Elias has had a long journey to WWE. Not many people know it, but Elias was rejected by WWE multiple times before he finally joined. When he was an NXT superstar, he was known as Elias Samson and he was essentially fast-tracked to the main roster, where he has found popularity if not success from a Championship perspective.
Speaking to Sportskeeda's Ryan Boman, Elias opened up about the early days of his character and the influence:
You know, here's the thing, man. I always wanted to be a wrestler. And of course, I looked up to guys like Shawn Michaels and Macho Man and Jake 'The Snake' (Roberts), and things like that. I don't know if I was always a natural performer, but I always had this personality that's kind of sarcastic, arrogant, playful, whatever you want to call it, charismatic, whatever it was. So, it's very easy for me to just do that because I feel like I'm being myself. I feel like I'm having fun, and whatever it was in NXT, I can remember essentially the very first time. I went out there and sang a song to the crowd. I can remember being in Largo, Florida, and sing a song to the crowd and the reaction was, um, it was so very clear that there is something there. From that point on, it's just fun ever since, man.
Elias revealed that it was a conversation with Dusty Rhodes that led to him mixing both music and wrestling together permanently:
It was wrestling that came first, man. I grew up watching wrestling, you know, 7-8 years old, whatever it may be. I can remember I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. I went to SummerSlam 1995. I saw Shawn Michaels and Razor. I was like, 'Ah, you know, I want to do this!' But I had no idea how to go about it. And then, around the time I was an early teenager, maybe 14-15 years old, I got really into classic rock. I got really into Eric Clapton. My dad took notice. He just bought me a guitar one year. But I didn't ask for it or anything, and I took to that, and all of a sudden, it was like, 'Hey, I can pursue wrestling, and I love playing music.' It was a conversation with Dusty Rhodes eventually at NXT that kind of help me blend the two of them together. I remember I presented; I went up there in front of the whole class and Dusty. I had my guitar. I pulled a little story while I was strumming, and he was like, 'Dude, that's it, man. That's it.' And the guitar has basically been there with me ever since.
What lies ahead for Elias?
Elias returned to WWE TV after months away with an injury. He has been drafted to RAW, where he will be expected to start a feud with Jeff Hardy after getting involved in the storyline accident.
It'll be interesting to see where WWE goes with Elias. He recently revealed that he views Jeff Hardy as a stepping stone to the main event scene. Will Elias have a breakout year in 2020?Published 20 Oct 2020, 06:13 IST