Elias broke out in a big way after debuting on the WWE main roster. He didn’t have a chance to do much in NXT but if a big main roster run is the result of a shortened stint in developmental it might certainly be a nice consolation.
He blew everyone’s mind when WWE was first revealed to stand for “Walk With Elias” and it turns out that the fans weren’t the only ones who loved the idea. Because when John Cena heard the catchphrase he not only loved it but encouraged Elias to run with the clever saying.
“It all started with The Drifter in NXT, so it’s all kind of evolved right?” Elias stated on E & C’s Pod Of Awesomeness. “The Drifter character was this character, this guy you know I put a guitar on my shoulder and I walked my way from town to town I find my way however I can whether it’s hitchhiking, on a bus, walking whatever I gotta do. So it just became this question I would ask ‘who wants to walk with The Drifter?’ Who wants to be on this journey?”
“And when I got to the main roster Vince said ‘let’s drop this Drifter stuff, you’re gonna be Elias and that’s gonna be it.’ So walk with Elias was the next question, right? And it just so happens to perfectly work out that WWE and ‘walk with Elias’ are right in line there. I said it one time, I remember I said it backstage to John Cena. He was going off about the WWE Universe, and the WWE this and that and I say, ‘hey John do you know what WWE stands for? It stands for Walk With Elias’ and he said, ‘my head just exploded in 10 different ways man — that is great!'”
“[Cena] said ‘you gotta make a thing outa that’ so sure enough the next week or whatever I said it against John I believe in a promo on Christmas Day no less. and it seems that the right away the fans reacted to it. And the next week I’m asking them ‘what does WWE stand for?’ and they’ll fire back.”