SmackDown Live Superstar James Ellsworth recently found his way back into the company at Money In The Bank when he helped Carmella defeat “The Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka. He has since revealed to TItle Match Wrestling what it was like to make his original debut with WWE against RAW Superstar Braun Strowman.
Ellsworth first confirms how he was picked as the opponent for the up-and-coming Strowman to face.
“The day of, Arn Anderson says ‘I wanna see everybody throw a punch and whoever throws the best punch gets the match with Braun,’ and he picked me first to throw a punch. I threw it, and he said ‘Oh, I don’t need to see anybody else. Let’s get in the ring,’ and I’m like ‘Holy sh*t!’ I didn’t know who I was getting in the ring with, and he was like ‘You’re wrestling Braun,’ and I knew Braun from the Wyatt Family. I’m like, ‘This is the biggest guy in the company, size-wise, like woah! This is cool.’ He introduced me to Braun, and Braun was very nice. He’s just a big ‘ole country boy. Fun-loving country boy, y’know? He’s very cool. We put together a little match, and next thing I know, Jimmy Jacobs, who I love says ‘Hey man, we’re gonna give you a 15-second promo,’ and this is all happening so quickly, by the way. Like, you’re just standing there around the ring. Next thing you know, you’re wrestling on RAW, you’re getting a promo and you’re wrestling Braun and that all happened within a four-minute stretch of me knowing.”
Ellsworth famously used “Any man with two hands has a fighting chance” to captivate the WWE Universe. This, alongside the remainder of his performance against Strowman, led to him eventually being signed.
“I knew I was hitting Braun twice in the match. So me, by creative juices, never stopped working. I probably get on people’s nerves with it. I just love this so much. Like I always want to try something. So I remember going to Jimmy and I knew Jimmy a little bit from the indies. Like, he worked my promotion before, and all. And I said, ‘Man, I’m hitting him twice. Is there a way I can say “Any man with two hands has a fighting chance?”‘ and he just smiled at me and he said ‘That’s a good line, go ahead and say it,’ and I was like ‘Yeah if it works out, maybe I can put it on Pro Wrestling Tees and sell it or something,’ y’know? Yeah, luckily it just popped in my head and that ended up being the line that stuck in everybody’s heads.”
Continuing, Ellsworth reveals how he felt throughout the day and into the match, noting how WWE announcer JoJo helped calm him down.
“Oh man, like I’ve been on Jericho’s podcast a couple of times. Told the story on Austin’s podcast. So when the match is over- like the whole day I’m a nervous wreck, but I kept on telling myself ‘You know what? I’m going to do the best job I can.’ I’m really just focused on doing a good job. Like, every little thing I do- I want to sell right, I want to say the promo right. I want every little thing I do to be good, so when I look back on that one WWE match that I got, I know that I did a good job and I could be proud of myself.”
“Here’s a funny story I didn’t tell either. So I get in the ring for the match, and up until this point, I’m so nervous. I’m looking around at the crowd, and I’m like ‘Man, this is crazy!’ So I’m really nervous. So what settled my nerves, believe it or not- I looked over at JoJo and she is a beautiful girl. I just looked at her and I kind of forgot where I was for a second. I’m like ‘Man, she’s pretty!’ That calmed me down. So thank you JoJo. I can see why Bray is so happy.”
Finally, Ellsworth explains what the backstage reaction was after his match had finished.
“So I go backstage after the match. Get done with the match, I roll out and the referee- Spider, they call him, reffed the match. That’s what they call him. He’s one of the refs. He’s walking back and he’s like ‘Man, you did a really good job. They’re telling me in my earpiece, ‘Man, this kid is like taking the bumps great and he did a hell of a promo.” So I get to the back, and Arn Anderson comes up to me and he said ‘Son, you made my job so easy tonight. Thank you.’ He said ‘Vince wants to see you,’ and I’m like ‘The f*ck, Vince wants to see me?’ So I start walking to the guerrilla, and I see him walking down the stairs of guerrilla and he’s like ‘Kid, come here!’ and he’s like ‘You did a hell of a job, great job!’ He extends his hand and I’m like…Hogan and Savage, y’know? Then Triple H came out and shook my hand and said ‘Outstanding job, kid.’ I would’ve cried. Vince McMahon is our Walt Disney when you’re a wrestling fan. Y’know? You’re just like, this is insane!”
Did you ever expect Ellsworth to come this far? Do you think he’s best as a heel? Sound off in the comments below.
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