After spending three years in NXT, Elias was called up to the main roster this past April - where he's used the power of his guitar to cut great promos while becoming a humorous heel character.
Over the past couple of months, Elias has actually been used as a wrestler, and not just a guy who walks around backstage only to show up behind people as he starts playing the guitar. Elias got to face Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship last month, and actually displayed some very strong in-ring skills.
By the way, notice how he's been referred to "Elias" and no longer "Samson" or "the drifter"? Well, he appeared on The Steve Austin Show to explain the sudden name change.
Elias said that there were other surname options, including Joseph and Cash. He chose Samson, but agents backstage told Elias they hated the name. He was then told that the surname would change soon. Here's the rest of the story:
"It was not my call. I got up there. Got to Monday Night Raw. And, The Drifter: no longer. No longer call myself that, at least I can't refer to myself as that, and Samson dropped as well."
Elias did note, however, that he thinks Samson "could come back someday."
WWE has changed up a number of wrestlers names over the years. The Bludgeon Brothers are only referred to as "Harper" and "Rowan," now.
The reason? Vince McMahon believes dropping the surnames only make them come off as stronger and more dominant. Antonio Cesaro, Adrian Neville, and Alexander Rusev are other superstars who only go by their last surnames, too.
It's just a trend the WWE is going towards, so unfortunately for Elias, the last name he grew fond of had to get scrapped quickly. But as long as he keeps playing great songs on the guitar, who cares what his ring name is anyway?