Xavier Woods Explains Betting His Career on New Day's Success

The success of The New Day is one of better stories in today's WWE. The group's origin has been well covered but Xavier Woods may have just given the best account yet on how the New Day came to be.

During an appearance on Booker T's Heated Conversations, Woods described the early concept of the group. He and Big E were on board, but they needed one more guy—Kofi Kingston.

"I knew I wanted to do some sort of group because we were kind of working on it in developmental way, way back. I talked to (Big) E and we said, 'We need a third, it's not going to be good as a tag team,'" Woods recalled. "So I said, 'Maybe we should talk to Kofi.' He was like, 'Kofi has been doing his thing. He's the consummate babyface. He loves his stuff.' I said, 'Let's try.' We weren't super close with him, but I pitched him the idea and he said, 'Yeah, I'd love to do something different,'" he said.

The next step was getting Vince McMahon to agree, something he did, but not without his own suggestions.

We went to Vince and we explained to him, 'Hey, we feel like there's a certain archetype of black wrestlers. You're either the foreign black wrestler, the big strong black wrestler, or the dancing black wrestler. We want to try and break that and do something else.' He said, 'Ok, cool.' We went back-and-forth, cut promos and pre-tapes, brought them to Vince and did that back-and-forth for months. He let us start working on house shows together to get the chemistry down," said Woods. "One day he sits us down and says, 'Hey, I got it. You'll have a gospel choir behind you and you'll come out clapping and making people feel good,'"he said.

But that wasn't exactly what Woods and the New Day had in mind.

"We were like, '....Wait....Wait....Hold on.' He referenced something called 'Up With People,' it's like a traveling positivity group. They would put on show and be uplifting. From the early '70s I think. He had us watch that and we were like, 'Ok, we get it.' But I felt like personally, and we told him this, this day and age, people are gonna boo that. They don't like white meat -- excuse me -- they don't like dark meat babyfaces," said Woods.

When The New Day finally emerged on WWE television, no one was quite sure how to react. But within a few weeks, fans began to hate the act—and in WWE, that's a good thing.

"We debuted on Black Friday -- it keeps getting better. Obviously, we had the vignettes before and I think people were trying to get an idea of what it was because it was so different from that initial promo when I came out and talked to the both of them. We appeared on TV and 95 percent of the people were like, 'No, we hate this.' But, at least they weren't silent," noted Woods. "This is what we thought was going to happen, that people weren't going to like it. Now we just gotta convince them to let us turn," he said.

Before they could turn heel, Woods had to convince McMahon that he could ger Kingston booed. Woods was so sure he could accomplish that he actually put his career on the line.


"Came back from overseas and told Vince about it. He was like, 'I don't know. I don't think they'll ever boo Kofi.' I think it was the next week I went in and talking to him and was like, 'I strongly believe we can do this. If you give me a microphone, four weeks straight, I can make them boo Kofi Kingston,'" said Woods. "And he goes, 'And if you don't?' I said, 'You have 70 dudes in NXT ready to take my spot and I shouldn't be here.' And he goes, 'You believe in this that much?' I said, '100 percent.' He said, 'Ok, we can try it out.' After the third week, they started to boo Kofi a little bit. Vince came and gave us the head nod. And we were off from there," he said.

[H/T Fightful.com]