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If you follow gaming on YouTube you've likely come across a channel with more than a half-million subscribers called UpUpDownDown. It's a team effort hosted by WWE wrestler Xavier Woods, going by the YouTube moniker of Austin Creed. He recently explained how he got into gaming and how games changed his life.
ESPN's e-sports division did an interview with Woods, where he talked about growing up with games and how it affected his life, even becoming a large part of his success in adulthood with the highly successful YouTube channel. As a kid he originally wanted to be a kickboxer, a game maker and a pro wrestler; he managed to become a pro wrestler and he still plays video games. According to Woods, he says he wouldn't be where he is today without games...
Without video games, I don't think I'd be where I am today with anything else in life.
He followed that up by explaining that growing up he used to get picked on a lot by bullies for being a small kid. His mom used to schedule play-dates with other kids where they could play video games together to keep him out of trouble. He used games as a way to make friends, build some confidence and establish his competitive edge.
As a wrestler who clocks in at 5'9, he still considers himself small, but the guy is built like a brick. He manages to make it work in the ring with high-flying maneuvers and a lot of quick hits inspired by video games. He's known for including Street Fighter and Dragon Ball Z-themed attacks into his move-list in the WWE.
According to Woods, he tries to use the UpUpDownDown channel to inspire gamers and show that the community is a positive and welcoming place and that it's a diverse collection of individuals who just want to have fun, telling ESPN...
I always want to make sure that I'm able to put a spotlight on that for kids who might be in the same position and might feel a little awkward or might get made fun of for reading comic books and staying up till 4 in the morning playing Sonic, [...] I want to show them that, no, that stuff is awesome and fun and that look, you can go be CEO and make a ton of money, and you can be in an awesome fighting game community.
And speaking of the FGC (fighting game community), Xavier Woods recently attended the Community Effort Orlando 2016 in Orlando, Florida, bringing his kayfabe rivalry with NJPW's Kenny Omega to a head in a showdown in Capcom's Street Fighter V. After doing a bit of trash talking the two had a not-so-impromptu showdown at CEO 2016 where Kenny's Alex faced off against Woods' Birdie. You can check out the half-hour exhibition in the video below from Capcom Fighters.
While Woods took a lost and was "super salty", he still managed to show a lot of good sportsmanship with his rival Kenny Omega. The two traded words and then locked fists in a classic show of muscles reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers in the 1987 classic, Predator.
You can check out Woods on his YouTube channel UpUpDownDown where he posts video game content and interviews with other WWE superstars who talk about their childhood and growing up playing video games, as well as see him in action with the comedy faction known as the New Day on WWE television via Monday Night Raw or WWE Smackdown.