Xavier Woods, Seth Rollins And The Madden 16 Tournament

Leave it to Xavier Woods of The New Day to not only bring me back from the dead as a writer, but to also bring me back to a video game I left behind years ago. That is none other than Madden Football.

At one time, I loved playing Madden and participated in many Madden tournaments over the years. Whether it was after basketball practice in high school or playing the game with my roommates or suitemates in the dorm in undergrad, Madden was a staple in my life. Other things started taking precedence in my life, I got old and the time I gave to video games went elsewhere.

Xavier Woods created a gaming channel on YouTube called UpUpDownDown. It initially caught my attention due to seeing him and other wrestlers playing video games with each other, which struck me as odd because I never realized there were particular wrestlers so cool with each other behind the scenes. Granted, I know professional wrestling is scripted, but for someone who has been a wrestling fan my entire life, I find it highly unlikely that I could find video footage of Macho King Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect playing Tecmo Bowl against each other before Saturday night's main event … but I digress.

Anyway, the UpUpDownDown channel is currently featuring the WWE Madden 16 Tournament, which is in the semifinals at present. Seth Rollins, one of my favorite wrestlers in the WWE, played against Curtis Axel in one of the semifinals matchups, and watching them play brought back memories of how intense, hilarious and outright serious Madden can be for all participants involved.

For instance, Seth Rollins is probably the most intense Madden player I’ve ever seen. The dude was either slapping his chest after a solid defensive stand, screaming at his defense to make a play or cursing wildly when Antonio Brown made seemingly impossible catches against his Chicago Bears secondary. It’s hard to knock him, and I refuse to do so, mainly because I was similar in my behavior when I played back in the day.

Curtis Axel was just as colorful when he got mad at his receivers dropping passes that hit them directly in the hands. It also doesn’t hurt to have Kofi Kingston (who lost to Seth in the quarterfinals) and Xavier Woods (who lost to Kofi in the first round) talking incessantly throughout the game. The channel also bleeps out all the cuss words, which makes it even funnier.

The other thing about this matchup is it took place in the same locale where Seth Rollins tore his knee up earlier this month, forcing him to vacant the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The Madden semifinal was played Nov. 5, and Seth got hurt Nov. 4 the night before. I’ll go on record right now and write that Seth Rollins playing his semifinal matchup against Curtis Axel on a shredded knee goes down as not only one of the most memorable feats in American history, but one of the most memorable feats in world history since the semifinal matchup of the Madden 16 tournament took place while the WWE was on tour in England, therefore qualifying as world history and not merely American history — but whatever.

I won’t tell you who won the first semifinal matchup, because that would defeat the purpose of going to the YouTube channel and watching for yourself. However, it is definitely worth checking out.

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