Xavier Woods: I Was Always Told, 'You Have To Differentiate Yourself, We Already Have A Kofi'

Xavier Woods says WWE wanted to change who he was, before accepting it.

While Xavier Woods is one of the most popular and influential wrestlers in WWE today, his big breakthrough didn't come until The New Day formed in 2014. After being signed in 2010, Woods spent time in developmental before floundering on the main roster in a team with R-Truth. Speaking on New Day: Feel The Power podcast, Woods recalled his time before New Day coming together.

"I'm in WWE, everybody is telling me constantly, 'You gotta do something to differentiate yourself. We already have a Kofi.' [Me and Big E] coming to Kofi [to join New Day] was one of the harder things for me to do because my whole career, I tried to separate myself from Kofi because I was always told, 'We have a high energy black guy. You need to be something completely different.' When I made it to the main roster, I wasn't doing anything," recalled Woods. "I got put into an angle with Brodus Clay where I eventually stole his theme music and the Funkadactyls, and it was weird because the gimmick had run its course and then they tried to give it to me. In the backstory of the Funkasaurus, when the gimmick was given to Brodus, he tried to give it to me because we had been running these practice matches so they could figure out how to do the dance moves. And they were like, 'Woods is doing this better than you.' Brodus was like, 'Well, give it to him.' He gets the Funkasaurus thing; once it runs its course, they were like, 'Oh, here, you can have this.' It's like, 'Wait, after you guys milked it for all the money with the merchandise, everything you could do with it in the ring and backstage, NOW I get it? Thanks.' But legitimately, thank you because it was an opportunity to be on TV."

Woods went on to joke about always being R-Truth's friend as the two were teammates in IMPACT Wrestling (TNA) as "Truth and Consequences." The partnership between Woods and Truth didn't last long with the duo being broken up after losing to Rusev at Extreme Rules 2014. Months later, New Day was born.

If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.

More