As noted, Elias recently appeared as a guest on Edge and Christian’s podcast, E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, for an in-depth interview. Featured below are some of the additional highlights.
On developing a music-based character on the independent scene and getting a vote of confidence from Dusty Rhodes when he arrived in NXT: “I was on the independent circuit. I had a character called, ‘Heavy Metal Jesus,’ it was very similar just in the fact that it was Rock & Roll based, and that I look like Jesus, so it wasn’t even me playing the guitar, it was all imitating for me, even though I had been playing the guitar since I was 15 years old, so when I went to NXT they said that I couldn’t do the Jesus thing, so I kind of started figuring out what I wanted to do. I loved the show Sons of Anarchy, and it just had a very modern, very edgy feel to it, so I thought, how can I tap into this kind of vibe in wrestling? I brought out the guitar and I always visualized myself sitting on the set of that television, so sitting there with my guitar totally fit with my character. I brought the character to Dusty Rhodes and he took a liking to it right off the bat, he was a big supporter of mine up until his passing. Of course Triple H put it on NXT TV and it kept going from there.”
On his love for pro wrestling and studying the legends of the sport: “Truth is, I was a wrestling fan far before I played the guitar. I always studied wrestling and always wanted to learn more. I had people cross my path that were able to teach me along the way, or I crossed their path for a lack of a better term. Pro Wrestling is important to me to put on a great match more than anything else.”
On wanting to be like Shawn Michaels as a kid growing up: “I guess I wanted to be like Shawn Michaels growing up. I got into music, classic Rock when I was 14-15 years old maybe. My Dad saw me taking a liking to it, especially Eric Clapton. He bought me a guitar one year and started playing here on out. I never saw my guitar play in Pro Wrestling. I never did until I was in NXT even. In the Independence I was Heavy Metal Jesus, but never played the guitar. It was more of playing Jesus. I knew that character is important in WWE so I really wanted the character to stand out, and wanted to be different and let people know that I have something to offer. It just so happens that I had been playing the guitar for 15 years so why not try to put the two things together?”
Check out the complete Elias interview from E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness at Art19.com.