Elias On The King Of The Ring Tournament, His WWE Goals, And Evolving His Character


Elias has opened up about the King of the Ring tournament, his WWE ambitions, and evolving his character since his time in NXT.

Elias is one step closer to becoming the King of the Ring. He defeated Ali last night on SmackDown Live to advance into the semi-finals of the tournament.

In an interview with Chuck Carroll of CBS Sports, Elias spoke about the King of the Ring tournament, his time in NXT, and the importance of evolving his character.

Reflecting on this history of the King of the Ring tournament, Elias admitted that the first one he watched was the tournament won by King Mabel. He’s glad they brought it back, calling it a “very prestigious tournament within the WWE.”

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When asked over his goals in WWE, Elias responded that his ultimate goal is the main event at WrestleMania.

“If that means winning the Universal Championship, if that means winning the WWE Championship, that’s a part of it,” he added. “But really staking my claim as the number-one guy in the WWE, in the business as a whole, that everybody can say, WWE is cool and Elias is the guy making it cool.”

NXT Preperation

Elias spoke about his time in NXT before becoming a part of WWE‘s main roster. He highlighted that, even though NXT shows were pre-recorded, everything about the production and performances was live. He explained that this process helped prepare him for his RAW debut.

“I felt fully prepared to take on live television because that was essentially how we treated it in NXT anyways,” he said. “The fact is now more eyes are going to be on NXT. I just think more people are going to see how good the talent really is across the board.”

When asked if he would make a cameo on NXT after it moves to USA Network, Elias said, “If an opportunity shows up, I’m always ready to take it. If the story was right then yeah, absolutely, I can see that happening. I mean why not? It’s a ratings-driven business. There are certain stars on RAW and SmackDown that draw ratings. NXT is going to do great, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some help in the mix. I could see a crossover happening absolutely. All on the same network as well.”

Evolution Of Elias

Formerly known as ‘The Drifter’ in NXT, Elias has implemented tweaks and changes to his character since becoming a part of the main roster, admitting that “there comes a time in every wrestler’s career, if you really want to take those next steps, you’re going to have to evolve.”

He continued, “You can’t constantly be doing the same thing. While I really do enjoy performing in the ring and all that, there’s going to come a time where I can’t be doing that every single week. Now, as far as that being my farewell performance, I don’t know if I want to say that is my last one, because it was ruined. R-Truth went at me, he messed up all the audio, he messed with my guitar. He tried to win the 24/7 Championship. Is that my farewell? I have to say no. But would there come a time where I have to do that? Quite possibly.”

With his victory over Ali, Elias is set to face off against Chad Gable next week on the 9/10 episode of SmackDown Live. The winner will go on to face the winner of Samoa Joe, Ricochet, and Baron Corbin at Clash of Champions.