Elias Proves Entertainment Remains an Essential Element to a WWE Star's Success

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2018

Are you ready to walk with the ever-entertaining Elias?
Are you ready to walk with the ever-entertaining Elias?Credit: WWE.com

Whether you are walking with Elias or attempting to drown out his weekly concerts with boos, there can be no denying he has been a recurring highlight on WWE Raw over the past year.

Unlike a vast majority of today's Superstars, wrestling is not his strong suit. Neither are normal promos (i.e., not singing). Rather, his ability to entertain audiences has helped him become such a treat to watch every Monday night on Raw.

Elias is incredibly different from the rest of the roster yet can be compared to the likes of Damien Sandow (in terms of his appearance) and Jeff Jarrett (in terms of his gimmick) from years past. While those individuals weren't the most proficient in the ring, they also managed to stand out because of their compelling characters.

Credit: WWE.com

Wresting and promo skills are essential elements of a successful WWE Superstar, but the art of creating an amusing or enjoyable character has largely been lost in recent years.

For example, most WWE fans tend to gravitate toward Dean Ambrose because he is a scrappy underdog, but his character couldn't be less defined. It's difficult to tell what he is all about because that has never been made clear, and his silly nickname, The Lunatic Fringe, isn't enough.

Elias, on the other hand, is obviously an drifter, a vocalist and an occasional wrestler trying to make it big in WWE. Better yet, regardless of how popular some of his catchphrases have become, he never ceases to elicit genuine heat from the audience.

Look no further than the most recent Raw episode. On a night filled with excellent in-ring action, it was Elias' segment with Braun Strowman that stole the show.

In addition to Elias doing his usual shtick, Strowman responded by playing a tune of his own on a double bass. He proceeded to attack Elias in the ring and smash the instrument over his back as he crawled up the stage.

Unsurprisingly, the audience ate all of this up because it brought back memories of a simpler time in WWE, when comedy and, more importantly, entertainment weren't so watered-down or complicated.

That isn't to say matches aren't important, but they aren't everything when it comes to a creating an all-around exceptional WWE performer. Elias' in-ring encounters with Dean Ambrose, Finn Balor and Jason Jordan weren't what got him to where he is today as much as his hilarious concerts have.

It should be noted having Elias look good against the aforementioned talent and win more often than not have unquestionably lent him more credibility as a competitor. Wins and losses matter more than WWE seems to think they do—and so does a gimmick fans can invest in.

As basic as Elias' character is, he has successfully taken what he's been given and turned it into gold.

At Elimination Chamber, Elias will be involved in the Universal Championship No. 1 Contender's Chamber match. In a bout stacked with star power, he will find a way to stand out, likely by verbally bashing his opponents in song form as he waits for his pod to open last.

That would perhaps be even more valuable than scoring an elimination, though his recent pinfall victory over John Cena certainly helped. Either way, he is primed to have a strong showing at that event and beyond because of his sheer entertainment value.

In such a character-driven company, it should come as no surprise Elias has been able to swim in the shark-infested water that is WWE and will continue to thrive and evolve moving forward.

               

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.

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