Upon his recent return to WWE programming, it seems Xavier Woods has lost the ‘King’ prefix of his ring name.
The 25 March broadcast of SmackDown saw The New Day’s Kofi Kingston rejoined by Xavier Woods, who returned from injury as he defeated Ridge Holland in singles action. In returning, though, it would appear as though the former multi-time Tag Team Champion has dropped the ‘King’ prefix from his name, reverting back to being simply Xavier Woods.
Twitter user @rabidmonkey2129 caught the name change on Twitter, causing Woods to comment on the matter:
Call me King Woods, Call me Xavier Woods, Call me Austin Creed. May as well call me King Midas since everything I touch turns to gold 😉 and I look great in that picture, almost as good as in real life https://t.co/QSMOkAXKLQ
— Austin Creed (@AustinCreedWins) March 30, 2022
Xavier Woods had previously adapted his name to King Woods on the 22 October episode of SmackDown, having defeated Finn Balor to win the 2021 King of the Ring tournament the day before at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. This marked Woods’ first singles accolade since joining WWE in July 2010, though he’s also previously held the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships four and seven times, respectively, alongside Kingston and Big E.
Previous King of the Ring winners had undergone a similar alteration to their ring names while serving as the King, with Bad News Barrett becoming King Barrett, Edge becoming King Edge The Awesome, and Booker T becoming King Booker. Owen Hart also adopted the moniker of ‘The King of Harts’ upon winning the 1994 tournament.
Xavier Woods will now team with Kofi Kingston to battle Sheamus and Ridge Holland on night one of WrestleMania 38, with the rumoured original plan seeing the two sides joined by Big E and Butch, respectively, prior to E suffering a broken neck.