While WWE may have gone about it in an unconventional way, Elias’ recent heel turn was a welcome and needed change.
When thinking about which rivalries will kick off 2019 in WWE, Elias versus Jeff Jarrett was likely one that never came to mind.
This unlikely feud started at Royal Rumble when Elias and ‘Double J’ became the first and second entrants in the match.
After what almost seemed like it would become a musical crossover performance for the history books, Elias turned on Jarrett and smashed a guitar across the WWE Hall Of Famer’s back.
It was a great passing of the torch moment between two musically adept superstars, yet many saw it as a failure.
In the process of inflicting acoustical violence on Jarrett, Elias turned back into a heel. This was unacceptable to some WWE fans. In the face of the many instances of the audience shouting, “Walk With Elias!” after being prompted by ‘The Drifter,’ some simply saw this as a completely unnecessary change for a superstar who was receiving such vocal fan support.
Admittedly, there’s some truth to that belief. Elias is an incredibly talented superstar no matter whether he’s a face or a heel.
When Elias does embrace his dark side however, he can reach another level that few people in WWE can get to.
Elias, as a heel, can operate with the audience in the palm of his hand. In spite of all those cheers he gets, Elias still finds a way to twist the audience against him at just the right moment.
Oftentimes, it’s nothing more than a master stroke of heel work that immediately shifts an entire arena from supporting Elias to wanting to run him out of town. Look no further than this amazing promo that stole the show at Raw in Seattle for proof of that:
The segment started innocuous enough. Elias and Kevin Owens were getting cheers from the crowd, as they oftentimes do, during what was a typical self-confident heel promo.
Then, everything changed.
Elias went in for the kill with a devastating line about Seattle’s lack of a basketball team, eliciting more boos than perhaps any competitor has received the entire year. Even better, Elias just sat back and soaked it all in as the audience’s jeers unmercifully rained down upon him.
You just can’t get those kinds of moments with Elias as a face. Elias is definitely talented enough to have a great face run, but that run likely won’t be able to have those moments that seem to transcend what we normally see on WWE TV.
With that said, while a feud with Jeff Jarrett may have been one of the more unconventional ways of going about turning Elias heel again, it was nevertheless a change that should have been made.
Just look at the amazing lines Elias was able to deliver before his match on WWE Raw this week just several appearances into his latest heel run.
Elias tore apart ‘Double J’ and ‘Road Dogg’ Jesse James with aplomb in just another example of the greatness that can result from a heel Elias.
Similar to the universal truth Elias preaches when he says, “WWE stands for Walks With Elias”, the truth is that Elias is far too spectacular of a heel to have compete as a face.