Elias recently appeared on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. During it, the WWE superstar looked back on his journey to WWE and the success of his album, “Universal Truth.”
In one highlight, Elias revealed that he was almost fired from WWE NXT several times.
“One thing that I became very aware of when I got there was that the people that said no at my tryout were now running, they were now in charge of my job,” admitted Elias. “And their minds didn’t change, you know what I mean? Their minds didn’t change. William Regal, he always had said yes, and he liked me, and he got me through. But the people that said, ‘No, this guy ain’t for me,’ well they were now running the show, and they’re in charge. I didn’t know anybody in the business as far as nobody got me, no family members, or friends or anything like that. Kind of like an outsider to their crew, and you know, they can be protective of who they bring into their circle and stuff like that.
“I was put on the list to be fired multiple times in NXT for whatever reason. I was made aware two different times, which you can imagine, walking into work every day knowing that that guy right there wants to fire me, that really, it makes you, it’s just everything. You could be working on eggshells, you could be working extra hard because you’re like, ‘No you ain’t gonna take it away from me now.'”
Elias revealed that he was put on the spot, as he had to come up with a new character to save his NXT career. He reflected on how he had to spontaneously come up with another gimmick after his initial pitch.
“[One of the people that runs NXT],] he says, ‘Here’s the deal. I’m gonna turn the lights off. When I turn the lights back on, you’re gonna give me something new.’ And I’m just like, no idea. So he turns the lights off. When he turns them back on, I start yelling at everybody in Italian. I go through every single person…I’m just yelling at these guys, and I’m getting in their faces and whatever it is. And I sit down and I’m just looking at them. And Dusty Rhodes goes, ‘Holy s—.’ And Nick Dinsmore says, ‘I got goosebumps.’ And the guy that put me on the spot, he said, ‘There it is.'”
Elias also discussed how “Universal Truth” includes real frustrations stemming from his WWE career.
“The music that I wrote, I don’t know if you know the song specifically or anything like that, but each one of them has kind of their own little story and meaning to me. And specifically, “Amen” is a song I wrote where the first line was, ‘How many times they gonna kill me?’ That was just the first line of that song, and it came off kind of my experience in WWE at that point, from a storyline perspective, from a professional perspective in its own way.
“It’s like, you know, and don’t get me wrong, they want nothing more than for you to succeed…but you get put through the test. And from a storyline perspective, they were like killing me off on TV every so often, like literally having Baron Corbin knock me off a ledge and injure me and put the thing in my throat so I couldn’t sing and whatever it may be.”
The full episode is available here: