The final round of WWE's King of the Ring 2021 tournament will take place on Thursday when Xavier Woods and Finn Balor square off for the crown. As part of a new YouTube series "The Build To," WWE released a video on Wednesday recapping how both men made their way through the eight-man tournament, all while emphasizing why the crown is so important to Woods. The 11-time tag team champion starts the video by saying, "I feel like I'm, for the first time in this company, getting the chance to show what I can do by myself. This is the most important thing in my career."
Woods defeated Ricochet and Jinder Mahal to advance to the finals (held at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia), while Finn Balor took down Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Check out the full video below:
"This is the most important thing in my career."— WWE (@WWE) October 20, 2021
Follow @FinnBalor and @AustinCreedWins as they fight their way to the final match in the 2021 #KingOfTheRing Tournament TOMORROW at #WWECrownJewel. pic.twitter.com/o2S5gMQzdP
"This means that I not only get to achieve the dream that I've had for so long, but I get the chance to let everyone know I'm damn good at what I do," Woods said later on prior to his bout with Mahal. He then concluded the video by looking straight into the camera and saying, "Do not sleep on me!"
Woods has stated numerous times in interviews why the KOTR means so much to him, as it was the gimmick that got him interested in wrestling in the first place.
"Seeing things dealing with the medieval times and the medieval era and anything that has those kinds of vibes, there's usually a situation where the king is like, challenged to a fight or somebody wants to like challenge or authority, whatever. The king selects a champion to fight for him," Woods said in a recent interview with the Into The Danger Zone podcast. "That tells me champions don't have kings. But kings have champions. Making kings have more power than the champion, a champion works for a king, a king works for no one. Think about the long, long, long, long lineage of people that have held the Heavyweight Championship that's a lot. Even to this point, the Universal Championship. That's a lot of people.
"To me, the crown is a representation of passing the test. The Heavyweight Championship is a representation of climbing the mountain and beating the person on top, extremely important. As an academic. I want to be tested. I want my test, my Scantron, to do my essay. Let me present in front of the class, test me. Test me so I can know if I will pass or fail, so I know," he continued. "I don't necessarily think that I've earned anything because I have yet to be tested in the way that I feel a king would be tested. That's why I want it so bad. Because, yeah, it's cool to have the crown and do a gimmick and all this stuff with it. But on a deeper note as like a human as Austin Watson, I want that test so that I can know. So I've talked all this stuff about King of the Ring and all this stuff. But if I went out and just underperformed. Alright, cool. I know now and I'll shut up. But like, you want a draw? That to me is it. Winning one match? Anybody can win one match on a given day, winning a full tournament on one night? That's not something that happens at random to anyone."