Former WWE Superstar, James Ellsworth, has credited ‘Double A’ Arn Anderson with giving him his first chance on WWE television.
Having been a regular for Big Time Wrestling and Infinite Pro Wrestling throughout 2015 and 2016, Ellsworth was one of the talents chosen to travel to WWE Monday Night Raw in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when WWE needed jobbers for the likes of Braun Strowman.
While there was nothing stand-out about the talent, except his unique look and body shape, it was former WCW Television and Tag Team Champion, Arn Anderson, who gave him the chance when he saw he could throw a punch better than the rest of the gaggle.
Appearing on the Chris Van Vliet podcast, Ellsworth described how he was picked from the rest of the bunch to battle Strowman on the July 27 Monday Night Raw. The match that changed his career forever:
“I’m like, ‘Man, I hope I get the spot, this might be my only shot. So Arn Anderson comes up to us all. He’s like, ‘Hey, whoever throws the best punch gets the spot. I want to see you guys throw a punch.’ And he pointed to me first, he said, ‘Let me see you throw a punch.’ And I threw one on one of the other extras, and Arn Anderson just looked at me, and he goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t need to see anyone else of you guys.’ He’s like, ‘You got the spot.’
So we get in the ring, and he goes, ‘Alright, let me see you throw it on Braun [Strowman] here. I’d never met Braun, I’m looking at him like, ‘Hi.’ I throw a punch, boom. And Arn goes, ‘Good, you still threw the same punch.’ He’s like, ‘So that wasn’t a fluke back there.’”
The rest they say, is history. Originally a one-and-done, Ellsworth was brought back to the company on October 11, 2016, to battle WWE Champion AJ Styles in a bout he shockingly won thanks to Special Guest Referee, Dean Ambrose.
One week later, Ellsworth was back receiving a WWE Championship Match with ‘The Phenomenal One’ who he again upset via disqualification. Eventually, the talent would be pair with Carmella in an amusing partnership that gave him his most famous run in the company.
Credit for the interview: Chris Van Vliet
h/t for the transcription: WrestleZone.