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Elias on changes to character, NXT to USA, King of the Ring

Thanks to Chuck Carroll for sending us the following:

I wanted to pass along an interview I did with Elias for CBS ahead of his King of the Ring match on SmackDown.

We talked about the evolution of his character and how the musical performance aspect of it is going to be limited moving forward. He told me he doubts last week was his final performance despite it being billed as such. But he said “if you want to take those next steps you have to evolve.” He also said that he hasn’t come close to accomplishing his goals in WWE.

We also spoke about NXT’s move to USA Network, whether he thinks Raw and SmackDown talents will appear on NXT, his King of the Ring memories, and his legitimate love of classic rock.

We’re talking about changes to NXT, but it looks like you’re undergoing some changes as well. You supposedly had your final performance this past week. Is that really it for Elias in the ring with the guitar?

Well, you can never say never. But listen, there comes a time in every wrestler’s career, if you really want to take those next steps, you’re going to have to evolve. You can’t constantly be doing the same thing. While I really do enjoy performing in the ring and all that, there’s going to come a time where I can’t be doing that every single week.

Your next opponent in King of the Ring is Ali. You guys have two completely different styles. How do you mesh those styles when you have somebody who is so different performance-wise than you in the ring?

You know what? I think the style is actually going to really come together well, because I’m a brawler and more of a power guy. He’s a littler guy, high-flyer. I think it’s going to mix up nice. Now we’ve never been in the ring together, we’ve never touched anything like that. Hey, who knows I was going to go down once it’s time. But yeah, I think myself versus Ali is going to… It might surprise a few people.

What are your other goals in WWE?

Main event being WrestleMania is the ultimate goal here. If that means winning the Universal Championship, if that means winning the WWE Championship, that’s a part of it. But really staking my claim as the number-one guy in the WWE, in the business as a whole, that everybody can say, WWE is cool and Elias is the guy making it cool.

You can check out the interview here:

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