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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Xavier Woods as WWE Champion

When you talk about the best stables in WWE, plenty of glorious examples come to mind. D-Generation X, Hart Foundation, Evolution, The Shield to name but a few. Also deserving of recognition is the New Day, who are approaching 10 years together as a successful team. Debuting July 21st 2014, Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods appeared on Raw repackaged as happy-go-lucky gospellers who came to preach the power of positivity, like those annoying door-to-door "messengers". Remember that? That was goofy. They were instantly rejected as faces and quickly transitioned into being evil preachers, which was a significant improvement. A year later these 3 went from directionless singles stars to being beloved by the fans for their unmatched chemistry, entertaining promos and cohesive in-ring work. The New Day is the first stable in WWE in a long time that felt special. The Shield were great but not even they had this spark that Woods, Kofi & E created. Whether they were talking about unicorns, selling their ass-themed cereal, cosplaying as Final Fantasy characters or competing against The Elite in Street Fighter. The New Day have been consistently enjoyable longer than any character or gimmick in recent memory.


13 Tag Team Championships in total, including the second longest reign in tag championship history. Their popularity has helped Kofi Kingston finally reach the top of mountain in 2019, winning the WWE Championship he has paid his dues for. Big E worked his ass off as a solo star and reached the peak too, winning the WWE Championship in 2021. Sure, both reigns were disappointing or prematurely cut off, but winning a world title is still a great achievment. Xavier Woods has...well, been the New Day's third wheel. Don't get me wrong, I love Xavier, he is probably my favourite member. He is the best on the mic, he is the most naturally charismatic of the 3 and he is equally as talented in the ring. Yes he won the King of the Ring which he really wanted, but you can't deny the tournament just doesn't feel as special as it would in the early 90s or you know, him winning a championship. With their 10 year anniversary coming up, I think it is due time that Woods joins his fellow horned, cereal enthusiasts at the peak of the mountain. This is how I'd book an Xavier Woods world championship.


"It's a New Day."

So the biggest thing to address straight away is how Woods can get himself into world title contention. Kofi has been a multiple time IC and US champion beforehand and deserved the main event push. Big E went solo and recaptured his intensity from 2013, climbing the rankings winning the IC Championship a second time, the Money in the Bank and finally the WWE Championship. Xavier Woods has no championship success prior to the New Day, so he needs to find a path to become a credible main eventer. To start building this, we need to briefly look back to the past. Last year, Xavier Woods took a couple months off to heal on some injuries, nothing major. Coincidentally, it happened not long after he unsuccessfully challenged Gunther for his IC Championship. I can't remember if they did this for real, but I would make sure Woods really pushes the issue that he is the only member of the New Day to not win singles gold and he thinks it is time he changes that. They have that competitive match, Woods loses and after the match looks bitterly disappointed. Woods takes his time off after that, give him the rest of the year off. Kofi returns from injury in August and can feud with Gunther for a while afterwards to avenge his boy. That feud can run through most of the rest of the year, Kofi can then have his mini feud with Ivar with both men bickering but then bonding over their absent tag partners. I wouldn't have Xavier Woods return after his match with Gunther until the Royal Rumble. Instead of Pat McAfee coming in at number 22, because that was shit, Xavier Woods returns. He is looking in better condition than ever, leaner but more muscular. He initially comes out all jovial and happy to be here, but he instantly focuses into a serious demeanour. He charges to the ring. In there at that moment was Bron Breakker, Omos, Cody Rhodes, Dominic Mysterio, Jey Uso & Gunther. I would have Breakker eliminate Omos almost immediately in a big feat of strength, more importantly I would not have Kofi eliminated just yet. Woods runs down to the ring and immediately fires shots at Gunther, knocking him towards the ropes. Gunther briefly fires back but Woods manages to topple the IC Champion over the top and eliminating him. He and Kofi embrace. The New Day play all of their hits and eliminate Dom together and then Woods throws Kofi over the rope to eliminate him. Kofi is initially shocked, but as Woods stands and apologises whilst smiling, Kofi laughs it off too. No issues or betrayal here, just Woods doing whatever it takes to win the match. The match goes on and I would have Woods make it to the final four scoring a couple more eliminations on The Miz, Damian Priest and Ricochet. Woods, McIntyre, Punk & Rhodes remain. McIntyre and Woods stand across from Punk and Rhodes, then Drew drops Woods with a headbutt before saying "you don't deserve to fight alongside me". Drew fights valiantly on his own, eventually Woods is back unleashing fury on Drew. McIntyre charges him, Woods flips him over onto the apron, Woods hits a flying knee eliminating him. We're down to 3, Punk and Rhodes are about to have their epic stare down but Woods gets in between them and pushes saying "NO! Do not disregard me like that!" He fights them both two on one, avoids elimination a few times and does really well against two much higher rated stars, but he is defeated in the end. Woods is angry at first but quickly smiles and says to the camera "Oh well, I tried my best!"


