I know there is a bigger story happening in wrestling, but my brain is stuck on the idea that Ezekiel could very well just be Ezekiel, and we're all playing ourselves like Kevin Owens.
I feel like I know where Ezekiel's story is going. At some point, he'll admit he is Elias, and we'll get a story on why he has chosen to pretend to be another person. His explanation can either turn him into someone we empathize with and cheer or boo for wasting our time with something so silly.
It feels like it's too obvious of a story. WWE (through Owens) is making such a fuss over Ezekiel looking like Elias that it would seem weird to not pay that off. But we've seen WWE present wrestlers to us as if they are entirely different human beings.
Two examples off the top of my head are Tensai and Dolph Ziggler. If I remember correctly, WWE tried to present Tensai like he wasn't Prince Albert despite looking exactly like Prince Albert but with red gear and writing on his face.
Dolph Ziggler had no ties to Nicky of the Spirit Squad, who had no ties to Chavo Guerrero's golf caddy; a weird sentence that only gets weirder once you remember Chavo was named "Kerwin White" because he thought being white would be dope.
But man, that entrance theme and Titantron was perfect, and I wish Happy Corbin had it.
It's not completely crazy to think WWE may play this straight and have Ezekiel simply be Elias' brother. We've already been given plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case.
Ezekiel doesn't have a beard: Have you seen James Harden without a beard? It's creepy. I once shaved my beard, and my 2-year-old niece cried when she saw me. Maybe I was ugly. Or maybe she thought I was a stranger.
Ezekiel has different hair: Dr. Lauren Appio says that a short haircut can give us self-assurance. If Elias cut his hair to feel more in control, he wouldn't do an out-of-control thing like change his entire identity. In other words, this is Ezekiel.
His name is "Ezekiel": It's not the same as "Elias." That's pretty simple.
Ezekiel only wears underwear: He has the same fashion sense as Randy Orton. Elias wears ripped up jeans and tank tops. Why would one person have vastly different wardrobes?
Ezekiel passed a lie detector test: Lie detector tests are nonsense. How Steve Wilkos has made a career out of them, I won't understand. But Chad Gable is the real deal, and if you can pass his test, you must be telling the truth.
It's all there! And yet, I refuse to believe WWE would actually move forward with this idea, even as the performers involved are doing such a good job with it. This has admittedly been a fun ride, but it's also coming across as a one-note joke with a shelf life as long as Kevin Owen's ability to keep it interesting.
I don't know how beating Ezekiel in a fight will prove that he is actually Elias, but at some point Owens and Ezekiel will have a match, and there will have to be ramifications for whatever result we get.
Ezekiel needs an actual story other than OMG, he looks like Elias but says he isn't; isn't that great? For now, yes. But for me to actually engage with the story, there must be more to this.
There are so many basic questions that need to be answered about Elias Ezekiel. What does he want? How does being in the WWE help him get that? WHERE IS ELIAS?! (Maybe he has answered that last question, and I just don't remember it.)
I love that WWE has options on what direction to take this story in. There is a real chance to do something fascinating with Ezekiel, and based on the Raw Exclusive "Elias paved the way for Ezekiel", the performer is more than good enough to sell us on this.
Whatever direction WWE chooses, it must come with some acknowledgement (be it direct or passive) that this is indeed Elias. This story has openly noted its own absurdity too much to do anything but that. The pivot point should/could be a match with Owens.
Could Elias just tell the truth? Sure. This could be fun because Elias would have to explain why he went through all of this trouble. Maybe he transformed himself in hopes of finding the success he previously couldn't. Maybe he's just lost in this world (on a macro level) or this industry (on a micro level). Or maybe Kevin Owens is right: he's a liar trying to manipulate us. Either way, there is a story we can all either empathize with or relate to.
Could Elias insist on being Ezekiel? Sure. That's pretty much what's already happening. We know this is Elias, but we generally seem to be enjoying it anyway. Hell, he seems to be enjoying it. He's winning matches, smiling a lot, and being featured more. Now, that could be a part of a manipulation, a trick to get his career on track. But it could just be Elias being happy in his career. Why not be happy that he's happy, even if all of this is silly?
I just illegally watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness because it isn't playing in any theaters near me. Two things I learned: Elizabeth Olsen is underrated, and there's a happy universe out there for all of us. We just need to find it within ourselves or something like that.
That could be the point. Through Ezekiel, Elias can finally tell his story: his struggles, what he's learned, and his happiness. The best line from the aforementioned Raw Exclusive was when Ezekiel said, "Maybe Elias walked so that Zeke can speak." We know the truth. But if this is what it takes to make Elias happy, to open up, and move on from the past, we're here for it. We'll play along; we'll support him and wish him the best.
(Or maybe someone told Vince McMahon the multiverse is showing up in today's entertainment, and McMahon thinks this is how it should be presented. Who knows?)
Regardless, I hope WWE pulls the trigger on actually telling Ezekiel's (Elias'?) story before we become apathetic toward it. This has truly been fun to watch, and I'd hate to see it end with a whimper because it creatively never hits a second gear. I hope Ezekiel's inevitable match with Kevin Owens leads to something more.