being weird and not being the accepted benignant of guy, not conscionable falling into immoderate mold I was fixed but being myself archetypal and foremost and having radical archer me, nary you should beryllium tougher, you could beryllium angrier, you should bash this, you should bash that. I perfectly refused due to the fact that that worldly sucks to me. I don’t privation to bash that. It doesn’t suck successful general. For immoderate radical that’s fantastic. I don’t privation that. I privation to usage antithetic tools successful my instrumentality container to physique the aforesaid location and amusement radical you don’t person to travel the aforesaid path. You tin carve a caller way for yourself. Just due to the fact that idiosyncratic tells you it’s not gonna enactment oregon they don’t judge successful it doesn’t mean you can’t bash it and this is simply a premier example.
Q: You didn’t get a infinitesimal connected camera with Big E oregon Kofi. I’m assuming E was backmost astatine Gorilla (Position) for his lucifer erstwhile you cane through. Did you guys get a moment?
A: I got to spot E. Kofi unluckily was not here, but I’ll spot him very, precise soon. E’s lucifer was next, truthful yeah, conscionable waiting determination with a large aged hug and his heavyweight rubric astir his waist acceptable to spell retired and bash immoderate damage. It was fantastic to beryllium capable to spot him. There truly was similar 1 different idiosyncratic I privation was present and helium knows I’m reasoning astir him.
Q: Who is that?
A: Tyler Breeze.
Q: Why Tyler?
A: That’s my guy. We were successful developmental each the mode together. We lived together. We were similar attached astatine the hep for truthful agelong and everything that I’ve done successful my vocation he’s been determination and was close adjacent to maine erstwhile I did everything. I was determination adjacent to him and erstwhile did everything. That’s idiosyncratic that I privation was capable to beryllium present and stock this with me. But I’m going to spell telephone him close present aft I spell telephone the family. Call the woman and kids, fto them cognize they’re royalty, too.
Q: Where bash you anticipation to spell from here? Do you anticipation this becomes a accidental for you to bash much singles matches, to spell aft a singles title?
A: The happening that’s absorbing astir the connection hope, is radical who anticipation to bash things are not kings. The radical who bash do things are kings. I’m going to marque definite that I person much opportunities successful immoderate realm I chose, whether that’s successful tag squad oregon azygous competition. I’ll archer you close now, successful immoderate consciousness it happens, I’m gonna popular off. I’m astir to popular disconnected hard in a precise non-traditional way. Because if you’ve followed my career, it’s thing that drives maine and this is what passionateness is. This crown is simply a carnal practice of each the enactment that I’ve done and everything that I’ve been attempting to execute for truthful long. Now that I person it, radical person to spot it. People person to admit it. It feels amazing. I’m going to usage that to do literallywhatever I want. I anticipation you’re acceptable for it due to the fact that I am.
WWE’s “Friday Night SmackDown” airs Fridays astatine 8 p.m. connected Fox and the “Monday Night Raw” volition person its play premiere this coming week (8 p.m., USA Network).