wrestling / Columns

Is James Ellsworth Bad For WWE?

October 21, 2016 | Posted by Greg De Marco
James Ellsworth

There’s a recent phenomenon going on in the WWE. Surprisingly, it’s not the return of Goldberg (even if that went far better than anyone could have asked for it to). It’s not the rise of AJ Styles or the amazing duo of “JeriKO.”

No, the phenomenon I am talking about is the meteoric rise in popularity of one James Ellsworth…

…or as I like to call him, the guy who cashed in on his 15-minutes of fame far more effectively than Sonny Boy.

Ellsworth debuted against Braun Strowman, one in a long line of jobbers paving the way for Vince McMahon’s next monster. I mean, Big Show and Kane can’t do this forever, right?


James Ellsworth suffered the same fate against Braun Strowman as every other jobber put in front of the big man. But Ellsworth did it differently. He has a different look, with oddball hair and zero chin. He looked like he was really putting everything behind those punches, putting pedal to the metal despite driving the wrong way down a dead end road.

But James Ellsworth told us that any man with two fists has a fighting chance. And he used those fists to impress against Braun Strowman, so much so that out of all of the journeymen brought in to build Strowman, only one got his own hashtag.

#PushJamesEllsworth took off to the point where Ellsworth returned on Smackdown to team with AJ Styles against John Cena and Dean Ambrose, even if his spot was stolen by The Miz. Ellsworth didn’t stop there, as he went on to defeat AJ Styles not once…but TWICE.

And as Dean Ambrose reminds us, Ellsworth owns more wins over AJ Styles than John Cena.

But with the success of James Ellsworth comes one question: Is James Ellsworth bad for the WWE?

The answer to that question is an emphatic NO. James Ellsworth is everything great about the WWE, and everything great about professional wrestling.

This isn’t even about comedy, which has a well-defined place in professional wrestling. This isn’t about “the little guy” getting over.

No, this is about you and me. The “Everyman” who goes to work every day wishing they could be in the corner office, knowing they’d do a better job than the undeserving boss. This is for the kid in high school—also with no chin—who wants one shot to show the hottest girl around what he’s made of.

James Ellsworth is for every man, woman and child who wants to believe that they truly only need two hands to have a fighting chance. Ellsworth is everyone who isn’t larger than life—he is life.

That’s why we didn’t get a push Americos hashtag (despite him dping a damn good job in his match with Braun and losing his mask to put Strowman over). That’s why we didn’t get a Johnny Knockout t-shirt (despite his expert sell of the reverse chokeslam). That’s why we wouldn’t go nuts if Jorel Nelson showed up on Smackdown.

Some way, somehow, James Ellsworth got over. And that’s what becoming a star is all about. Will Ellsworth main event WrestleMania? Never. But will he appear in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal? You can’t rule it out. He’s already gotten a world title shot.

Any way you slice it, the fact remains that James Ellsworth is everything fun and great about professional wrestling. He’s inspiring, and he’s entertaining. He knows his role and plays it to perfection. And that’s all anyone can ask.

Need proof? Look at the YouTube views for Tuesday’s Smackdown:
• Dolph Ziggler, Heath SLater & Rhyno vs. The Miz & the Spirit Squad – 437k views
• Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin – 243k views
• Carmella & Nikki Bella in-ring segment – 856k views
• Naomi vs. Alexa Blss – 297k views
• Apollo Crews vs. Kurt Hawkins – 457k views
• Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper – 886k views
• James Ellsworth vs. AJ Styles – 1.4 million views!
Views are as of this writing, overnight on Wednesday night.

Good for you James Ellsworth, because you are good for the WWE.

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