On his return to Raw Kofi comments on how different Woods looks. Xavier talks about how he spent half a year pushing him self beyond the limit and is hungrier than ever before. He is still the Xavier Woods who can crack jokes, take shots at people but he has a more serious edge to him now too. The mini New Day reunion tour begins and they start to regain their momentum as one of the best tag teams in the company, because they simply are. At Elimination Chamber, the New Day win a 4-team eliminator to book themselves a match with Balor & Priest at Wrestlemania for the tag championship, which they win to become tag champions for the 13th time. On the Raw after Mania, Kofi is feeling celebratory but Woods has something on his mind. He loves Kofi, he misses Big E and he is New Day for life...but there is something missing. "Both of my brothers have managed success both with and without the New Day and I want that to. In fact, I need it. I need to know that I'm not a weak link in the faction." Kofi understands Woods' mindset, he also believes Woods deserves to be a champion. "Not just any championship." Says Woods. "I want to be world champion.". New Day have an open challenge every week for the next few weeks alternating between Raw and Smackdown racking up title defences and looking better than ever. The week before Backlash, New Day face DIY with the gold on the line. Johnny Gargano & Tommasso Ciampa give their all and almost win. Woods though is able to channel is new edge to his character and punishes Gargano with his own cross-face submission. Johnny gets to the ropes but Woods refuses to break the count after 5, almost in a trance. The referee disqualifies Woods and DIY win but of course, titles don't change hands on DQs if WWE never fucking mentioned it. Both Ciampa and Kofi have to pull Woods off Gargano, Ciampa is pissed and Kofi is trying to calm Woods down. After he gets more grounded, Woods returns to being all smiles and says "sorry guys" offering a handshake. He helps Gargano up but Johnny shoves him away, still clearly pissed off.


Backlash in France the New Day defend their tag titles against DIY in a rematch as reparations for Woods' actions. A great 10-15 minute match which DIY win. After the match, Kofi is on his knees exhausted. Woods stands behind him visibly upset and furious. He gets angrier and angrier and teases launching himself at Kofi, but instead he charges over and hugs his friend. "We tried our best". Following losing their titles, Kofi says it is time to stop focusing on their tag team and focus on get Woods the world title he deserves. At the end of the day, the New Day want each other to all be successful. Adam Pearce offers both men an opportunity to enter the Money in the Bank ladder match, which is taking place a week before their 10th anniversary. Kofi Kingston defeats Dominik Mysterio and Xavier Woods defeats Finn Balor, both men are a part of the match. The other 6 competitors don't really matter but you can include your usual bunch of realistic hopefuls; Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, etc, etc. During the pre-show panel, backstage staff rush to a scene where Kofi has been laid out backstage severely injured. Imperium are seen in the background, as are the Judgement Day, Shinsuke Nakamura. & Jinder Mahal. Woods sprints onto the scene with panic in his breath and tears in his eyes. He tries to help his friend, Kofi ends up being put in an ambulance as Adam Pearce tells Woods that it is almost time for the ladder match. Woods runs off, Pearce in a panic points over at the only wrestler still bumbling around the scene. R-Truth. He tells Truth to get ready and replace Kofi in the match. Throughout the match Truth tries to win in the wrong ways e.g. pinfall, submission, putting someone through a table, trying to count someone out of the ring and even tries to arm wrestling someone. He never makes the climb to the ladder because he is all about 'lolz jokez'. Xavier Woods is able to overcome the odds and he wins the Money in the Bank briefcase. He says to the camera "I tried my best and I did it for you, Big E." The second Raw after the PPV, on a 10 year celebration of New Day, Xavier Woods celebrates his MITB win alongside Big E who makes a rare on-screen appearance, but there is no Kofi who is out. Big E constantly brings up how he wishes Kofi was here, Woods his persistent saying "it was a terrible tragedy and I promise I will avenge him".


Whodunnit?

