James Ellsworth has gone from indie obscurity to main event star and it’s doing more harm than good.
Each week, Ellsworth continues his improbable run in the WWE by hobnobbing with management, colluding with fan favorites, and interfering in championship matches. But what is the end game? In this author’s opinion, Ellsworth is simply the next Hornswoggle, kept on television for comic relief and the occasional “shocking” moment. To be fair, I do see his appeal because he represents someone who the WWE Universe can relate with in the same vein as Daniel Bryan. They see Ellsworth and think to themselves that with enough hard work, they too could be WWE superstars.
Fun fact: the Chinless Wonder (real name James Morris) began his wrestling career on the independent circuit back in 2002 under the name “Pretty” Ricky Dream. When you’re done laughing we can move on.
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Most of the WWE Universe was introduced to Ellsworth during a July episode of RAW when he was folded in half like an old wallet by Braun Strowman. The fans seemed to gravitate towards the scrappy underdog because of his fiery pre-match promo where he defiantly declared “any man with two hands has a fighting chance”. Strowman defeated Ellsworth in just over a minute but Ellsworth would be seen again on Smackdown in September.
To his credit, Ellsworth is extremely aware of his place within the WWE pecking order and he knows how far down he sits. Apparently, that’s just fine with him and with Vince. Ellsworth was recently interviewed by The Two-Man Power Trip of Wrestling and gave some insight into his humble approach:
“Every week after Smackdown I make sure to find [Vince] and to say, ‘Hey sir, how did I do?'”
He would do well to stay on Vince’s good side. The one thing Vince McMahon loves more than a huge, muscular main eventer is a sycophant. I’m not insulting Ellsworth here, quite the opposite in fact. He knows who butters the bread around the WWE and is trying to stay in his good graces. It may be that Ellsworth is the most devious wrestler on the roster, slowly making his way into the circuitry of the WWE to one day become the ultimate deus ex machina that ensures his employment until the end of time. During that same interview, Ellsworth continued to lavish praise upon the WWE patriarch:
“That is what it has been every week and coming from him it means the world because he is the man. He is the main guy in this profession. He is the top guy that nobody is over and I have so much respect for him and what he has done with sports entertainment and it is just cool to get that little conversation with him every week but I always make sure to go to him and I always will no matter what.”
While fans may revel in “one of their own” holding such sway on Smackdown, they need to remember Ellsworth isn’t the second coming of Daniel Bryan. The chance of Ellsworth holding anything resembling a WWE championship is approximately zero, as it should be. He serves as the buffer for the Styles/Ambrose feud that has been going since early October and may not see much else when it’s all over. At least for now, Ellsworth is content with his lot in life and the fans don’t seem to mind. But like all one-hit wonders, his appeal will soon fade and we will be left to wonder, “what was that all about?”