Xavier Woods Recalls A Time He Feared WWE Firing Him

A triple crown tag team champion and the 2021 King of the Ring, Xavier Woods has gone through many gimmicks in his WWE career. Arriving in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in July 2010, Woods won the FCW tag team championships with Wes Brisco on November 4, 2010. However, an injury to Brisco resulted in the duo being stripped of their championships and Woods trying to find himself.

"I was terrified every single week of being on the chopping block," said Woods in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "I was trying to be a motivational speaker; I was trying to be the son of Papa Shango. I was doing a bunch of different things, and nothing was clicking. But I knew if I was going to be successful, it was going to be because of something I created. I fully believed that and that belief and the hard work paid off."

Towards the end of FCW and into the early days of "NXT," Woods formed The Hollywood Express with Mike Dalton (aka Tyler Breeze) and valet Audrey Marie. After the team disbanded, Woods created a gimmick where he was stuck in the 1990s by carrying a beeper, asking for payphone change, and wearing a Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Communicator. In Fall 2013, Woods appeared on the main roster as R-Truth's associate but became just "another guy on the roster." 

In November 2014, the first vignette of The New Day aired with Woods preaching in front of a gospel choir. Following a lukewarm babyface run, Woods put his job on the line when he told Vince McMahon "if he couldn't talk well enough to get 'the consummate babyface' Kofi Kingston booed within four weeks, he didn't deserve to be in WWE and one of the 70 dudes in 'NXT' deserved his spot." 

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit SI.com with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.