Woods winning the briefcase at that moment will problem get a positive reaction overall but it may come at a surprise since he hasn't really been booked as someone who should in line soon to be world champion. Well, that is what we have the rest of 2024 to achieve. Woods' main goal is to find out who attacked one of his closest friends. He says "now for the first time in 10 years, I have to go it alone and I will do it for my brother." Woods immediately confronts R-Truth, who replaced Kofi in the match and questions if he attacked Kofi. Truth swears he didn't, he and Woods go way back and they will always be good friends. Woods believes him and shares a hug. Truth tells him he has his back if he ever needs it. Woods then turns his attention to Jinder Mahal, cornering him in a locker room and threatening him to get information. Mahal, in panic points his finger at Nakamura. Woods confronts Nakamura who says "how do you not know Mahal is playing you?" Woods turns around, Nakamura attacks him. Woods has a hunch that either Mahal or Nakamura were involved with Kofi's attack and wants to save time by just kicking both of their asses. I want Woods' promos now to be closer to his persona as heel in the early New Day times, preaching about his love for the New Day and his motivation to be a world champion for his brotherhood. He is still a face but the using of New Day in a lot of his promos should be really on the nose, for reasons later explained. Both Nakamura and Mahal won't accept Woods' challenge, unless his MITB briefcase is up for grabs. Woods accepts, defeating both men in a triple threat at Summerslam to keep the briefcase.


Now in this booking, I would have had Damian Priest cash in his MITB at Wrestlemania 40 during Seth Rollins vs LA Knight for the Heavyweight title. Knight comes so close once again, but falls short again. They feud throughout the year until LA Knight finally wins his world title here at Summerslam, beating Priest. The Woods vs Nakamura vs Mahal match takes place afterwards. After the finish, the Judgement Day attack Woods and Damian Priest steals Woods' briefcase. Priest starts calling himself Senor in the bank again and promises to take the title from LA Knight again. Woods now understands. He believes Priest attacked Kofi in an attempt to increase Finn Balor's chances of winning to keep all the success in the Judgement Day. Priest denies any involvement but agrees that Judgement Day deserve all of the gold. This is going to be during a time where tensions are really clear in the Judgement Day. Priest and Ripley are at odds both claiming to be the faction leader. Priest and Balor butting heads as Balor wants some of the title opportunities too. Balor has JD, Ripley has Dom, Priest is bound to be ousted some time soon. Bash at Berlin is probably only going to be a week or 2 after Summerslam, Woods calls on his old friend R-Truth to face Priest & Balor, Woods gets a pinfall over Priest to win. Post-match, the Judgement Day beat up Priest and kick him out, Ripley declares herself the leader of the Judgment Day.


Priest convinces Woods that he overheard Balor & JD McDonagh talking about ambushing someone in the MITB ladder match and blames them for Kofi's attack. Woods and Priest form a very brief alliance before Woods finds out that Priest was lying just to get Woods onside. Woods does still however believe the Judgement Day were involved and challenges Dominik Mysterio to a match at the September PPV, Clash of Champions. Side Note, I would have Dirty Dom win the US Championship in a 6-man ladder match at Wrestlemania featuring Logan Paul, Kevin Owens and whoever else. The US title comes to Raw, Imperium and the IC title move to Smackdown because I want Gunther to lose the title to either Tyler Bate or Pete Dunne, any of them please Triple H. At Clash of Champions, the Judgement Day try all of their dirty tactics, Rhea Ripley is distracting the referee, out comes Damian Priest and they start arguing, the referee tries to separate them. JD & Balor take the opportunity to try help Dom until we here "It's a New Day, Yes it is!" Kofi Kingston is back. He clears the field, Xavier Woods hits his new finisher, an airplane spin into a TKO he calls Sword Buster (a Final Fantasy reference). Woods celebrates his US championship win alongside Kofi, he is happy to see him of course but there seems to be a glint of uncertainty in his eyes.


