Xavier Woods Took Missing Out On WWE's 2019 King Of The Ring Tournament "Very Personally"
And he took that personally
While the likes of Shane McMahon, Baron Corbin, Chad Gable, Ricochet and Samoa Joe took part in the 2019 King Of The Ring Tournament, one name missing was Xavier Woods.
Woods told the New York Post that he took the omission "very personally" and he would campaign for the tournament to return before he went on to win the 2021 edition in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel.
Speaking about the outpouring of support for his King Of The Ring win, Woods said:
"It's nice, because obviously as you know, wrestling is very different from what it used to be 10 years ago, 15, 20 years ago. With the advent of social media, you can connect with people in positions like I am on television where people like me want to interact with people who are interacting with our product. So it's cool to be able to talk to those people directly and let them know how I honestly feel about things and how much things really mean to me. Because I think everyone can relate to things like that. They can relate to somebody who has a goal, who has a dream that they're trying to achieve. They're seeing that person work hard just like that are in life, whether that's to get a new job, whether it's to get a promotion, whether it's to get a significant other, to get a new car. So I think that people really resonate with the fact that I have unbashfully been screamed at the top of my lungs for King of the Ring to come back ever since I've been on the main roster. And I feel like that fact that in 2019 I got passed up for it, I took that hit very personally.
"Being in the tournament off the rip, I felt incredible. So every time I advanced that feeling grew and I think that people felt that with me because when someone is genuine and they tell you how they really feel it's really hard to not roll with that because you can relate in some shape or form.
"I really think social media gave me that opportunity. Doing things like (the show) 'UpUpDownDown' gave me that opportunity. Being in a gaming space and not a wrestling space gave me that opportunity. There are a bunch of gaming nerds who I relate with and we're relating on a different level. When I make those kinds of friends and those kind of fans in the gaming space, they go 'Oh you wrestle?' and they start watching wrestling and they go, 'What's King of the Ring?' And then through my social media I'm able to explain that to them so they can understand it, even if they don't watch the product yet. When they see that I'm in a match and I'm excited and I'm ready to go and this is the most important thing in my career, they tune in because we have that connection. It's not something that you gain from seeing someone on TV. It's a personal connection with meeting with them, from conversing with them on Twitter, Instagram, whatever it is. So when these things happen, I think that people really feel it. And that, to me, is the new version of pro wrestling. Everything doesn't have to be done on-screen on the show.
"I think that me winning this crown is an extremely good example of that. While in promos every once in a while would drop hints of the King of the Ring. I think 85 percent of what I did was on social media, or 'UpUpDownDown' or in the gaming space. To see the effects of it, it tells me that what I've been doing, being weird and not being the traditional type of guy, not just falling into whatever mould I was given but being myself first and foremost and having people tell me, no you should be tougher, you could be angrier, you should do this, you should do that. I absolutely refused because that stuff sucks to me. I don't want to do that. It doesn't suck in general. For some people that's fantastic. I don't want that. I want to use different tools in my toolbox to build the same house and show people you don't have to follow the same path. You can carve a new path for yourself. Just because somebody tells you it's not gonna work or they don’t believe in it doesn't mean you can't do it and this is a prime example."