Elias stands as a notable example of WWE’s challenges in finding a fitting direction for specific talents. After his release from WWE last year, Elias has now unveiled the identity of the person behind the Ezekiel character.

After a prolonged absence, Elias made his return to WWE programming in April 2022, but with a twist: he portrayed his own younger brother, Ezekiel. Ezekiel was introduced as a distinct character, albeit bearing a striking resemblance to Elias. Throughout their on-screen appearances together, Kevin Owens remained skeptical of Ezekiel’s identity, even as both Elias and Ezekiel shared the screen.

In a turn of events, Owens launched a brutal assault on Ezekiel, sending him to a local medical facility and paving the way for Elias’s eventual return. WWE subsequently released Elias from his contract in September 2023. Elias, who has since rebranded as Elijah, has confirmed that he and Ezekiel were indeed the same person.

During a Q&A session at For The Love Of Wrestling, Elijah shed light on the genesis of the Ezekiel character, attributing its creation to Vince McMahon himself. Elijah recounted how McMahon expressed a desire to elevate Elias to a prominent position within WWE, envisioning him as the next big star. As part of this vision, McMahon proposed a significant transformation for Elias, suggesting a new look, attire, and demeanor.

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Embracing McMahon’s enthusiasm, Elijah underwent a radical makeover, which included cutting his hair and shaving his beard. McMahon then unveiled his ultimate plan: Elias would portray his own younger brother, Ezekiel. Elijah admitted to feeling initially taken aback by the concept but embraced McMahon’s vision, recognizing the potential for intriguing storytelling and character development.

“Yeah, that was a complete Vince McMahon idea. What had happened was, there was a period of time here where ‘The Boss’ really got into Elias and he said, ‘I want to make you the next guy.’ So he took the guitar away for a little while, and we said alright, we’re coming back, we’re gonna get a new look, new gear. As I did that, he was like, ‘Hey, let’s just go the whole way with it. Let’s clean up the hair, let’s shave the beard. We’ll give a whole new presentation.’ When I did that, it was like, oh, this is a whole different person. So you’re gonna be a different lesson. It’s like, ‘Okay, gotcha boss. What are you thinking.’ ‘Your own younger brother.’ You can imagine how I’m taking this as I’m hearing it. So it was his idea, he was very excited about it.

Elijah emphasized his commitment to making the most of any opportunity presented to him in WWE, regardless of the circumstances. He viewed the Ezekiel character as a new challenge and an opportunity to showcase his versatility as a performer. While he embraced McMahon’s directives, Elijah also harbored hopes that his efforts in portraying Ezekiel would lead to further opportunities and career advancements within WWE.

When ‘The Boss’ is excited, you’re gonna be excited, you’re gonna be excited because it seems like some fun things could go down. My whole thing with wrestling and WWE is like, I’m always going to make the best of whatever situation I’m put in and hope the opportunities come and flow from that. So once ‘The Boss’ says okay, we’re gonna be Zeke, you’re gonna be that, you got it, boss. Now as soon as I get out there and show you what I can do with this, I want more opportunities to come. But that’s just kind of the attitude I took. Whatever you throw at me, I’m gonna try and make the best of it.”

Elijah is also open to making his way to AEW. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for the former WWE Superstar, as fans want him to succeed in the industry.

Are you looking forward to Elijah’s post-WWE run? Sound off in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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