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Xavier Woods Talks Breaking Stereotypes As A Gamer/Wrestler, The New Day Being ‘Geeky’, Their Wrestlemania 32 Entrance

WWE star Xavier Woods recently spoke with Phoenix New Times while promoting this week’s WWE events in Arizona. 

Woods talks about video games, The New Day’s Wrestlemania 32 entrance, breaking stereotypes and more. You can read some highlights below: 

Xavier Woods comments on breaking stereotypes by being a gamer and comic fan: 

“I think a lot of people think that since we are professional athletes that we can’t have certain tendencies that other people might have, like they try to put people in a box and say, ‘You’re an athlete, which means you’re a jock,’ or ‘You like reading books, so you’re a nerd,’ so you can’t be more than one thing in a lot of people’s eyes,” Woods says. “Whereas I wrestled, I played football, I ran track but I also made straight As, and I also played through Final Fantasy VII like 900 times and I also love Street Fighter and I also love comic books.”

Woods responds to comments about The New Day going from positivity to geeky: 

Uh … this word “gimmick” that you keep on using, I’m not sure what that is. When I go out on TV, I’m just myself, and I feel like my personality isn’t really any sort of gimmick the way that people might use the word. What we do, when our music hits, we go out and we just hang out with each other. We’re friends and that’s what we’re about, being friends and making sure that we have a good time. We’ve just been lucky enough that other people think that us having fun is funny. 

Woods say he was behind the group’s Wrestlemania 32 entrance and gear: 

The Dragon Ball Z-inspired gear was my idea, because I was thinking about some things and felt that I needed to dress up as Vegeta at some point in my life on the show and the largest WrestleMania ever seemed like the place to do it. And Kofi is a Dragon Ball Z fan as well and we’re breaking E into it, so we all sat down and we agreed that this was the best route to go. And then it actually happened and it kind of blew my mind.

Woods reveals why he’s a Mega Ran fan, comments on breaking the “black nerd” stereotype:

Oh, of course, of course … it’s always Mega Ran. Simply because of the [Black Materia: Final Fantasy VII] album and the song, “Dawn of the Slums.” He absolutely destroys it on that track, and he raps about a ton of stuff that I can relate to very easily because of a lot of things that we talk about and deal with and try to help kids specifically with the stigma of being a black nerd. 

Growing up as like a black person, there’s so many things that you’re kind of labeled with, and people think that you should act a certain way and you should speak a certain way; that you should do certain things and it’s like, if you’re a nerd, coming up in that culture, people think, oh, that’s not you because you’re black, you need to be wearing backwards hats, you need to be listening to gangster rap. It’s like, “No, you can be whatever you want.” We want kids to know they can start with a blank slate, regardless if they’re black, white, green, purple … you know what I mean? So we try very hard to make sure that kids that were in our position while we were growing up understand that there are now adults who are just like them and they’re doing just fine in their lives.