Triple H claims that he knew Elias wasn't a good fit for NXT all along and they were always prepping him for life on the main roster.
NXT call-ups are part and parcel of week to week life on Raw and SmackDown Live in present day WWE. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. There are occasions such as with Bayley where fans just can't get their heads around it not working out, and then there's the opposite.
Elias is an example of the opposite. The Drifter had a run in NXT but was never one of the promotion's top guys. In all honesty, he was a little annoying and not much more. His NXT run came to an end when he lost a loser leaves NXT match to Kassius Ohno. Fans probably thought that would be the last we'd see of that gimmick, that was until Elias showed up on Raw.
Suffice to say Elias's run on Raw has been a lot more successful than anyone could have imagined. The latest chapter in his main roster career saw him put on a great match with Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship. Why has Elias taken to the main roster so well when his time in NXT was lackluster at best? Well according to Triple H that was always his intention.
"The entire time Elias was there, I was trying to get him ready for Raw and SmackDown because I knew as a performer his value was there," The Game told CBS Sports. Apparently, he and Dusty Rhodes knew that he wasn't a good fit for NXT from day one and his time in developmental was merely to prep him for where he is now. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The biggest stars at NXT are normally the indie wrestlers that Triple H recruits from around the world whereas Elias is a character with a comedic gimmick, something Vince McMahon clearly loves.
When Elias began lurking in the background on Raw for those few weeks NXT fans likely let out a collective groan. It felt as if they ditched him down at Full Sail because his gimmick simply didn't work out. Kudos to Triple H and Dusty for seeing more in him and knowing his potential though because now The Drifter is a credit to the main roster and gets a reaction from every town he visits.