Kofi is happy to be back and he is glad to see his boy Xavier is proving his worth. He tells Woods he has a surprise for him, he has obtained footage of who really attacked him at Money in the Bank. Woods says there is no need. Surely the Judgement Day did it but if they didn't then the only people they haven't questioned who were at the scene are Imperium. Kofi says he knows it wasn't Imperium and he knows it wasn't Judgement Day. He knows exactly who is responsible. The footage plays, and we see a hooded figure attack Kofi with a lead pipe. The man runs away out to the car park, he pulls his hood down. It is R-Truth revealed as the attacker. Kofi knows Truth isn't here tonight, but whenever he next comes to work he has an ass kicking ahead of him from the New Day. If you don't like R-Truth as the attacker, just bear with me. Trust the process. Via satellite R-Truth admits to attacking Kofi Kingston. Michael Cole asks "why the hell would you do such a thing?" Truth responds "I did it for my boy. Xavier Woods." He says that Woods has been the most underappreciated and disrespected member of the New Day for so many years. Kofi and Big E get all their flowers and told they deserve to be world champion, whilst Woods is expected to be happy as a cheerleader. No. He eliminated Kofi so Woods would not be brought down by his stablemates yet again. Kofi Kingston demands a match with Truth at the October PPV, which will be Armageddon. In the lead up to the event, Woods has a US title match with R-Truth on Raw. Kofi is at ringside and is already arguing with Truth, Woods turns to him and shouts at him to calm down and not get involved. R-Truth rolls him up for a quick 1-2-3. R-Truth is the US Champion. Kofi apologises for his emotions. Woods once again looks full of anger, but decides to hug his brother once more. At Armageddon, Kofi Kingston loses to R-Truth on the pre-show and notably there is no Xavier Woods. A replay is shown on the main card then we see a vignette of Kofi wondering where Woods has been. Woods has been focused because he decided he is going to cash-in tonight. Kofi immediately forgets about his loss and is excited for his brother. Woods, never cashes in. The next night on Raw he claims that Kofi getting upset about his loss distracted him. Also at Armageddon, I would also have Imperium's Vinci & Kaiser defeat DIY to become tag champions. Imperium assault Gargano who is helped out by medical staff.


At the Survivor Series event, the men's WarGames match should be primarily built around a current main event feud. I would have WWE Champion and former ally Randy Orton begin feuding around Summerslam with Orton as the heel targeting his old protégé. Orton forms a stable called The Birthright, essentially a newer version of his Legacy stable featuring Andrade and Bron Breakker who also come from wrestling families. Also at this time, Woods starts questioning why Imperium didn't come forward with information about R-Truth attacking Kofi. Kingston is confused why Woods cares when they know who did it, but Woods is hyper-fixated on blaming anyone he believes is involved. Feuds cross piss-streams ahead of the Survivor Series. Team Rhodes consists of WWE champ Cody, newly crowned IC champion Tyler Bate, Tommaso Ciampa, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. Team Orton consists of Orton, Andrade, Bron Breakker, Ludwig Kaiser & former IC champion Gunther. Before the match, Kofi Kingston is again wiped out backstage without anyone having a clue who took him out. This time Kofi is more lucid though and doesn't need to be taken to hospital. He is eventually replaced by Johnny Gargano who returns for retribution. Team Cody win with Xavier Woods getting a pinfall win over Randy Orton.


2 weeks after the event, Kofi is back alongside Xavier Woods and says he doesn't need camera footage to know who attacked him. R-Truth comes out and interrupts him, he exclaims that this time it really wasn't him. Kofi tells him to shut up. "I know you did it. I saw your face. The only thing I cannot figure out, is why." As he says this, he slowly turns towards Woods who looks very emotionally distressed, clutching his briefcase. Kofi continues "I-I just can't figure out what I did, what the New Day did for you to attack me?" Woods begins crying at this point and he slowly walks over to Kofi for a hug. Kingston reluctantly accepts it, Woods pulls away and hits him with a low blow. He is filled with emotion as he just beats on Kofi mercilessly, screaming with rage. He walks out with R-Truth, walks past everyone to the car park and leaves.


Lost in the Woods

Xavier Woods refuses to comment on what happened, ignoring every interview question to talk about anything else. On the very last Smackdown of 2024 after Cody Rhodes wins a final match with Randy Orton to retain his title. someone runs through the crowd and attacks Rhodes. He lifts him onto his shoulders and hits a GTS. CM Punk returns to WWE from his injury. He shouts "You cost me my moment to get yours. I'm returning the favour." Xavier Woods comes out, cashes in his Money in the Bank and wins the WWE Championship. On the first Smackdown of 2025, we have a talk show segment called Truth & Consequences, Truth interviewing Woods on his title victory. Woods finally addresses the Kofi Kingston drama.

