WWE star Elias was recently interviewed by Argus Leader to promote tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live. Elias discussed his influences on the guitar, how far he has come since being The Drifter in NXT, and smashing other wrestlers with guitars.
Here are the highlights:
His influences on the guitar:
I was super into Eric Clapton when I was a teenager. I’d listen to him non-stop and I’d fall asleep listening to Eric Clapton albums. And that is really what got me into the guitar. As my tastes go on and I grew up and things like that, I’d move onto classic rock and I love Aerosmith. Then I got into the Bruce Springsteen, whom I later developed a friendship with through my WWE connection and things like that. Now I’m into country music. I like Chris Stapleton and Eric Church.
How far he has come since being The Drifter in NXT:
When I was in NXT, I actually thought I could have been on all the Takeovers and main-eventing all of those. Right now, I think I should be main-eventing all the Pay Per Views and main-eventing Wrestlemania. It has certainly been quite the journey from my time period from where I was playing guitar outside of the local venues in Florida trying to get noticed, to where I’m sitting on a stool playing guitar doing the same exact thing in front of 80,000 people at Wrestlemania.
So, I definitely have that perspective in mind. But the same way that people didn’t know what I was capable of in NXT, and then they see me on Monday Night RAW or Smackdown and they go, “Oh my God, this guy is really good.” They’ve only seen a little bit of what I can do because wait until I’m in that position and wait until I am main-eventing Wrestlemania and things like that. You’re going to be like, “Wow, this guy is like the greatest of all time.”
Smashing other wrestlers with guitars:
You know what, it’s always a very nice release of anger. Because you don’t want to see my performance get interrupted. And that really upsets me. So, when things come up, I almost get so angry I can’t take it. I grab my guitar and smash somebody and it’s like, “Okay, now I can take a breath, everything’s all right.”