Some may think that, after being fired by WWE, James Ellsworth left wrestling. He, in fact, has never left the business. After WWE, he had some matches on Impact Wrestling, ROH, NWA, but he mostly came back to the indies where he debuted and made a name for himself. He has never stopped wrestling and training people since 2002.

The indies are where Ellsworth returned when the WWE “enchanted parenthesis” came to an end. The match he had with Becky Lynch on SmackDown led him to create a World Intergender Championship, a nice tribute to the late Andy Kaufman‘s “World Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion” gimmick/tour in the early 80s.

So when he left WWE, he created a list of female wrestlers and athletes he wanted to face in the professional wrestling ring, and he went as far as to create this Intergender Championship, which features a blue and pink strap. Ellsworth wanted to make it “an entertaining thing for people to pay attention to” as intergender wrestling has experienced a boom over the last several years on the independents, Lucha Underground, OTT in Ireland, and now Impact Wrestling.

SteelChair Mag had the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with James Ellsworth about his new life in wrestling, his time with WWE, the intergender title he created, and what the future holds for him.

During these two or three years of time in WWE, what for you was the best and maybe the worst moments? 

“My favourite thing, because I have watched and loved wrestling my whole life, was just performing in front of the biggest audience. Wrestling is WWE, and just being able to connect with fans and just live my dream, that was very, very fun. I don’t really have any bad memories being there, I had a good time. The worst thing about it is when you might be doing something that you think is not working on TV. I did a lot of cool stuff there, working with AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and Carmella. I also did a lot of good stuff with Braun Strowman. Together, Carmella and I did some fun things, but towards the end, they were doing some weird things, and it wasn’t as enjoyable. The Money In The Bank thing was great, that was one of my favourite things about being with Carmella, but towards the end, it really got weird and wasn’t as good. I have no hard feelings. I enjoyed myself throughout the whole couple of years I was there.”

Speaking of Money In The Bank, they more or less did the same kind of thing with Otis this year. 

“It fell and it landed in his hands, it was a little different. To have somebody like Otis winning it for him is good. He still wanted it. He’s a good character. I think we all like him. He’s very funny. I enjoy his stuff.”

During your WWE run, you worked a main-event program with AJ Styles, and you also managed Carmella. Which role did you prefer and why?

“I loved both, but wrestling for the WWE Title in the main event on SmackDown, I didn’t get any better than that.”

How important is an enhancement talent in this business, and what do you think people fail to understand about that role?

“I think enhancement talents are important to make the star. They’re working with a look far superior to a normal wrestler. Enhancement talents aren’t the stars. They’re there to try to make the star look good. It isn’t about them. It’s about the star their working with.”

You stated that you have watched RAW since the very first episode of in 1993. Right now, are you still watching the show that you were apart of?

“I watch it every week. I’ve watched every episode of RAW since 1993. I try to get into it, have fun with it. It’s a little hard because, without the fans being there, it’s very tough to get into it. The fans make the show. I do get them putting wrestlers in the crowd now, but it’s not the same. As wrestlers, it’s hard for them to act like fans because they’re not necessarily fans anymore. I just miss the fans being there, it takes away from the show, so it is hard to watch, but I try to watch every single show as much as possible to keep up with it.
Hopefully, fans get to come back soon. The In Your House PPV, I thought it was really fun to watch because it’s nostalgia, old school, and I enjoyed that. Hopefully, the fans get to come back soon, and we go back to normal, and we can hear like the actual chants, not what people are getting told to chant, but the actual chants and the actual feeling of the audience.”

You say WWE is wrestling, but there are more players in the game now, how do you look at this new landscape?

“It’s cool that a lot of wrestlers are getting work and have places to go to make a living. That’s the good thing, even in the indies. I just do the Indies, and I make a living of it. There’s a lot of opportunities out there for wrestlers, and that’s the best thing about it. WWE is still number one. I think it’s always going to be number one. There are other companies out there that are doing well, which is good. It’s good to have other companies, but WWE is just the mainstream. AEW is doing really well. I really enjoy the show there, they’ve only been on TNT for eight or nine months, and they’re doing good. I’m just glad people are getting some work, and that’s cool.”

How does your intergender title belt differ to Andy Kaufman’s? And how important was it to create that intergender title?

“Andy Kaufman was very entertaining, and seeing a little guy wrestling women and getting beat up is very entertaining if you ask me. It was important to be and to make the intergender title to have something for myself, a story I would enjoy telling on the independents.”

Do you ever foresee WWE possibly doing proper intergender matches? They have dabbled in it with Triple H and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania.

“I think there is a time and a place for intergender wrestling, but shouldn’t be overdone, it should be saved for special occasions.”

How are you currently handling the situation with the pandemic when it comes to your booking, your training school, and also your company?

“The pandemic has obviously slowed wrestling down, but I’ve got some bookings coming up. I’m currently wrestling on the independents, and here in the US, we have a lot of independents. I’m keeping myself busy even with the pandemic, so I’m still doing good and continue to do as much as possible.
I train people I usually take on the shows. I have a ring in my house, so I can train people there. I have fun teaching what I’ve learned because I’ve been very blessed to learn wrestling. I’m making sure the next person knows what I know.”

Finally, where do you see yourself in the future? Any particular promotion?

“At some point, coming back to WWE for another surprise appearance would be fun.”


Follow James Ellsworth on @realellsworth and @jamesellsworthwrestling.

You can also book James Ellsworth on Cameo by clicking here, and get updates from his YouTube by subscribing here

All pics, screencaps and videos courtesy of GTS Wrestling, James Ellsworth, sillySUPERPOP YouTube Channel and WWE

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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