Will Elias Ever Ditch Guitar Gimmick and Win WWE Championship?

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2019


Elias quietly continues to be one of the best things going in WWE.

A guitar-playing heel who is good in the ring, constantly on television and easily sways crowds for or against whatever he wants, Elias seemingly has it all in a way many Superstars don't.

Except for one thing: He's not actually a player in the main event scene.

One would think Elias should be. He has the look. His in-ring skills are apparent on a nightly basis and are interesting for fans. If they weren't, he wouldn't be one of the prominent heels who's almost always involved in the most important spots, which—believe it or not—are matches with guys like Roman Reigns.

In a way, Elias is a little bit like Baron Corbin; he's so detested by fans because of his superb heel work that his in-ring work and overall body of work manage to fly under the radar.

Elias, at least, knows his worth:

Elias @IAmEliasWWE

I am so multi-talented, charismatic, unique - unlike any superstar past or present and beyond that @WWE often doesn’t know what to do with me.. but at Wrestlemania - they get it right - an uninterrupted full performance is almost all I’ve ever wanted.. https://t.co/8Wjij8rQfM

Elias @IAmEliasWWE

It is often said that the loudest a crowd can possibly get on any given night.. that sound.. that volume.. Elias is responsible for that.

That's an in-character tweet. But it would be fun to see Elias break free and start winning some titles, right?

Because Elias is nothing more than a glorified bodyguard for Shane McMahon. He exists to get a reaction from crowds and play a secondary role before eating a ton of finishers. He's there as a bit piece, almost-nameless guy a hero like Reigns plows through before getting to the big bad, Shane.

But it's easy to envision so much more for Elias. And it isn't hard to envision the "how" either. A simple guitar shot to the back of Shane or another big villain and a pursuit of a top title thereafter makes perfect sense should WWE want to pull the trigger on a babyface Elias. His charismatic ways would soon win over crowds on a nightly basis.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to all this is selling WWE on the idea. Because it's oh so easy to use Elias in a holding pattern-esque way. Why build him into a meaningful main event player when it can have him put on a musical performance that gets interrupted by a John Cena or an Undertaker?

In reality, this theme will probably continue for quite a long time. On paper, it's pretty easy to see WWE using an Elias performance to bring out someone special for the first time SmackDown airs on Fox this fall.

Someone special like, say, The Rock:

Elias @IAmEliasWWE

The Rock and Elias will not be at @wwe #RAWReunion because @TheRock is afraid to step into the ring with me.

Maybe this is a case of Elias being too good at what he does. Maybe there is a Dolph Ziggler-type fate in store here. Ziggler is so good at selling for others and cutting the same promo all the time that he rarely gets to contend for the big one. Ad when he does, it's this erratic start-stop push that doesn't go anywhere.

That comes with a catch, though. This is also the era of Kofi Kingston, when a natural groundswell of momentum from fans can lead to some unexpected results. If Elias is given a chance to break free of Shane and gain some support, anything is possible near the top of the card, especially on SmackDown.

Maybe this means letting go of the guitar gimmick in the long run. But along the same lines as a Drew McIntyre, Elias has been cast in a role and kept there in large part because WWE easily has the most talented wrestling roster ever assembled.

Even so, the upside remains. Maybe it won't happen soon thanks to SmackDown's move to Fox and the likely idea only major stars like Reigns will be in the title scene around that time, but a serious Elias title shot is starting to feel overdue.