WWE and NJPW Faceoff at E3
This week at E3, Capcom’s Street Fighter V booth will offer a history-making event. The upcoming faceoff between the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is unlike any pro-wrestling event that has ever taken place.
The WWE vs. NJPW will not take place in a wrestling ring or even a boiler room – the wrestling pros flew in just for a video game competition. Superstar wrestling pros Xavier woods and Kenny Omega are led by a handpicked team of gaming gurus to prove which wrestling group is the best in the world (at video games).
Both star wrestlers say they have always loved gaming, but it is Woods that built a platform for his passion. Woods created the YouTube channel UpUpDownDown as a way for wrestlers to compete against one another. The competitions don’t typically have prizes but instead dole out punishments to the loser, like eating cinnamon or hot sauce.
Woods’ channel now boasts over 1.5 million subscribers and offers a lot more content than just wrestlers playing against each other. In a recent video, Woods interviewed legendary League of Legends player “Misaya.”
Fans say Woods is reinventing what it means to be a WWE superstar outside the ring. Back in the 70s, 80s, and into the 90s, professional wrestlers were expected to continue the lifestyle of their ring personalities. Back then, it was unheard of for wrestlers to have off-character hobbies and friendly rivalries between one another in their personal lives.
For Woods and Omega, the friendly rivalry is genuine and on-going. The pair first started challenging one another at video games back in 2016.