Xavier Woods is the best of WWE and gaming culture combined.
Let’s start with a joke: A professional wrestler, a graduate with a master’s degree in psychology, and a YouTube gaming icon walk into a bar. The bartender turns around and says “Good to see you Xavier Woods, what can I get ya?”
It’s true: all of those descriptions are true of Austin Watson, better known by his stage name Xavier Woods. On the surface, he’s a flamboyant WWE wrestler who is part of the three-man team called “The New Day.” But if you watch his gaming YouTube channel “UpUpDownDown,” you’ll see a different side to him. With nearly 2 million subscribers to his name, Xavier Woods shows his love and mastery of video games across a wide variety of genres. From Sports Games and Kart Racers to MMORPGs and open world sandboxes, Woods is as hardcore as any of us. This isn’t the first time we’ve covered a celebrity gamer here on Celebrity Inventory, but Xavier Woods takes his passion to a level that is incredible to behold.
Of course, being a community of collectors ourselves, we want to know whether or not Xavier Woods has a sweet cache of gaming swag to boot. To answer your inquiry, all I’ve got to say is… hot damn.
Yes, he collects
Let’s just get this out of the way: The guy literally has a buster sword.
Yes, we’re talking about the same oversized great sword that Cloud Strife swings around in Final Fantasy VII. During a video interview with IGN, Woods nonchalantly shows it off amidst a conversation about the series. Noting that VII is “the one [he] likes,” Woods goes as far as to show that the sword is so heavy that he can’t even lift it with one hand. Certainly a far cry from Cloud’s victory pose from the game, but if a professional WWE wrestler can’t one-hand it, I wouldn’t expect any actual human to either.
This is one of those “case closed” findings that could end any other Celebrity Inventory. But even in this same clip, we get to see Xavier Woods show off more gaming collectibles. Figures, Funko Pop! figures, displays, and more are shown on camera… and that’s just on one shelf. The real joy here isn’t the things Woods owns, but how excited he is to show them off. Nobody asked him to brag about his buster sword and “shrine of toys,” but he excitedly gets them all on camera anyway because he loves the stuff so much. It’s the type of moment any collector can relate to, even if they don’t have two million subscribers on YouTube.
Now, normally a video like this would be the “big reveal” saved for the end of a Celebrity Inventory investigation. So why lead with this footage and solve the mystery right away? That’s because, my friends, we’re just getting started.
Look at his game room.
There’s so much gaming love to uncover from Xavier Woods that it’s impossible to share it all here. But we can hit you with the highlights, such as video of his custom Gaming Room.
It’s fun just counting all the references in the video. There’s plugs for his WWE persona and his YouTube channel of course, but the references range from awesome to obscure. You’ve got Sonic and Dragon Ball love because, I mean, why wouldn’t you? And then you see Marina from niche N64 classic Mischief Makers and say to yourself “Okay, this guy here? I could be friends with him.” I mean, when was the last time you heard someone bring up Mischief Makers in conversation? Heck, when was the last time you even played Mischief Makers?
His gaming decorations don’t stop there. Heck, they even extend to his body. In 2015, Woods proudly showed off his first ever tattoo on Twitter: The iconic Wingcrest from The Legend of Zelda series. Just getting the Triforce tattooed is already a serious sign of gaming devotion, but going all in for the entire Crest on his arm shows just how hard this guy loves gaming. And for what it’s worth, the end product looks spectacular.
He Cosplays Too.
He collects the swag. He decorates his place. And now we come to the final pieceof the Triforce that is Xavier Woods: he cosplays too.
As a gaming personality, you might expect he’d find a way into a themed costume every once in a while. But Woods actually dresses for events like San Diego Comic Con just like any of us would – because he’s a fan like any of us. Just a quick search reveals he’s donned outfits that show his love for fighting games and brawlers from the 90s. We’ve got Raiden and Shao Khan from Mortal Kombat, Skate from Streets of Rage, and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z. The best part is, he incorporates outfits like these into his WWE persona as well.
The entrance clip of his group The New Day dressing up in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood inspired costumes is one of the most beautiful clips of gaming love that exists today. You can just tell that this was completely imagined by Woods and crew from start to finish. Announcer Michael Cole tries so hard to sound knowledgeable of the series’ origins, and meanwhile Woods just looks like he’s so ready to play Red Mage the second the event is over. Despite its awkwardness, it’s the type of moment that shows how amazing it is that someone like Xavier Woods is a major face of the WWE roster today.
What Xavier Woods represents.
During interviews, Xavier Woods has discussed how his nerdy interests led to him being picked on a lot as a kid. It’s something that many of us can relate to, but nowadays, times are different. Gaming and comic books are just as popular as movies and sports are today, and celebrities like Xavier Woods have led the charge in changing these cultural tides. But Woods doesn’t just represent the growing popularity of video games in the modern era; he’s a major bridge between the worlds of WWE and gaming.
Fact is, Xavier Woods isn’t the only video game and anime fan in the WWE today. In fact, it’s common to see modern WWE stars gaming in their downtime these days. But through this cultural shift, we have gamers eagerly learning about WWE stars for possibly the first time in their lives. And by the same token, WWE fans have a perfect way to learn about video games through the wrestling-heavy casts of UpUpDownDown. It’s a win-win situation: both groups gain exciting content, and common ground is established between them. In a perfect world, Gaming and WWE fans might realize that they’re not so different after all.
Xavier Woods is just as much a gamer as he is a wrestler, and that makes him an extraordinary personality here on Celebrity Inventory. He’s decisive proof that our interests don’t have to limit what we like, and our hobbies don’t have to dictate what we want to achieve. If someone with a PhD in psychology can still be just as personable as Woods, who’s to say what amazing things you could still accomplish as well? So here’s to you, Xavier Woods. Your love of gaming is a sight to behold, but what you represent will inspire us for a lifetime.