Though their run in NXT appears to have come to an end, it’s hard to look back at Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston’s run in developmental as anything other than a success. The duo earned massive pops, secured the final title needed to become triple crown tag team champions in WWE, and helped to put over Pretty Deadly in the process, as the duo of Elton Prince and Kit Wilson proved that they could go toe-to-toe with main event-caliber talent without skipping a beat.
Speaking about his run in NXT by Review STL, Woods had nothing but nice things to say about working for Shawn Michaels.
“It was unreal. I haven’t personally had the chance to work with Shawn (Michaels) on that level before. I was gone from NXT, I was the first graduate from NXT,” Woods said via Fightful. “Shawn hadn’t come in yet, so I never had that kind of back and forth with him. The first time that I worked with him was WrestleMania (32) when him, (Mick) Foley, and Steve Austin came to the ring and did some stuff with us. That’s the first time I did something with Shawn.
“Anyway, going to NXT was great because, obviously, there is a bunch of incredible talent there. I’ve been wanting to work with Pretty Deadly for a very long time. I think they’re very talented. They know who they are, which is one of the hardest things to figure out in pro wrestling. Getting to work with them was great. Also getting to work with so many other teams down there and seeing so many people flourishing and doing well. With our stuff being so ‘go, go, go,’ you don’t always get to stop and see what everyone else is doing. You’re so focused and have the blinders on. Taking a second and being able to see, ‘Oh, the new crop of talent, they’re good. They’re very good.’ Being able to hang out with them and be around that energy again is revitalizing. I feel like I used to be the young guy in the locker room, and I’m definitely not anymore. It’s cool to go around and be around them again.”
Though few expect to see Woods back in an NXT ring anytime soon, especially since Kingston is currently out with an injury, it sounds like the veteran performer didn’t leave without imparting some wisdom on his way out of the locker room.
Xavier Woods gives some advice to the NXT Universe.
Discussing if he used his status as a locker room veteran to give any advice to the developing stars of NXT elsewhere in the interview, Woods confirmed that he did, before putting the next generation over in a big way.
“We talked to everybody as much as we could,” Woods said. “Everybody was super nice and super receptive of everything. At the same time, NXT is such an interesting beast because you have a situation where you’re in the same place every week, so you have people who know you, people who adore you and are coming in every week to see you do what you do. You have a chance to hone things in a way you wouldn’t be able to hone them otherwise. It’s TV studio wrestling. It’s different than bouncing around to different places. It’s cool to see what works for them and what they like to do, and what doesn’t work for them, what they don’t like to do. It’s cool to go there and that setting, and see what we like to do and what works and what doesn’t. Getting to mix and match our stuff with some of their stuff to make a new gumbo was really cool. We’ve been on the main roster for so long and we’ve had the chance to have so many great matches with so many great teams and great interactions. It’s cool to be in a position where we can go and, not give back because it’s not charity, but to go and actually have a hands on experience with the next generation.”
Did their time in NXT rejuvenate the New Day into the future? Well, considering Kingston suffered an injury that will keep him out of action for an undisclosed amount of time very shortly after the duo returned to SmackDown, it’s impossible to know, but fortunately for the pancake-loving duo, they might not have to worry about returning to developmental to get that mojo back, as some of those teams could be up on the main roster in the not-too-distant future based on the current trajectory.