James Ellsworth revealed that during his time with Vince McMahon’s company, WWE writers discussed the possibility of booking him to win the WWE Championship. In 2016, Ellsworth was involved in a storyline with AJ Styles. On the October 18, 2016, episode of SmackDown, he even defeated the then-WWE Champion in a non-title match.
The title, however, did not change hands due to a disqualification. Ellsworth stated on the Cheap Heat Productions Podcast that there were discussions in McMahon’s production meetings about him possibly stealing the gold from Styles.
“People would come up to me like, ‘Hey, man, in the meetings they’re talking about you winning the title.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, okay.’ People did say it to me. Vince McMahon himself never said it to me, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I’m a realist – they’re not gonna put the title on me, and they shouldn’t.”
In the world of pro wrestling, anything can happen, according to Ellsworth. He knew he didn’t fit the mold of a typical WWE Champion at five-foot-eight and 165 pounds. During the 59-year history of the WWE Championship, only 54 men have held it, including legends like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, and Steve Austin.
Given the prestigious title’s history, James Ellsworth did not believe McMahon thought he was world championship material. Ellsworth debuted in WWE in July 2016 and lasted until November 2017, before returning for a brief appearance in June-July 2018. McMahon said he could return in the future to continue his storyline with Carmella, according to the 37-year-old.