It’s hard to decide whether the aesthetics of Elias‘s fraying robe (kimono?) adds to the character’s inherent sliminess or if it is just poor costume work (which seems unlikely). Either way, the weekly outfits of Elias do a surprising amount of the work to make his logic-straining character –we don’t know who lets him play, when he work things out with the stage crew beforehand or if he’s required to have a singer’s permit like so much manager’s license — seem more “real” than it probably should, simply because he seems to be the only person on the show that doesn’t suffer from the Dylan Farnum problem.
Since the WWE has decided to vary the importance of a given segment by week — meaning, some weeks the 10’o’clock match is the actual marquee attraction, as opposed to whatever the announced main event at 11 might be — it’s difficult to say just how significant Elias starting this week’s episode of Raw is. He’s clearly on a very rapid rise up the card, though whether or not he’ll be joining Seth Rollins on his rise back to Roman Reigns’ level or top out for the time being just above Jinder Mahal becomes the question now. Both roles are good work if you can get them, but Elias > even the most unhindered Jinder and in my heart of hearts I hope he gets treated accordingly.
The match was the kind of thing that makes you wonder why people hate Jinder so dang much. While in absolutely no way a technical masterpiece, it’s clear that Mahal has been able in the past few months to find a balance between using his extra help to win matches he probably could by himself because he’s a jerk and using his extra help to win matches because he’s incapable. Which, thank God he wasn’t holding an important title at the time he was trying to figure that out.
What *I* was unable to figure out was what exactly was going on with the steel chair in the ring towards the end of the match. They worked very carefully to make the chair spot work — they explicitly had Rollins bring the chair in, before having Elias (after having specifically not touched the chair) DDT him on it — but it still seems like the kind of leniency and “referee’s discretion” that you’re looking to avoid if the goal is verisimilitude.
Although he was eventually reprimanded by Constable Corbin (who we will definitely be getting to later) for a separate mistake later in the show during the six-woman tag, the announce team has to do a better job of telling the story of why something like that is okay given the context of a match or moment, instead of hoping nobody cares enough to wonder why chair DDTs are suddenly legal.