Throughout 2017, Elias has been one of the most improved talents in all of WWE. Not having an impressive win-loss record while in NXT, Elias would still make his debut on Raw a week after WrestleMania 33, exposing his "Drifter" gimmick to a wider audience. About six weeks later, he would make his in-ring debut, defeating Dean Ambrose by disqualification. He would defeat an enhancement talent, Zac Evans, before scoring a pinfall win over Ambrose.
Although Elias would be on the losing end of his feud with Finn Balor, he did pick up a pinfall victory against him on the July 24th episode of Raw. In addition, he would pick up wins on Raw against Kalisto, R-Truth, Apollo Crews, Titus O'Neil, as well as Matt Hardy on the Survivor Series Kickoff Show.
Steve Austin is admittedly a big fan of Elias' work, and had him as the latest guest on his podcast. Elias explained where the name Samson came from, which he stated the Bible. Elias also added that his alternative last names included Joseph, Able, and Cash. Altogether, there were several names to choose from, and Samson stuck because he really liked it. However, there were some agents backstage who were not fans of the name. One unnamed "man in charge at the time" told Elias that he hated that name, while Gerald Brisco told him that his "name will change soon."
The "Samson" last name was removed, but it may not stay that way.
"I think it could come back someday," Elias said. "I'm gonna throw that out there."
The reason why "Samson" was dropped from his name, Elias explained, was a call made from agents and told to him when he appeared at Raw.
"It was not my call. I got up there," said Elias. "Got to Monday Night Raw. And, The Drifter: no longer. No longer call myself that, at least I can't refer to myself as that, and Samson dropped as well. And these are things I just show up to Monday Night Raw, and they say, 'Hey. Just so you know, here's the deal now.' Ok, fair enough man. I just, I'm still gonna be me and as long as they're not trying to change who I am or my character – which they're one in the same anyway, as far as I'm concerned – I'm cool with calling me whatever you call me."
Elias also talked about how he always wanted to be a wrestler, how he was making $45-50 per night in the indies, being under the learning tree of Rip Rogers, how he likes being a heel, and more. You can view the full interview here.
If any portion of these quotes are used, be sure to H/T The Steve Austin Show via Wrestling INC. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show