Elias Reflects On Canceled WWE WrestleMania Match With John Cena

Elias — now performing as Elijah on the indies — was ever-present on WWE TV after his main roster call up in 2017. For a time, he brushed shoulders with some of the biggest names on the roster — including both The Undertaker and John Cena — but was released in 2023 with question as to what could have been. He had the chance to address that during an interview with "For The Love of Wrestling," recalling his segment with Cena at WrestleMania 35, which he said was originally supposed to be a match between them.


"That was actually originally supposed to be a match, which I was really excited about. But due to some things and movies and whatever going on it turned into this 'Doctor of Thuganomics' deal. Which is cool. To have his original character come out there, New York, 80,000 people whatever it was ... To be able to say you did WrestleMania with John Cena, it's really cool man." Elias said it was hard to recall the particular creative strokes behind his planned match with Cena, "I had found out maybe months before ...  I think I'd have to go back and watch the TV but I'm thinking I might have even planted seeds in my promos leading up to WrestleMania ... I know that there was also talks of it the year before but then it actually ended up being John and The Undertaker ... As far as like what was going on in the inner workings of the creative mind of it all, not sure what the plan was there."


Elias followed his WrestleMania 35 moment the next night by standing against Undertaker, which he's also claimed was supposed to lead to a marquee match between them at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia, but 'Taker would wind up facing Goldberg instead. He said he always wanted to work with Undertaker more and capitalize on that moment, but took pride in the fact that he was even put opposite him.