WWE's photo of Xavier Woods.
WWE's photo of Xavier Woods.

Wrestling the Pandemic, with WWE’s Xavier Woods

Xavier Woods. Photo Credit: WWE.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Sports Edition, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are stepping into the ring to explore professional wrestling with one of WWE’s brightest stars – Xavier Woods. Xavier, real name Austin Watson, comprises one third of the record-breaking WWE Tag Team “The New Day” alongside Big E and Kofi Kingston. Not to mention, Xavier has a double bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy, a Master’s degree in psychology, and is currently studying for his PhD in educational psychology. 

You’ll learn about his path to becoming one of the WWE’s most popular wrestlers. Find out the history behind his stage name. Xavier tells us why he thinks wrestling is very similar to Shakespeare-in-the-round and a leading example of “group think” in the world today. We explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted professional sports, including WrestleMania 36, which was just performed behind closed doors. And, you’ll learn how Xavier is currently recovering from a long-term Achilles injury and charting his comeback to the ring. 

Discover more about the science behind professional wrestling. You’ll hear why the least experienced wrestler in the ring is the most dangerous. Xavier tells us how years and years of training prepare you to perform moves that don’t hurt your opponents. And, he tells us why your opponent’s safety is your biggest concern in the ring. 

Explore Xavier’s YouTube gaming channel UpUpDownDown which has amassed over 2 million subscribers. We discuss the continuing rise of Esports  and if the pandemic will increase Esports’ visibility around the world. Xavier also tells us about his podcast, The New Day: Feel the Power. Finally, Xavier gives advice to athletes and spectators on how to keep supporting each other during the coronavirus pandemic. 

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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