Elias Got Personally Offended By Veterans Taking Spots From New Talent, Explains How He Let That Anger Go
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
Elias says only good things came from working with The Undertaker, but there was a time in his career he used to get upset about veterans taking spots away from new talent in WWE.
Elias was this week’s guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia, and he spoke about working with The Undertaker and John Cena and what it meant for him personally and professionally.
“Getting to work with him, he was one of, if not my favorite wrestler growing up. I remember having a match with him at Madison Square Garden, and I can remember it was the main event in Madison Square Garden. It was actually a big tag team match and I opened it up with one of my songs. I was wearing a hat, which I had to get approval from the ‘Deadman’ because it was like a cowboy hat. I wanted to—I played a song on guitar and I just remember a lot of the ideas that I’ve had that I wanted to do.
“I can remember seeing interviews [with Undertaker] my whole life when you hear his music, you get chills and it’s like this whole different thing. I remember thinking, ‘C’mon, I’m in the main event at Madison Square Garden. That’s not going to get me.’ Sure enough, when his music went off and Madison Square Garden went crazy and you hear that gong, I got goosebumps then, and then when he came out, it was like next level. Then when you actually saw him, it’s actually, I can even re-feel that moment now. To work with him, and I can remember being told after WrestleMania  when John Cena interrupted me, [I remember] Vince McMahon telling me, ‘You’re going to be working with some very good people coming up here, treasure that.’
“The Drifter” went on to explain that a match between them was planned but didn’t happen because things change all the time, but still appreciates the moment they shared on RAW.
“Even to be put in that realm was like, man, it’s just awesome. That night, that’s one of my favorites nights in my whole career, the night after WrestleMania when Undertaker interrupted me.”
Elias went on to talk about learning from Undertaker through the new WWE Network interviews and related content, noting that there’s a lot to take away from it. He did go on to explain that it used to offend him when “part-timers” and veterans would come back and take spots from younger talent, but seeing Taker’s recent media tour finally allowed him to let that anger go and understand things from a different perspective.
“This is going to sound selfish, or something like it—but when these guys are around, guys like Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels—when they would come back, I would get personally offended by that. The reason would be, I should either be in there with those guys and learning from them and they should be passing on the knowledge or they just should not be there because it’s a new guy’s time, and that’s how I felt. I had a little bit of anger towards that generation or whatever it may be.
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m getting the loudest reactions out there. I’m the new guy and I’m the young guy. Here come these guys and they take spots at WrestleMania. They take spots at big pay-per-views. Elias is shoved to the side for whatever reason.’ I had, like, an anger about that. I thought, ‘Can they not just help out or step aside, whatever it may be.’ Then I saw [The Last Ride documentary series] and you come to find out how he’s aware of that as well. He knows the young guys want his spot. He also knows that he has to let this go at some time and he has been through the ringer, his body has been through it. He just loves the business so much and you can relate to that. I was like, ‘Let me put myself in this situation and get paid incredibly well.’ [He’s] one of the best of all time. The fans absolutely go insane for the guy. You can only get—it softens me to go, ‘Oh, I get it’ and I don’t have that anger that I did have before.”
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Check out the full episode below: