November 18, 2016
WWE Rumors: Is James Ellsworth Signing With WWE? 'Survivor Series' Team Mascot No Longer Taking Indie Bookings

James Ellsworth's WWE journey has been an inspiring one. And a recent social media post from the recently-named mascot of Team SmackDown at Survivor Series suggests that his journey may finally be leading to a full-time contract with the company.

When WWE fans were first introduced to Ellsworth, he was just another local talent booked to lose in about one minute to Braun Strowman. Before that match, he told commentator Byron Saxton why he decided to get in the ring with the 385-pound monster heel, explaining that "any man with two hands has a fighting chance." This remark soon became his mantra, and the WWE Universe had seemingly found itself a new underdog hero.

Last month, Ellsworth told WrestleZone why he had said those things prior to his match against Strowman.

"I love to cut promos. I cut them pretty much every night I am on the independents. Almost every show. It's something I just really enjoy doing. When they gave me a promo I was stoked right away. I was like, 'I'm going to kill this promo. Whatever it is. I'm going to do it and I'm going to kill it.'"
Soon after that match, fans were calling for James Ellsworth to be signed by WWE, with many bringing up underdog charm as the 31-year-old indie veteran's main selling point. And it wasn't long before Ellsworth began making appearances on the SmackDown brand, eventually becoming a key supporting character in the ongoing AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose feud. Thanks to Ambrose's assistance, he even scored two straight upset wins over Styles, and got his own finishing move around that time. Shawn Michaels called his superkick "Sweet Chin Music," but Ellsworth poked fun at his facial features, using the name "No Chin Music" to refer to his own superkick finisher.

[James Ellsworth prepares to hit
James Ellsworth prepares to hit "No Chin Music" on Bray Wyatt. [Image by WWE]

On last week's episode of SmackDown Live, Commissioner Shane McMahon officially named Ellsworth as the team mascot of Team SmackDown's men's team for Sunday's upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view. It will be interesting to see how his alliance with Ambrose in the Styles feud plays out on Sunday, and one has to wonder if James Ellsworth's WWE run may become a full-time one, given his meaty role in SmackDown storylines.

On Thursday morning, Ellsworth dropped a bombshell on his official Facebook account, confirming that he will no longer be taking independent bookings at the moment.

Prior to this new development, PWInsider wrote in late-October that WWE executives were seriously considering signing Ellsworth, after he turned in surprisingly good merchandise sales for his t-shirt.

None of this serves as an official confirmation that James Ellsworth is signing a deal with WWE. Even if it is, it isn't sure either whether the contract will be a multi-year agreement, or a shorter-term deal that may expire in a year or less. But as WWE doesn't allow for indie bookings while someone is signed to a full-time contract, this could be a more telling sign that something is in the works for the Maryland native and longtime independent wrestler.

If all goes as many are expecting and Ellsworth joins WWE, what can be expected from the man known in the indie scene as "Jimmy Dream"? Some sources, including WrestleNewz, believe he may have a similar "comedy jobber" run to Duane Gill, who entertained Attitude Era fans in the late-1990s and early 2000s as "Gillberg," a parody of Bill Goldberg who, unlike the real thing, was scrawny, goofy, and lost far more often than he won. There are others, though, who believe Ellsworth should ditch the comedic elements of his underdog character.

In an opinion piece from last week, Forbes said that Ellsworth's upside potential in WWE may have him playing a manager or sidekick role, but added that he can also be turned into a more serious, villainous character, possibly turning on Dean Ambrose at Survivor Series and costing Team SmackDown the win in one way or another.

There are many possible career trajectories for James Ellsworth in WWE. But if he is truly signing with the company full-time, it will be a dream come true indeed for the soon-to-be-former Jimmy Dream, even if he never becomes a main event talent.

[Featured Image by WWE]