As far as WWE dark horses go, Elias is right up at the top of the list. His journey so far has been an interesting one, however, since his call-up to the main roster and joining Monday Night RAW, Elias has become a main attraction. While he hasn’t been pushed to the stars and given big-time championship opportunities his booking has been very smart, and momentum has always been on his side. Entertaining promos and segments have allowed Elias to stay on top but it’s his matches against the likes of Matt Hardy, Finn Balor, and even John Cena that really have shown him to be the dark horse of the WWE. After a year competing on the bigger stage, however, the question remains, just how far can and will Elias go?
Kickstarting his career down in NXT Elias didn’t have the best of starts. The WWE has made no changes to his character since his arrival on the main roster however, the reception has been completely different. During his time in NXT, Elias struggled to get over and generate a big enough reaction that would result in a push. Sure, he was apart of several standout matches but nothing many fans can truly remember. His most entertaining angle was the El Vagabundo spot the WWE did in his last match which, to be fair, was very well done. We got to see more charisma and an element to his character that really did work. Keeping all this in mind, however, Elias continued to receive weak booking and the reaction from the NXT universe didn’t change drastically.
In 2017, Elias was moved over to the main roster and very quickly things turned around for the better. Instead of throwing him into mid-card matches no one blink two eyelids at, the WWE took a slower approach and that’s something that really hasn’t changed over the last year. He’s arguably one of the best-booked stars on the roster right now with singles victories and strong matches against top talents including Finn Balor, Matt Hardy, The Miz, and John Cena. At the start of his main roster run, fans would see Elias playing his guitar in the background of segments, promos, and interviews minding his own business and having the best timing. Initially, it was this that got him over and twelve months later Elias has live crowds around the world eating out of the palm of his hand.
The reaction for Elias is universal. Fans all around the world are finding him entertaining and the booking has remained smart and sensible. He picks up victories here and there that really matter yet also finds himself working strong matches as well as comedic angles and brilliantly done promos/segments that are getting him over more and more. From the beginning, the WWE has shown to be rather high on Elias and again that hasn’t changed. While he has not been given championship match after championship match, The Drifter has been apart of standout moments in the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and was a part of the Elimination Chamber, if fans and the company were not high on him, these things would not be happening but what can we expect in the future?
The WWE universe has made their voices heard. Elias has a growing following and the more we see of him the bigger opportunities we want to see him given. He is a rare type of superstar who could one week be booked in a three-minute squash match with Bobby Lashley yet the next week score a victory over John Cena; his booking is so unpredictable and that’s such an entertaining and brilliant aspect of his character.
What the WWE needs to focus on are Championship opportunities. Within the next year, Elias must find himself chasing after gold to keep his momentum high and take him to the next level or he could end up going backwards and heading further down the mid-card section of the roster. What is important is making sure Elias is constantly being given competition. Over the next year we can expect to see him continue to work standout matches against top stars, however, with a roster full of talents such as Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Bobby Roode amongst many it will not be as easy for him to take the spotlight and get his hands on a title before these men.
We are currently looking at a situation that implies that Elias could either continue where he is at which means he will remain the star we see work brilliant matches, take on top stars, and apart of standout segments yet never pushed as a top star himself or the WWE could take a risk and instead send him down a similar path as Jinder Mahal where the modern day Maharaja shocked fans by becoming the WWE Champion only last year. We can surely expect to see more awesome segments including a possible run-in with the Rock down the line, I mean come on, who doesn’t want to see the Rock interrupt Elias at some point with his own guitar?
It’s evident Elias has so much potential. As we touched one earlier, during the El Vabagondo angle we saw him work down in NXT opened up a new side of his character we could one day see on the main roster however with his popularity increasing so much it’s IC championship matches against Seth Rollins, collisions with Roman Reigns, and shocking victories and moments that the WWE universe want to see from Elias. He is currently the dark horse of Monday night RAW however he posses all the skills and potential to take the spotlight and hold a very interesting and unique role within the WWE.