Steve Austin welcomes Elias to the show.
Austin informs that for a long period of time when he watched Elias perform on Monday Night RAW, he thought Elias was saying, “Who wants to walk with a lion?” It was only a couple of weeks ago that Austin was watching RAW and he finally understood that Elias was saying, “Elias” and not “A lion”, and he felt very stupid.
Elias informs that he originally came up with the Elias Samson name and he liked it right from the start. He recalls Gerry Brisco telling him that WWE would eventually change that name, and while they made him drop the ‘Samson’ name as well as his ‘Drifter’ nickname upon his arrival to the main roster, he’s happy that he’s been able to hold onto ‘Elias’.
Elias mentions that he was a baseball player growing up, and he played in college as well. Unfortunately he suffered an injury and from that point on he knew that he wanted to pursue professional wrestling. He spent a year and a half training for 4 days a week, and finally he was ready to start working some indie events. Austin points out that Elias’ work looked crisp and tight very early on, so all that time training certainly paid off.
He points out that he wasn’t even paid for his debut match on the indies, and from that point on he was paid $45-50 per show. He was never a big name on the indies so he wasn’t able to demand hundreds of dollars each night, but he was able to support himself with odd jobs on the side, either working at gyms or stocking shelves at retail stores.
At one point during his indie career he began travelling to work with Rip Rogers, who began to explain the fundamentals of wrestling to him. Elias never called a match in the ring before working with Rogers, but after that he was able to have fun working on the fly in the ring. Rogers’ training went a long way in developing Elias’ understanding of in-ring psychology and storytelling.
Elias admits that he still gets choked up when he thinks about Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes was a tremendous performer, coach, and person, and working with him at the Performance Centre was an amazing experience. Elias believes that he was one of Rhodes’ last real character projects before passing away, and he takes a lot of pride in that.
Elias informs that he’s been given an incredible amount of freedom on Monday Night RAW, in terms of his in-ring work as well as his promos. He doesn’t take that for granted because he knows that a lot of the performers don’t have that creative freedom at all. He has no complaints right now and he just hopes to continue his upward momentum in 2018.
He mentions that he likes what he’s doing right now as a heel, and he has never performed this incarnation of his character as a babyface. He feels that his reaction is growing on a weekly basis, and specifically since his RAW match with Roman Reigns a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps that high-profile match put a few more eyes on him than normal.
Elias says that Reigns is in the position he’s in for a reason, and whether fans cheer him or boo him, they all react to him. Elias felt that when he entered the ring with him a couple of weeks ago. He thought their styles meshed together nicely and while he wasn’t nervous for the match, there was a genuine feeling of excitement over the fact that he’d been waiting for that moment his entire life.
He says that he was a big fan of Shawn Michaels growing up, and Michaels’ WWE Title win at WrestleMania 12 was a defining moment for him. Austin says his favourite wrestler of all time is Ric Flair, but he considers Michaels to be the greatest in-ring worker in the history of the business.
Elias informs that Jeff Hardy came up with the name of his finishing move, “Drift Away”. Austin mentions that Hardy was always very thoughtful and creative when coming up with names for his finishing moves.
That sum up today’s episode of The Steve Austin Show. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!