James Ellsworth is still basking in the glow of his run as Carmella's minion in 2017. After being released by WWE, Ellsworth then appeared for various indie promotions before making another short return to WWE in the summer. He then made his Impact Wrestling debut at Bound for Glory when he answered Eli Drake's open challenge, only to lose in a two-minute match.
Many are wondering if this was a one-off appearance for Ellsworth in Impact, or if he is signed to a long-term deal. Ellsworth addressed his Impact status on his #DuhCast hosted by The Wrestling Perspective Podcast.
"I will not answer that," said Ellsworth. "I have a very good relationship with Impact Wrestling. Love Sunjay Dutt, Jimmy Jacobs; I don't really know Scott D'Amore and Don Callis too many times, but I have met Scott D'Amore a handful of times and always got along with him. I had a lot of fun there and had a great time but I am not going to say whether or not they offered me a contract. I want people to not be sure with James Ellsworth. Am I going to show up at Impact? Am I going to show up at WWE? I want the dirt sheets to keep guessing."
Ellsworth then talked about Bound for Glory and who his contact at Impact was to set everything up.
"Sonjay Dutt," replied Ellsworth. "I have known him for about 10 years... He contacted me and asked me to do a spot with Eli Drake and that was how it got started and I was very happy to do it...
"I didn't put it out there and tried my best to keep it hush, hush, which I did. When my name was on the card some of my friends were like, 'oh, I didn't think you were coming.' I threw people off with that because I am very secretive with what I am doing and that is what I like to do, which is throw people off."
Drake issued the open challenge on the Oct. 11 episode of Impact and many expected a big name to accept the challenge. Some even pegged Chris Jericho to make his Impact debut after he made a similar surprise appearance at All In.
"Everyone thought that Chris Jericho was going to accept the open challenge," revealed Ellsworth. "I am telling everyone that people are all going to assume that Chris Jericho is going to accept the open challenge because this is how pro wrestling fans think. It's like, 'oh, he is rumored to be there and Eli Drake is setting up an open challenge, and two plus two equals four.'
"So, when they showed the Eli Drake promo on the screen people were chanting, Y2J! Y2J! I was telling everybody that they are going to think it is Chris Jericho and it's just going to be me, which I am cool and all, but I am nowhere near Chris Jericho, so I know that they are going to hate me. They are going to hate me, but in a fun way. My character, especially in front of a 'smart mark' crowd, they love to get on me and hate me. That is what they like to do. They have fun with the character. I knew the type of reaction I was going to get before I even went out there, and trust me from the bottom of my heart I loved each and every minute of it.
"I am very blessed that my character gets that type of emotion from people; whether they are chearing for the underdog or just cussing out the little arrogant egomaniac, which is what the James Ellsworth character has become. I get that. I have a character that gets an emotion out of the audience everywhere he goes and I am very blessed to have that. I hope and pray that I am going to continue to work hard and continue to get that emotion out of people."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Wrestling Perspective Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.