Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap
with Guest, Elias
Release Date: February 9, 2018
By: Jeff Indelicato
“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)
- The character of Elias is truly just an extension of the real person, and he’s a classic rock fan who has been playing the guitar since the age of 15.
- He writes his own songs, and sings a new one for each town he goes to.
- It was John Cena who encouraged Elias to use the WWE/Walk with Elias after a conversation backstage.
- Elias spent thousands of dollars trying out with the WWE, and was denied four times.
“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”
0:00: Show Introduction/Random Thoughts
37:45: Sponsored Ads
39:45: Interview with Elias
49:00: Creating the gimmick
59:00: Walk with Elias
1:04:00: His early days
1:20:00: Thanks and Close
“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)
Show Introduction/Random Thoughts 0:00-37:45
The boys open up the show by talking about current events in their lives. Christian recently went to France for an appearance, and got to meet some great fans.
Edge didn’t realize that Gail Kim recently retired, and wanted to make sure that this didn’t go unmentioned, as she was a great performer. They talk about her great feud with Awesome Kong, and feel that she was instrumental in taking Women’s Wrestling to another level, well before the Women’s Revolution. They give kudos to her for going out on her own terms.
Edge also heard that Tamina wrestled in the Royal Rumble with a torn rotator cuff, and was impressed with her work ethic. Christian remembers having a torn pectoral muscle, but wanting to still put Alberto Del Rio over before his surgery. He went to his doctor, and got the okay to let Del Rio attack him and be the “cause” of the injury. His point being is that just like Tamina, when something is important, you’ll put off surgery or work through an injury to see something through.
Edge had been watching some classic matches on the WWE Network, including one with Randy Savage against Jim Duggan, and couldn’t get over the positive reaction for Hacksaw. They talk about how guys like Duggan and Don Muraco don’t always get the necessary recognition that they should.
They head over to the ol’ Twitter feed, where a fan tweeted out some possible names for the next wave of XFL Teams. These include the: Nashville Nasty Boys, Montana Mounties, Denver Demolition, Richmond Repo Men, Boston Berserkers, Death Valley Undertakers, Philly Peeps, & finally, El Paso Edge.
Another tweet from a fan asks “what are wrestlers saying when they’re walking down the aisle, or talking tough?” Edge admits that when he would do his entrance, he would say weird and wild things like, “I’m curious about robots” or “I like to run with dinosaurs!” Christian would also talk the entire way down to the ring, and didn’t even know what he was saying. From a tough talk perspective, it usually revolves around the storyline, with wrestlers just using standard quips.
This leads into another discussion regarding promos, and when they each got fully comfortable speaking in front of the crowd. For Edge, it really started when he began to tap into his actual feelings. This specifically relates to when he returned from injury in 2004, and got booed in his hometown. He realized that they didn’t like what they were seeing, or were bored, so he was going to give them a reason to hate him. He then took those feelings and threw in a little bit of reality to get them invested in what he was trying to convey. For Christian, he was very shy as a kid, and is still somewhat shy to this day when he meets someone he doesn’t know. The characters in wrestling are what drew him in originally, so when he eventually became one, it challenged him to overcome that fear.
Of course, he didn’t talk for a while, but when E & C became a thing, it started to help. From there, the fan reaction help put him at ease, and he slowly became comfortable. He also started to act how he wanted to act, and didn’t put too much pressure on himself.
Sponsored Ad 37:45-39:45
Interview with Elias 39:45-1:20:00
We then move to our interview with Elias, who is in Orlando, and getting ready to hit Saskatoon, which is presently at -6 degrees. Edge remembers the first time he met Elias, and how the former Drifter kept to himself, and didn’t say much. While he’s quiet, he does very well in front of the crowd, so the hosts would like to know about his mentality regarding his promos. For Elias, it’s just about being himself out there, but keeping the mindset of the character, and treating the crowd like they should be privileged to sit there and hear him.
Since he is himself, was he ever trying to be someone that he wasn’t? Not entirely, but the character did evolve. When he first started doing the Drifter, he was originally supposed to just sit in the corner and strum the guitar. A short while later, Terry Taylor approached him at a live event and asked, “How about you sing a song tonight?” He took that and it grew into what it is today.
Since he sings songs every week, how much time does it take to write a new one? It depends, but thanks to the scheduling, he has advanced notice of where he’s going to be, so he has a certain amount of time to draft it up. In addition, he already has an idea of what he wants to sing about, so that helps. In his NXT days, he would go out of the building where the fans were lined up, and sit and play songs. It began because he wasn’t being used, so he felt he’d start from the ground up, and get to know the fans who came to the shows. In fact, people would actually give him money as he was playing! From his perspective he felt like he was entertaining them, and if he happened to wrestle that night, the fans would relate to the early interaction, and it would build from there.
