Ellsworth fever is sweeping the pro wrestling nation with a fervor that hasn’t been seen since the heady days of Mulkeymania. James Ellsworth, the lovable goofball and chinless wonder, is fresh off two straight wins over AJ Styles and is hoping for a spot in January’s Royal Rumble, but it seems like he’s on the verge of getting something much more special than that: a real-life WWE contract.
According to PWInsider, there has been a huge groundswell of support internally for WWE to lock the guy up to a contract. Yes, he’s been performing this whole time from appearance to appearance, which is something that the company has been doing with a shocking frequency as of late. The majority of wrestlers who appeared in the acclaimed Cruiserweight Classic tournament were not under contract, and as of last we’ve heard, regular Raw and NXT performers Drew Gulak and Tony Nese aren’t under a full-time contract, either.
WWE is clearly aware of the potential of Ellsworth, as they’ve even given the (again, non-contracted) guy his very own T-shirt, which has already become a bestseller in the online WWE store. He’s been all over WWE programming, social media and their website over the past couple of weeks, up to and including being featured in a WWE.com YouTube video about “Masters of the Superkick.”
This, of course, is not the first time someone has been signed to a WWE contract purely to play a comedy “ultimate underdog” role. Colin Delaney did something mighty similar for the rebooted ECW and was signed to a contract back in 2007, and stayed with the company for over a year. And of course, Santino Marella was also under contract for a little while.
It seems like it’s just a matter of time before Ellsworth becomes an official member of the roster, so now there’s only one real question left: Will the guy finally get a good T-shirt that you can actually wear out in public?