Jeffrey “Jeff” Sciullo is probably hardly known to anyone. That’s because the Pittsburgh native isn’t from the music world at all and only appears under his pseudonym Elias – and that’s in the ring. As part of the WWE, Elias appears on Monday’s Raw show and is known for taunting his opponents with short bursts of song. But inside the otherwise tough catcher is a soft core and a perfectly serviceable musician.
In 2018, he released his first EP titled Walk with Elias. The abbreviation is, of course, just WWE by chance and has nothing to do with an exaggerated ego. To promote the songs, the WWE of course did not let itself be lumpen, it not only forms the label as WWE Music Group, but it supports and shapes its stars in every way. With a so-called Mockumentary the emergence of the songs was illuminated. Viewers accompany Elias during his meetings with producers John Alicastro and Mike Lauri, both of whom are better known as CFO$ and are primarily responsible for the brute and characteristic entrance songs of the wrestling stars.
For 14 minutes you can listen to the wrestler on his first EP. The songs are unfortunately only available digitally, I would be very fond of a vinyl edition, but I guess I have to say goodbye to it.
“Hello, I am Elias”, the introduction, the introduction, the perfect beginning for the first song of a complete newcomer. The song “The Ballad of every town I’ve ever been to…” tells a bit of his story. After all, as a wrestler, you get around a lot and like to experience defeat. It’s a very typical blues, dripping with homelessness and heartbreak, the drifter looking for the place to settle down. If we’re being completely honest, he also speaks a bit from the soul when he sings, “But I see so many stupid people, I wanna punch them in the face.” The fact that there is an entrance and a small storyline behind it is only interesting for fans of the WWE. But this is all about the music.
“Elias’ words” is already a bit more attacking. Of course, a wrestler stays in character when he acts under his ring name and then also makes music. You can notice that in these lyrics as well. Elias doesn’t treat his fellow men very nicely and likes to push everything and everyone out of his way with rude words – after all, he is the great Elias. You can tell by the slightly jumping melody what feelings are behind it and when you’ve heard the song two or three times, you become a bit like Elias yourself and think to yourself: get out of the way, here I come.
After the guitar inevitably comes the piano. It’s an unwritten law. The wrestler continues on his way up, the world is better since he’s finally in the ring. If you don’t listen to the lyrics completely, you can really fall into a depressive blues, it’s really well done, the voice fits. It’s deep, calm, melancholic, not covered by instruments or bells and whistles. If you are a wrestling fan, you smile at the song a bit. Either you like Elias and have his feuds in mind, most recently against Jeff Hardy, who smashes his guitar around his ears. Or you don’t like him so much and think he’s a bit put-upon, arrogant and overdone, in which case the song fits like a glove. By the way: Listen to the song until the very end, there is still a surprise waiting.
“Walk with me” forms the conclusion. Again on the guitar, you can forget that it’s the wrestler Elias. The lyrics are good, they encourage to set out and to follow, they give a bit of support.
It is noticeable that Elias never breaks out vocally. He remains calm, level-headed, has his blues well on it, which changes again and again between depression and aggression. To the scripted wrestling world the EP fits absolutely perfectly. For the music fan, it’s a good 14 minute break; just sit back and switch off. Maybe throwing a blues EP with Elias on the market wasn’t entirely serious, but it was a good idea. Walk with Elias climbed to #13 on the Top 100 US Albums on iTunes, reached #5 on the US Heartseekers Albums and #10 on US Top Album Sales. Probably an unexpected success. Definitely a disc to listen to if you’re a bluesman, and perfect especially for the staid season.
Elias – Walk with Elias
WWE Music Group, 2018
Amazon, iTunes, Spotify
The Ballad of Every Town I’ve Ever Been To…”
Nothing I Can’t Do
Walk With Me