Elias is The Drifter in WWE, and it’s hard to imagine not having his musical promos around at this point. There was a time when Elias paid $1,000 for an FCW tryout only to get absolutely destroyed.
Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory recently spoke with Elias where he detailed his experience at a WWE tryout years ago. He had to pay $1,000 to get there, which is a lot of money, but it was worth it to get grilled and beat up for days.
Elias was told that he can’t work, he doesn’t know psychology, and he can’t cut a promo. This hard lesson was followed by them telling him to keep working on his craft. Obviously, all that hard work paid off.
“I saw FCW having tryouts. All you had to do was pay $1000 to get there and you could have a tryout. It was a lot of money, but I paid it, I flew to Florida, had the tryout, it was maybe three days where they just grill you and have you go through the whole ringer. When I was done with that, they just destroyed me. ‘You look bad, you can’t talk, you don’t understand psychology, you need experience.'”
“They really laid into me. I thought you just tryout, get a chance, and are made a WWE superstar. That did not happen and was a rude awakening. I was reading over the notes and thinking, ‘This is what I have to work on.’ I had high hopes that I’d walk in and they’d be like, ‘That kid has got it, bring him in and make him a star,’ but it wasn’t the case. I went through the notes, saved up my money, and two years later they were doing another tryout.”
“I have the tryout and feel good about this one. I showed them and improved on everything and they were like, ‘nope.’ They said no, but they did note that I improved on everything. They said, ‘Keep working, keep going, keep at it.’ It was back to the drawing board. I never once thought, ‘They told me no twice, maybe this isn’t for me.’ I continued to work on all the things they told me and thought ‘what could I bring them next time?'”
“I was back it, got to wrestle D-Von, I was an extra at Raw and SmackDown. Eventually, Dean Ambrose was about to debut with The Shield and was doing dark matches. He needed someone to wrestle and they picked me. We had a match, when I came to the back, Pat Patterson was like, ‘You looked like an athlete out there.'”
“Two weeks later, Canyon Ceman called me and was like, ‘We were impressed with you at TV. We would like to fly you out for a tryout and pay you for the week and give you a shot.’ Of course, I was in. It was the first paid tryout they had done where they specifically picked people.”
Elias recently saw a vision for his future after getting electrocuted during a Symphony of Destruction match. That vision gave Elias enlightenment, and now he is spreading the message to others.
Jaxson Ryker is now with Elias as he walks alongside him and learns whatever the Universal Truth has to say. None of that would have been possible if Elias gave up after a really hard tryout.
Thanks to Fightful for the quote