WWE SmackDown Live: Ranking All the Cinderella Stories

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4. James Ellsworth

James Ellsworth lives by one rule – “any man with two hands has a fighting chance”. When the Baltimore native appeared on Raw for one of Braun Strowman’s earliest squash matches, nobody expected his character would go over so much. Regardless, Ellsworth’s actions and impassioned promo spread like wildfire among the WWE Universe.

Following the brand split, Ellsworth would appear out of the blue on one of the blue brand’s shows as AJ Styles’ mystery tag team partner. Though he would soon be taken out by the Miz, the caricature and its effects remained with the fans. SmackDown’s creative team noticed the same and were hellbent on utilizing his popularity to its very extremes. The months following saw Ellsworth rise from a nameless jobber to a contender for the WWE title.

Related Story: James Ellsworth Comments on Sudden WWE Stardom

He would also win a ladder match against one of the very best in present day WWE; AJ Styles. Following his shocking betrayal of Dean Ambrose at TLC, Ellsworth would slowly evolve into a heel persona. As such his popularity also began to diminish over time. Perhaps it was creative’s overuse of the gimmick. Perhaps it was just that the act had run its course.

Some would refer to Ellsworth’s story as one of the best in recent times. However, the fact that he did not win any titles remains. Moreover, over time, the character began to annoy some of the fans. Moreover, he now stands alongside Carmella without any clear direction at the moment. All that would add up to him being placed so low on this list.