On the July 25th edition of RAW, Braun Strowman would face an opponent announced as a local competitor, James Ellsworth. As expected, Braun decimated Ellsworth in pretty much 60 seconds, adding another win to his record. However, this was the match which would completely change James’s career.
James Ellsworth would carry on with his life as usual, and just be thankful for the opportunity of competing on RAW. What we didn’t know is how significant that match against Braun Strowman would actually turn out to be. Weeks & weeks went by & James Ellsworth was receiving huge amounts of support through his Twitter account. The hashtag #SignEllsworth & #PushEllsworth were created and constantly tweeted. It was safe to say, the audience wanted him back after seeing him in his match against Braun Strowman. The WWE audience had fallen in love with Ellsworth, and quite rightly so. He was just a normal man given an opportunity and as he said himself in his now infamous quote, “any man with 2 hands has a fighting chance”
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) July 26, 2016
@Pjimmydream @WWE I hope to see you on my TV more often.
— Dr HUGENSTEIN🌭 (@DrHugeShow) July 31, 2016
— #AngryMark (@AngryMarkBeer) August 9, 2016
James Ellsworth had a recent interview a few weeks after his match with IYH Wrestling, talking about how he got the chance to Wrestle Braun Strowman & more:
“Well, actually I’ve been doing extra talent stuff for them for a couple of years now. I was actually a Rosebud a couple of times with Adam Rose. Ever since then every time they’re near where I live here in Baltimore, if they’re around the area, they call me and I come in as extra talent. That was my first match on WWE television, and it just happened that day. I went in to RAW; I didn’t expect to wrestle but I got there and they had all the extras around the ring. Arn Anderson just came up to me and said ‘Hey kid, let me see you throw a punch.’ I threw a punch and he said, ‘You know, that wasn’t bad at all.’ I said thank you and he got me in the ring and the next thing I know he looks at me and goes, ‘You want to wrestle Braun Strowman tonight on RAW?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, that would be great.’ That’s how it happened…It all came about so quickly; it was all very sudden and unexpected honestly.”
Oh, and about that “any man with two hands has a fighting chance” line? Yeah, he was the one who came up with that:
“They have scripts to hand out, and they gave me the script. I’m reading it, and they were like do you have any ideas of what you might add to that?…I was like, ‘Well, can I say this line about my hands? I think it would be cool.’ And he said, ‘Well, say the line’, and I said “Any man with two hands has a fighting chance.” And the writer goes, ‘Well, I like it a lot, but I’ve got to clear it with the office; I’ll let you know’…I didn’t see the writer for like an hour and a half after that (so I thought) they must have said no, and he came back and he said, ‘Dude, they actually liked the line and they want you to use it, so now you have to.’ So I said ‘Oh, OK, I got it; no problem’, and I got to say it. So that was really cool that I actually had a little bit of input into it; that was amazing.”
The unconditional support James was receiving daily via his Twitter account must have been pretty emotional for him. After all, he was just expected to wrestle a match, go home and that would be the end of it and go back to his normal life. But that day completely changed the landscape of Ellsworth’s life, and it’s such a joy to witness how genuine he is and what James has accomplished since.
It was on the September 13th episode of SmackDown Live, in which he would return as the mystery tag partner with AJ Styles’ against Dean Ambrose & John Cena, only to be attacked before the match by The Miz & unable to complete. It was the weeks that followed in which Ellsworth gained even more unanimous support. Gaining a championship match against AJ Styles. Unfortunately not winning the championship but winning the match via DQ. James Ellsworth currently has 2 singles victories against AJ Styles, more than John Cena.
James has even been given his own merchandise, a T-shirt on WWEShop.com, a plain T-shirt with a round image of James’s face. Which according to reports has been one of WWE’s best sellers, even outselling some of the top stars merchandise. It’s pretty safe to say that James Ellsworth is one of the most popular guys on the roster right now. But that’s the thing. He’s technically not on the roster, he just appears regularly but he is not signed to WWE, but the chance that will now happen is looking very likely. What a difference one 60 second match and a 20 second promo can have on someone’s career and life is certainly surprising, as has James Ellsworth time in WWE.
It’s pretty clear James Ellsworth is here to stay and isn’t going away anytime soon. That’s a great thing. Personally, he has been one of the most exciting parts of SmackDown as of late, especially his segments with Dean & AJ, I look forward to seeing him every Tuesday and what’s next for him. Just recently, he had a dark match on a Superstars show, in a singles match against Ricky Martinez in which he defeated him. WWE definitely have plans for Ellsworth & I honestly look forward to see what happens.
James Ellsworth has one of the best Superkicks I’ve seen in wrestling, comparable to HBK’s. That’s saying something. Although we haven’t really seen too much offended from Ellsworth as when he has had matches he’s taken most of the beating, but the moves he has displayed have been pretty damn near perfect. The arm drag he performed against AJ in his title match was absolutely perfect, I feel he could really have some great matches with anyone on the roster if all his moves are like that.
The Royal Rumble is just a few months away and if we don’t see a surprise appearance from Ellsworth, I think the entire WWE audience will be disappointed. He is portrayed as the underdog, who is a bit nervous and can occasionally mess up and make bad decisions. (Costing Dean Ambrose the title for example). So I totally see a scenario in which he enters the Royal Rumble in San Antonio in January and eliminates quite a few WWE Superstars, although accidentally.
Whatever way WWE uses James Ellsworth in the future, whether it’s as a comedic act as he is now, or even a serious competitor with an eventual title win, what they do with him will surely be a win for all parties involved, WWE & the audience at home. The potential of an appearance and maybe a match at WrestleMania? (Ellsworth Vs. Strowman II anyone?).
James has been one of the most popular guys in WWE the past few months and hopefully his popularity can continue and he can succeed. The one match that completely changed his life. I’m sure whatever happens he will never forget any if this. James is a sincere and genuine person and he is getting to live his dream by performing infront of the WWE crowd, face legends such as AJ Styles & to be in the ring most recently with legends such as Edge & The Undertaker. He has been given an opportunity of a lifetime and has given everything and gained a huge fan base. WWE will keep him around for a long time aslong as James Ellsworth wants to be. Hey we may even get to see a heel Ellsworth, now that would be interesting to see.