"I was responsible for Kofi being attacked at Survivor Series. I was also responsible for him being attacked at Money in the Bank. Me and Truth go way back and I promised him a favour in return for helping me on my path to becoming WWE champion. I offered him a run as the US championship. I set up the scene for Kofi to be assaulted. I faked my search and managed to capture the US title to intentionally drop it to my secret ally. If you are wondering why I did this? You are just as naïve and stupid as Kofi. For 10 long years I played my role perfectly. I prioritised my brother, the two people I love the most because I saw greatness in them that management didn't. I had the idea for the New Day (which is true) and I brought them together to save us form obscurity. I built the New Day. I rocketed Kofi-mania. I enabled the rise of Big E. Where is my fucking due diligence? That isn't all, oh no, see I am not angry at Big E at all. He is still a brother to me. Kofi is too, but I cannot forgive him for what he did. When I've tagged with either of you guys, no one has ever gotten hurt. If I was there, if it was me, I would have made sure he was going to be okay. Kofi, you killed the New Day and I will never forgive you." He holds up the WWE Championship to the camera and says "This is for you Big E, I love you."


At the Royal Rumble, Xavier Woods successfully defends the WWE Championship against Cody Rhodes. Woods is struggling to pull of the win. R-Truth stops a pinfall attempt by Cody, distracting the referee. Cody takes him out, this gives Woods time to grab something from under the ring. It is a reinforced elbow pad that he uses to hit his Killer Instinct elbow drop on Cody for the 1-2-3. Woods retains. Elsewhere at the Royal Rumble, CM Punk wins the rumble and will go on the face Heavyweight champion LA Knight at Wrestlemania 41 in the main event, he will face off with Cody Rhodes at Elimination Chamber with the world title shot on the line. With that set up, that means we need a challenger for the WWE championship. At Elimination Chamber, a match of the same name is booked to determine a number 1 contender. AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Gunther, Solo Sikoa & R-Truth, who is included after Woods helped him win a qualifier in hopes to have an easy night at Wrestlemania. At the top of the PPV, R-Truth has been taken out backstage and is removed from the match. Being added into the match as a late replacement, the returning Kofi Kingston. Gunther eliminates Styles & Owens, Sikoa eliminates Gunther but Orton eliminates Solo. Orton and Kofi remain, so much history between both men. Orton tries his best, but Kofi overcomes an RKO attempt and beats him, booking his showdown with Woods at Wrestlemania.


In the build up towards Wrestlemania, Kofi is still so hurt by Woods. "It didn't have to be this way. I would have happily walked behind you if you wanted this so much. The New Day, we are a family. You are my brother." Xavier Woods just stares at Kofi and says "Big E will never wrestle again and it's all your fault. I am trying my best for Big E. Both you and he failed as world champions. I will not have the New Day's legacy be midcarders turned failed world champions." Kofi eventually snaps and unleashes on Xavier. At this time, Woods is obviously full heel but he doesn't see fault in the things he is doing. He still thinks he is the good guy and that Kofi is the bad guy. Some people might see justification in his actions, but most will probably boo him. That's the reaction I want. On the go-home Smackdown before the show. Big E returns on screen again and approaches Xavier Woods. "I understand why you feel the way you do. It sucks to see your closest friends be given more praise than you. Xavier, you deserve to be world champion and I am so proud of you. However, you are wrong. Kofi is not to blame, no one is to blame. I know you feel like you need someone to blame to come to terms with my injury, but it is fine, really. It was a freak accident, I have made my peace with it. I don't want my injury to tear apart my two favourite people. I love you both and I want us to be able to shake hands and hug after Wrestlemania is done. At Wrestlemania, Xavier Woods defeats Kofi in a great 15+ minute match. Afterwards there is a lot of emotion between all 3 members of the New Day as Big E stood at ringside watching the full thing.


How this ends, is totally up to you. If you love the New Day and never want them to end, you can have all 3 men cry and hug in the middle of the ring. Woods is forgiven for his behaviour, he apologises to his brothers and continues his reign as a happy-go-lucky babyface. Alternatively, and how I would book it, I would have Big E offer Woods the handshake after the match. Woods hugs him, pulls back and then kicks him right in the dick. Big E's injury means he really cannot take a bump, but a kick in a dick is surely okay. He props Big E in the corner who watches Woods brutalise Kofi with a chair. Woods simply says to Big E "You are so ungrateful" as he leaves as the world champion. Woods goes full heel, he can still have the personality and quick wit but with an extra development to his character.


And there we have it. I spent a full year building up Woods as a singles star, gave him plenty of stories to follow on his way to being a world champion in a way that never felt forced or weird. I love the New Day, but if Woods is ever going to make it as a singles star he needs to leave them behind even if it is just temporarily. You can even do a Roman Reigns thing here where Big E and Kofi eventually join Woods as heels in support of their best friend, blind loyalty and manipulation or whatever. Thanks for reading, let me know what you think of my booking. Have a nice day!


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