MEET THE CREATIVE
Let’s Slam Some Stereotypes!
Game-streaming celebrity and WWE superstar Austin Creed leads by example.
Who’s your favorite character in the epic fighting game Brawlhalla? For game-streaming star Austin Creed, the answer is easy.
“I play as myself,” he says.
To be more specific, he plays as Xavier Woods—Creed’s WWE superstar alter ego. Wielding a trombone and the “power of positivity,” Woods (in game) flips around Brawlhalla’s multitiered platforms, using crushing blows to take down angry pirates, fierce Minotaurs, and evil wizards.
The character is as colorful as Creed in real life—and marked a big moment in his career.
“It’s a very humbling thing to know that people even entertain the idea of putting me into one of their videogames,” he says. “I’m just a random dude from Georgia, trying to have a good time.”
Playing it up
An avid gamer as a child, Creed would scoop up rings in Sonic the Hedgehog with abandon. Little did he know he would one day become part of the action. As Xavier Woods, he’s appeared in many mobile wrestling titles—among them WWE Champions, WWE SuperCard, and WWE Mayhem.
Unlock Woods in these games and he puts on a show, jumping into brawls with acrobatic moves like kickflips, elbow drops, and his trademark Honor Roll jumping clothesline. In WWE Mayhem, Xavier’s real-life friendships come into play: Put him alongside tag-team partners Big E and Kofi Kingston and their abilities all get a synergy boost. His charisma shines through with each leap and somersault—not to mention his trademark colorful wrestling gear.
When we were young, there weren’t many Black people in these industries.
It’s a form of celebrity he couldn’t imagine when he was growing up.
“When we were young, there weren’t many Black people in these industries,” Creed says from his home’s custom-built arcade in Atlanta. “I've always carried this thought my parents instilled in me: Because of the way you look, you're going to have to work twice as hard to get what you want.
“Being a wrestler is what I wanted to do all my life,” he adds, “but so is working in gaming.”
Creed does more than appear as a character in games. When he plays, millions of people watch.
Launched in 2015, Creed’s YouTube channel UpUpDownDown has amassed over 2 million subscribers, who tune in to see him and his pals play games like Among Us! and Clash of Clans—a favorite among his competitive wrestling peers.
“I remember one time I got a one-star war. That’s real bad,” he says. “I didn’t even want to go into the WWE building, because I knew that [Clash of Clans clanmate and fellow wrestling superstar] John Cena would be looking to talk to me about it.”
We’ve always wanted to make sure that young Black kids know they don’t have to be one of these stereotypical archetypes.
A different kind of champion
Creed’s mission to change common perception extends to the wrestling ring, where he’s earned high praise for his charismatic persona and crowd-pleasing moves.
Hundreds of his matches are archived in the WWE app. His highlights are easy to find: Type “Xavier Woods” or “the New Day” (his beloved tag team) into the app’s search field, then scroll to series like “Xavier’s Arcade Challenge” and “The New Day: Feel the Power.” To see one of Wood’s most iconic ring entrances, tap into WrestleMania 32. (Spoiler alert: It involves a giant box of cereal.)
Such outrageous antics are par for the course for Creed. Sporting neon-rainbow tights and gaming tattoos, Woods and his team—which includes Big E and Kingston—are a far cry from what fans might expect from Black WWE superstars.
“We want to break the status quo,” he says. “We have always wanted to make sure that young Black kids know they don’t have to be one of these stereotypical archetypes—the foreign Black guy, the big strong Black guy, or the dancing Black guy.
“It’s fine to play a trombone, wear curly boots, throw pancakes, and be ridiculous,” he says. “You can be whatever you want!”
Experience Austin Creed through these apps
Slam the competition in these WWE games.
Battle in a strategic Match 3.
No1. WWE Arcade Action Game
WWE SuperCard - Battle Cards
Build Your Deck of Superstars
See him in the ring.
Live pay-per-views and more!
Peacock TV: Stream TV & Movies
Hit TV shows, movies & sports
Play as his character in Brawlhalla.
Multiplayer fighting game
Take on his army in Clash of Clans.
Clash of Clans
Lead Your Clan to Victory!
Stream UpUpDownDown on YouTube.