Recent video packages on Monday Night RAW have shown that Elias has laid to rest his musical performances. With the emergence of Rick Boogs on SmackDown, it would be overkill for WWE to have two performers having the same gimmick of being a musician and more to the point, both playing guitar.
The Elias character started in NXT, known as The Drifter Elias Samson. It was only when he reached the main roster that his surname and nickname were dropped. His run in NXT wasn’t very memorable, losing many of his big matches against the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano. His final match on NXT would have the very first ‘Loser leaves NXT’ stipulation, where he would be defeated by Kassius Ohno.
In April 2017, Elias would make his first appearance on the main roster appearing on an episode of RAW, walking ringside whilst a match was ongoing. He would regularly appear for the next few weeks, walking past backstage during interviews or passing through the crowd mid-match. By the end of May, he would receive his first match against Dean Ambrose and as the year continued he would start performing concerts to the crowd in which he would bad mouth that city. Usually using the local sports team and would also use the time to ridicule his opponents.
The Royal Rumble events over the years would normally see Elias come down to the ring performing a song. This would be a yearly bit for him, that also including him being interrupted by a returning Jeff Jarrett. The biggest moments of his career happened at WrestleMania. Firstly at WrestleMania 34, he would perform in a concert; only to be interrupted by John Cena reprising his ‘Thuganomics’ gimmick. Elias would have another Wrestlemania moment with John Cena the following year where he would come out as Cena prepared for his match with The Undertaker. The following night, The Undertaker would interrupt his musical performance and deliver a chokeslam to Elias.
Elias became a big part of those two WrestleMania with these moments. With the largest audience of the year on both occasions, it was plain to see his catchphrase of ‘what WWE stood for?’ Was over.
During the earlier part of his main roster run, he would receive Intercontinental Championship matches against Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins but be unsuccessful. The only championship gold Elias would win is the 24/7 Championship. He achieved two bigger accomplishments by releasing two albums, in 2018 he released Walk with Elias and Universal Truth in 2020.
Elias would be drafted to SmackDown and become associated with Shane McMahon. At the side of McMahon along with Drew McIntyre, he would play a bit-part role in McMahon’s feuds. After picking up a victory at WrestleMania 36 over Baron Corbin, Elias was involved in an angle in the Performance Centre car park where he was supposedly hurt in a car accident. This was to cover for the fact that Elias was actually injured and had suffered a torn pectoral muscle. On his return later in the year, he would feud with Jeff Hardy before moving on to team with Jaxson Ryker. They would eventually split and have a mini-feud.
With Elias, the musician, now laid to rest; it will be a new, uncertain future for him. This is a great chance for Elias to move away from his persona and show a brand new side and a chance to showcase his in-ring ability. A re-debuting Elias without a strong showing could lead to him becoming just another face on WWE television that doesn’t stand out and matter. The guitar was great for Elias and at points received some great ovations from the crowd. Elias will need a strong start otherwise in the next round of WWE cuts we could see him being wished the best in his future endeavours.
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