It may not have been a WrestleMania moment, but WWE superstar Xavier Woods walked out of New Orleans a WWE champion.
The emerging superstar won the WWE 2K14 video game belt by besting the records of competitors like Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes and David Otunga in the “Defeat the Streak” mode of WWE 2K14.
Throughout multiple sessions at Axxess at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center during WrestleMania 30 Weekend, WWE superstars visited the video game booth to try their hand at a competition paying homage to The Undertaker and his then undefeated WrestleMania record. Woods is an avid gamer, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him take the gold.
“I love them,” he said. “As you can see, I am the champion of WWE 2K14. I’ve been waiting to get into one of these challenges for a while. It was one of the reasons I was working so hard to get on the main roster. I love video games, shooting and RPG, anything.”
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After working his way up the ranks and honing his skills at NXT (WWE’s developmental territory in Orlando), Woods was called up to become an official superstar last year.
“It’s really awesome,” Woods said. “I remember being a part of NXT wrestling as part of Axxess. To be on the main roster and getting to participate in a lot more stuff is really cool. You get to interact with more fans, do more signings and get to be in the video game tournament. So it’s awesome.”
Ironically, the talented performer and PhD student isn’t even part of the official roster in the video game. He did create himself for members of the WWE Universe, but winning the championship could help his chances of being included in the next release. Today Woods teams with veteran R-Truth, who has helped him grow inside and outside the ring.
“It’s cool. I’ve known him for a long time,” Woods said. “I can’t seem to go anywhere without finding him somewhere. He is a cool guy and taught me a lot…He showed me how things work and how to be around people. He instilled the idea of not changing yourself and always being you. Don’t try to conform and mold yourself to your surroundings. Do what you do.”
R-Truth tried his hand at the “Defeat the Streak” mode but was unsuccessful. The fun-loving superstar is more into music than games.
“I’m mostly in the studio,” R-Truth said. “It was surreal [when I was first put in a WWE video game]. Then I was a gamer. I played as myself a lot. I have kids, so they wanted to play their dad. Seeing myself in there was a surreal event. It’s almost like being immortalized.”
In the public eye and with a lot of impressionable children watching him, R-Truth aims to set a good example whether he is in the ring, in the communities or at home. He is impressed with Woods and hopes to help him in his WWE journey.
“He is young. He is energetic. He is athletic. He is real,” R-Truth said. “I give him the advice of look, learn and listen. That’s the advice I was given. In this business you can never stop learning, regardless of how high or making it to this level. You always learn.”
• Follow Xavier Woods on Twitter @XavierWoodsPHD
Follow R-Truth on Twitter @RonKillings
• WWE 2K14 is available now.
Follow WWE 2K on Twitter @WWEGames
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN