Oh, James Ellsworth, the man we love to hate. The one-time lovable loser that the entire WWE Universe once cheered has fallen from grace. Many wonder what happened, and others just wonder, who is this guy?
James Ellsworth began his WWE career as a Rosebud for Adam Rose in 2014, whenever the company came to the Baltimore area. That is until he became a major enhancement player in July 2016 when he was used as a punching bag for Braun Strowman. After this singles match in which he was decimated, Ellsworth gained an almost cult like following due to his meek build and winning attitude. James made the declaration that “any man with two hands has a fighting chance” and with that captured our hearts.
The love affair continued as he became best buds with Dean Ambrose and was the feature of a very entertaining feud between Ambrose and AJ Styles. We cheered when he won, even if it wasn’t on his own, and we were sad when he didn’t win, needless to say, we were invested. We watched Ellsworth get beat up time and time again by the likes of AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, The Miz and Dean Ambrose ( he so had it coming). However, it was the final match he had with AJ Styles that seemed to have turned the tide.
After being beat by Styles on Smackdown Live in December of 2016, James Ellsworth was seen backstage being comforted by Carmella, for some unknown reason, and from there the story developed. We watched over the coming months as Carmella changed the image and attitude of Ellsworth to match her maniacal and egotistical ways, promising she wouldn’t be the only one who gets booed whenever she makes an entrance. This change turned his once positive and light-hearted appearances, on both SDL and Talking Smack, into hate spewed, name calling, nonsensical rantings about anything and everything. His relationship with Smackdown Live general manager, Daniel Bryan, soured due to his negative attitude and it started causing more than a few issues for himself and his “friend who is a girl”, Carmella.
Week after week Ellsworth would dress down the competitors, mock and degrade the members of the WWE Universe and basically act like an entitled jerk, all of the time. We all could see that there were zero chances of this ending well for him and soon that theory would prove to be fulfilled.
It was at the history-making Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match at the Money in the Bank pay per view in June when Ellsworth doled out the straw that broke the camels back. During the women’s ladder match, Ellsworth climbed the ladder and took the briefcase containing the contract down and tossed to Carmella, thus giving her the win. How dare he? Ughhh!! It seemed as though the WWE Universe had finally had enough of James Ellsworth, but we weren’t the only ones. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon had seen enough as well, tweeting their disgust.
With the fallout from the actions of Ellsworth during the MITB match looming, we all wondered if it meant that Carmella would be keeping the contract, or would she have to hand it over. I mean she didn’t cheat, technically, there were no rules, but I think this came down to a moral issue in the eyes of the WWE Universe and the WWE themselves. And hand it over she did! Daniel Bryan took back the briefcase and set the match to be done over on Smackdown Live. Not only did Carmella get stripped of her Ms. MITB title but she gained an ever bigger hit, some would say, when Bryan banned Ellsworth from being in the venue during the match. But did he listen? I will give you two guesses.
It was during the do-over of the women’s MITB ladder match that Ellsworth did indeed show up to try to help Carmella once again. This time, despite his best efforts, she was able to climb the ladder herself and get the contract. Even though it was a win for Carmella, it would ultimately cost her once again because it led to the 30-day suspension and $10,000 fine to Ellsworth with the caveat that if he ever blatantly disobeyed orders again not only would he pay the price but so would Carmella. Thus proving that Ellsworth is just bad for business when it comes to Carmella’s career.
This brings us back to the question, what happened to James? With the switch from loved to hated flipped at breakneck speed, we have to ask why. Was it because he knew that he would NEVER stand a chance in the ring with any of the WWE Superstars on his own? Was it because he needed more attention? Or was it simply because this was a part of his plan the entire time? Who knows. But what I can say for sure is that while James is on Twitter begging people to support him, demanding he be brought back, pushing sales of his merch in the WWE Shop, and crying about the injustice that has been done to him, we all get a break from looking at that chinless wonder……….for now.