WWE Superstar Xavier Woods on His New Day Podcast & Preparing for Life After the Ring
Xavier Woods doesn’t have time to wallow in self pity from being on the shelf to nurse an Achilles injury. The WWE superstar is fully invested in his popular UpUpDownDown YouTube channel and gearing up for the premiere of The New Day: Feel The Power podcast. The weekly series is part of the company’s partnership between the company and Endeavor Audio.
The podcast will feature Woods joining his New Day brothers Kofi Kingston and Big E each week for their unique brand of entertainment, which made them among the most popular groups in WWE history.
“We were lucky enough to be approached as a crew of three to do this podcast,” Woods said. “We talked about it and accepted because we were trying to find a venue out there to do more. Kofi, myself and E are always trying to think what’s next for New Day.
“Podcasts are huge right now. We thought it would be a logical step for us. We get to just hang out and talk. So, it's the stuff we are essentially doing anyway. We just put microphones in front of our faces and hope and pray people listen to it.”
Before the first episode of the podcast drops on December 2, we caught up with the multi-time tag champion.
What will the format of the podcast be?
Xavier Woods: The first couple of episodes are going to essentially be an origin story how New Day came about and catch us up to current day. From there, we hope to get to the point where we figure out what kind of things we want to talk about. Obviously, with me there will be a video game component on there. With Kofi, it will probably be something about shoes. With E, it will probably be something about music. We hope to give something for everybody. Honestly, it will be a lot of free-flowing conversations with current topics like things hot on Twitter. Just relevant things and maybe what might be funny to us.
The WWE superstar and actor was elected mayor of Knox County, Tenn., in 2018.
UpUpDownDown celebrated hitting the two million subscriber milestone in September. Where do you want to see the show go from here?
We hit our goal of two million subscribers, which is absolutely incredible to me. I enjoy it and have fun doing it. We have an amazing team working on stuff. It’s a humbling experience people want to sit down and spend their precious minutes watching anything we put out there. I think goal-wise we want to be bigger and better. Come January, we have a lot of fun ideas. We're going to be based more in absurd story-telling. We’ve spent a lot of time creating these weird personalities on this channel. So, we are going to try our hand at using those personalities and intertwine these characters into some weird story-telling in the UpUpDownDown. When I talk about it, this all seems so fun to me. We’ll see if people actually like it.
The show is known for having a number of guests. Do you have any dream ones you want to appear?
I have two dream guests. First is Lenny Kravitz because that is why my hair is the way it is. When I was in high school I realized Lenny Kravitz is all that is man. I said I wanted to look like him and grow my hair out into a curly fro. I tried to learn how to play guitar and didn’t like it because my hands would blister and stuck with trombone. Jackie Chan has been essentially my idol since I was a young tot. I was going through anime movies at Blockbuster. For those who don’t know, Blockbuster is a place we used to go to rent physical copies of games and/or movies and bring them back in a timely manner. Be kind, rewind.
When I was done renting all the anime movies on the shelves, the next selection was martial arts. The first movie was a Jackie Chan movie. I never took a deep dive into kung fu movies. I’m maybe like nine and I want to say it was like Drunken Master. I watched it and lost my mind. I have since tried to get my hand on everything Jackie Chan. I got his autobiography. I’m like obsessed. If I get the chance to sit down and talk about his life and ambitions, I would lose my mind. We can go to dinner and talk. Shoot me a text. My DM’s are open, @XavierWoodsPHD.
What does it mean to you to have these projects to take your mind off things? I know when wrestlers get sidelined with an injury, the transition to ‘civilian’ life and being away from the ring can be hard.
For me, that transition from actually saying goodbye to wrestling or coming to the realization that I have to stop wrestling and engage in something else in life. Not travel as much and hang out and decide what I’m doing with the next chapter of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to talk and have enough conversations with veterans I look up to like my heroes growing up. When they explained that part of life to me and how difficult it was to cross over and leave wrestling behind. Many didn’t set up for the next part of life. That’s always been something that has terrified me and been in the back of my mind. They’ve done a great job with this current generation in teaching us how to not to have those issues. My situation was find something you’re passionate about and start that life now. I love video games and am obsessed with them. It’s why I’m the person I am today.
The 'All Mighty' also talks about if we will ever see him face Brock Lesnar.
I figured having the YouTube channel, bounce around and make all these awesome contacts and content with other streamers, YouTubers, people on Instagram. That final transition, which will happen eventually, I wanted this video game stuff to lessen that blow. Getting an injury as bad as a torn Achilles, this is essentially a test run to see if the moves I’ve been making in the video game world is actually going to work when I’m done wrestling. So far it has been so freaking good. I feel good. My schedule is full. I’m bouncing around. I get to hang out, play video games and create content. I just don’t want to be sitting at home wasting away in my basement depressed that I’m injured. I’ve been able to use UpUpDownDown to keep those feelings at bay. I can’t wait to get back to wrestling, but at the same time I’m having a blast with this video game stuff.
The timetable is we will see you come back to the ring at some point next year. Do you visualize how you would come back? Are there some things you would tweak looking from the outside in right now?
A hundred percent, but I can’t tell you. It’s a secret. I got to keep the magic. I’m busy and don’t want to focus on how I will come back because I have tons of time left. For example, if a video game was going to come out in a year I do my best not to think about it. If I do, I get too hyped and not focusing on what is actually occurring in my life at that moment in time. I’m not able to enjoy the present. Rather than having these thoughts about how I would fit in again or done differently, in my logic, that’s the kind of thinking that would put me in a mode of depression. I have ideas, but can’t use them now. So any ideas now I have for later is going to be drastically different because the environment of the company is going to be different when I come back. I’ll start thinking about things closer to my actual return. I have some crazy fantasy ideas, but if I say those they won’t come to fruition. I have to keep them in my sketchbook.
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Streaming is so big now, what are you watching nowadays? I know you’re a big Disney fan. Anything on Disney+?
I wish there was. I don't have time to binge right now. I think I might be busier now than I was before I got hurt. I did get Disney+. I have a friend who has been on my Netflix for a decade. So when Disney+ opened up they gave me their code and said, ‘This is the least I can do.” I watched some Darkwing Duck, Johnny Tsunami, watched Frozen a bunch, TaleSpin, all the older cartoons. I’m deep in those. The main show I’m watching now on Netflix is called Money Heist. It’s set in Madrid and is incredible. I highly recommend it if people are old enough to hear bad language.
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