How did he end up creating the gimmick of Elias? He’s always been into music, and incorporated that into his wrestling character, debuting on the independent scene as Heavy Metal Jesus. When he got signed by the WWE, he evolved that character, and began playing the guitar, which he has been doing since he was 15 years old. From a character look and perspective, he was a fan of the Sons of Anarchy television show, and envisioned being one of its characters. Dusty Rhodes took a liking to it, Triple H put it on TV and it went from there.
Edge mentions that Elias’ time in NXT was short, but that the character really took off when he moved from NXT to Raw, which is rare. Elias acknowledges that, and remembers Triple H telling him that the gimmick would be better for the main roster as opposed to NXT. When in NXT, he was set on having a Takeover match, and wanted to be featured part of the show. The fans may be different, with regards to them being perceived as a hardcore wrestling audience, but he was all in.
Christian makes a point to acknowledge how talented Elias is in the ring, which can sometimes be overlooked, since he portrays his character so well, and believes that he has the potential to be a top star. Elias appreciates that, and explains that he was a wrestling fan long before he got into the business. He studied it, continues to do so, and always wants to learn more. The wrestling is just as important to him as anything else. While growing up, he wanted to be like Shawn Michaels, and just so happened to really like classic rock. His Dad noticed this, and bought him a guitar. The funny thing is, Elias never saw those two things crossing paths until the day he walked into NXT. He knew character is important, and wanted to stand out.
Since he mentioned his love for classic rock, who are some of his favorites? Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. With regards to new stuff, he has become a fan of Chris Stapleton.
Where does Walk with Elias come from? It all started with the Drifter character, where he would “walk from town to town” and would ask the crowd, “who wants to walk with the Drifter?” When he moved to Raw, they dropped the Drifter, and he was just Elias. It just so happens that WWE and Walk with Elias line up. One time he was backstage and John Cena was talking about the WWE, so he just so happened to mention to John what WWE really stands for. Cena’s response? “My head just exploded in ten different ways. That is great, and you need to say it to the crowd.” From there, the fans embraced it immediately. E & C mention that he appears to be comfortable out in front of the fans, and even appears to ad-lib. This is true, and Elias notes that due to this, the people in charge have given him some freedom with his promos to feel the crowd and add something if necessary. He never feels rushed to get through any script.
Now that he’s on the main roster. Where does this character go? Elias sees it evolving, and doesn’t want to run it into the ground, but wants to make sure to get the most out of it. In his mind, the crowd reactions and storylines can take him different places. In fact, looking at real rock stars, they’ve been known to go through different phases, from the ones with huge egos and demands, to even the ones that have hit rock bottom. This can lead to a variety of changes in the character.
Since the show likes to bounce around, the boys want to go all the way back to the beginning, and inquire about his training. He trained in Pittsburgh, and in a fun fact, one of his first times getting in the ring revolved around an independent segment featuring none other than Christian & A.J. Styles. He would constantly train & go to seminars. While doing this, he would pay $1,000 to tryout at Florida Championship Wrestling, which was the WWE’s camp before NXT. He would get turned down and would end up doing it another two times, being denied after each tryout.
After continuing to train and wrestle, he’d do extra work with the WWE, and would use that opportunity to pick William Regal’s brain. This led to him being asked to do a dark match with Dean Ambrose. He would then get asked for the first time to attend a tryout, and still didn’t get hired, but he kept working. Regal put it in a good word for him, which led to another tryout, and his eventual signing. Christian makes sure to stress how important it was that Elias remained motivated and kept coming back. It says to the company that this is a guy who loves wrestling. Elias mentions that it’s a weird thing being told no, but he remembers a great piece of advice that Shawn Michaels said. “Just remember, no means not yet.” Elias took that to heart, and remained focused. He knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey, but that he’d get there eventually.
They quickly talk about future opponents that Elias would like to wrestle with, which includes Shinsuke Nakamura, and of course, Chris Jericho. From there, they wrap up the conversation by looking towards Elimination Chamber, which Elias will be featured in.
E & C thank their guest, and talk about how he’s a really good dude. They look forward to seeing where he’ll eventually take the character. We then close out the show, and the boys advise fans to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.
Jeff’s Take: 8 Kazoos out of 10
Fantastic interview. I have been a fan of Elias since his debut, and am really impressed with his evolution, and how quickly he has gotten over. Listening to his story about paying thousands of dollars to even tryout with the company says a lot about his mentality and motivation. The fact that the company also has already begun given him some freedom in his promos says a lot as well. I have high hopes for Elias’ future, and look forward to seeing what’s next for him. On a side note, this is the second episode in a row where someone has mentioned the great advice that they received from Shawn Michaels. I hope the company and wresters pay attention to that, as it shows what a great effect he can have on others. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at email@example.com. See you next week!
About the Author
Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.