Elias is getting a much-needed character change

WWE, Elias (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)
WWE, Elias (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images) /

With WWE making so many changes as of late, we pose the question: Is Elias getting a much-needed character change? Right off the bat, we’ll state that yes, he is. In fact…it’s long overdue.

In an ominous segment from this past Monday night on Raw, Elias was seen by a bonfire, holding his guitar. He strummed the familiar chord he often, or rather almost always has strummed before his entrance to the ring, and instead of singing this time, he threw the guitar into the burning fire.

I don’t mean to exaggerate, but it was my favorite segment on this week’s Raw and at first, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why, but as the days progressed, I nailed it.

He deserves a change. The time is obviously ripe for it, but beyond that, this man has been working hard and doing his best to perform exceptionally at the mid-card level, but some wrestlers just aren’t destined to simply be mid-card performers, and Elias is one of those individuals for sure.

Of course, many do end up staying in that zone for their whole careers, but one look at Elias, and you’re filled with the sense that he was destined for more, or at least we hope he was.

The 33-year-old started wrestling in 2008. He was trained by Shirley Doe Super Hentai. He wrestled his way through the International Wrestling Cartel, where he wrestled under the name: Heavy Metal Jesus. The IWC marks the place where he spent most, if not the entirety of his days as an independent wrestler, according to Wikipedia. He did walk away from that experience in those years with a Super Indy Championship and an IWC World Heavyweight Championship.

He would enter WWE by 2014, starting in NXT first.

He did alright at NXT but didn’t walk away from that experience with any titles. Actually, he hasn’t held anything other than the 24/7 Title in WWE, and perhaps that’s part of the problem and why a character change is happening at the right time—right about time—or perhaps even a tad too late, if you ask me, but more on that in just a sec.

Also of note: he was ranked by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, to be number 69 in the top 500 singles wrestlers in 2018—a massive honor in the wrestling industry.

But all the accolades aside, a gimmick was what he was given in WWE, which has been always known as the land of the gimmick in wrestling.

This is why by now, the guitar and Elias go hand-in-hand and have gone hand-in-hand since he took to this character even in his NXT days, and is of course why the fact that he threw the guitar into the fire on this week’s Raw is such a shock.

In the past, WWE has been known to run gimmicks into the ground. Was this the case for Elias? I’d say yes; the company even releasing music—an EP—featuring Elias, as in 2018’s WWE: Walk With Elias.

Too much?

Probably not; especially if it was going somewhere, like John Cena’s album did all those years ago. The unfortunate thing with Elias though, is that it didn’t go further than being an interesting tidbit—a mere piece of entertaining notoriety, that didn’t last all that long, and yet all this…this lack of fanfare, for a very gifted athlete. The word tragedy comes to mind.

For athletes like Elias, a gimmick isn’t enough.

On the same plane, Rick Boogs is a former collegiate wrestler. He is an impeccable athlete oozing with charisma and conviction, and they have him playing guitar on the main roster. Do you know what a man like Boogs can do with the likes of General Aziz (Babatunde Aiyegbusi)? The caliber of match they can have…? We want to see that, and not some more of the same old, as they say.

The same can be said here…of Elias.

Where they can go with Elias is up in the air for sure. I’ve said this of many performers in WWE and at other companies, but the sky is the limit.

The tonality of the new direction seems to be dark, and truthfully, I hope that they stick to that moving forward. He needs to be assertive and confident moving forward.

The heel that antagonizes but backs off when threatened is being overdone and has been overdone in the past. That worked for Flair and it worked well, he being a legend of the squared circle and all, but I get the feeling that they should trust Elias with this character change and let him run with it.

When he’s not on WWE TV, he’s different: a little looser and collected, and if he could bring that believability and conviction to a darker character, I think he may definitely have something in the end.

These days, tenures over at WWE seem to be under the threat of a ticking time bomb, so a character change at this time in his career seems scary, to say the least. Because in the end, if it doesn’t’ work….

It’ll be very interesting to see where this goes, for sure, and if he doesn’t sing or play another chord ever, I get the feeling that he’ll be A-OK with that, as we will too.

Next. Should fans be concerned about the direction of WWE NXT?. dark

Let’s see something in the ruthless aggression department of old, or maybe even a little more attitude in the future. If we get that, I think that he and we will be quite happy with the new direction.