This episode of Table for 3 is called “Smash Hits” featuring “Road Dogg” Brian James, Jeff Jarrett and Elias with a run time of 22:45 on WWE Network. It was taped during WrestleMania weekend and added to WWE Network on May 14. The three men were seated alone in an empty restaurant as usual on Table for 3.
The show started with Road Dogg introducing them because Jeff didn’t know Elias. Elias said it was great to meet Jeff, they shook hands and Elias congratulated Jarrett on the Hall of Fame this year.
James said he never knew how much Jeff cared about him. Jeff was surprised by that. James said it broke his heart in a really good way. James said it was an honor and a privilege to induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. They showed a clip of Jarrett saying he loved James. Jarrett said that when Brian got in the foxhole with him, and when they got out, you can feel a lot more things.
Analysis: When Jeff mentions the “foxhole” he means last year when he was in rehab for alcohol (paid for by WWE) and James helped him because he went through it as well.
Jarrett talked about how Brian mentioned to him that Jeff wasn’t much of a hugger. Jeff always gives the one arm hug apparently. Jeff thought that James was a great guy from when they first started traveling together and was easy to get along with. James joked that Jeff had to carry him into the room and he had to pee in the air conditioner. They were laughing while Elias was sort of stunned by it. Jarrett mentioned some night with some bad seafood and puking. Jarrett had to clean up the car, so James said that’s when he knew Jeff cared about him.
Elias asked them if they had a moment where they came to blows or wanted to fight in real life. James and Jarrett both said no. James said that everywhere he went, Jarrett always had a job. Jarrett said that James has more talent screwed up than most people have sober. (James had alcohol and drug issues during most of his career, but he cleaned up several years ago.) James spoke about how he thinks about his career and he wasn’t sober during any of it because it was an active addiction during it all. James said one of his guilts is how far could he have taken it if he was sober. Elias joked that the story he’s getting is if you do drugs and party you can still have a lot of success. Brian and Jeff said that was wrong. Elias said he was just joking.
Analysis: The point that James made about having an addiction during his career is true. He did very well for himself even while doing drugs, so could he have done even better if he was sober? Probably. I think we can say that about a lot of guys from the 80s, 90s, early 2000s generation. The business has changed a lot for the better in that regard.
Jarrett asked Elias if he played guitar before he got in the business. Elias said when he was 15 years old he was super into Eric Clapton, so his dad got him a guitar for Christmas. Elias said he was self-taught and he said he felt like he knew how to play Clapton’s songs. James said it was a gift from God for Elias.
They spoke about the famous “With My Baby Tonight” song with Elias saying it was a gift from God for James to be put in a position to play that role with Jarrett. Jeff talked about how Vince created the Double J character. Jeff said there was no thought of a roadie character at the beginning. Jeff said for a year he wrestled on his own, then shortly after James got there, he won the IC Title, so maybe James was a big part of that.
James spoke about how Maxx Payne aka Man Mountain Rock got him the call to go to WWE. James said that Maxx Payne was in a room playing the guitar and James sang a Four Non Blondes song, Elias mentioned “What’s Going On” is the title and Jeff was amazed that he knew it so quickly. Jeff put over James for his singing ability and said people in the country music industry that he knows that have made millions of dollars have said that James had a good voice. James talked about how his brother Steve was going to be the singing wrestler, but Steve wasn’t cut out for that. James said he didn’t know who came up with the idea and WWE’s staff told him to watch roadies to see how they act, so he watched them and just copied what those guys did. Jeff talked about how creative James was with everything.
Jeff said things evolved after about two years because he was doing this character saying he was the greatest singer while the fans were thinking they never heard this guy sing before. Jeff said the anticipation built and had a moment where they teased Jarrett would sing, but the lighting wasn’t right and he was unable to sing under these conditions.
They talked about Elias singing unplugged on Bourbon Street with James saying he watched it in the writer’s room. Elias said that before he got in WWE, he had a friend that he would create music with, but he always thought that wrestling would be one thing and music would be separate. Elias spoke about how in NXT, he brought the guitar one day, played a song for Dusty Rhodes and that was it with James doing a great Dusty impression. Elias said it just progressed from being The Drifter to Elias right now. Elias spoke about how he recently recorded an album that includes original songs, cover songs including two Bruce Springsteen songs with his blessing and he did original songs in Bourbon Street. James said he works pretty high up on the fourth floor and he didn’t know all that, but he’s interested to hear it.
Jarrett spoke about how important theme music is in wrestling over the years because it’s instantly recognizable while mentioning Shawn Michaels’ “Sexy Boy” song. Jarrett said overseas it’s even bigger. Jarrett said that AJ Styles had some cool music in TNA, but when he got to WWE it was wow. James mentioned that Styles’ song was originally written and developed for James Storm, who was another TNA veteran. Elias said he wasn’t going to say that, but yeah. Jarrett was surprised by it. James mentioned that Strom passed and went in a different direction (back to TNA) and AJ got the song.
Analysis: Storm appeared in NXT in October 2015, which I remember well because I was at the taping. He got a huge ovation from the crowd. There were negotiations with WWE, but he didn’t stay because TNA/Impact offered him more money and he stayed there for another two years. Storm is free these days, but he’s 41 years old in a few weeks, so he might be too old for WWE to sign even though they have several guys around that age. I did not know that about the Styles song, so that was a nice tidbit there by James.
Jarrett said that Elias is in kindergarten compared to Jarrett in terms of guitar shots. Jarrett talked about his famous guitar shots while clips aired of them: Gary Coleman, Beetlejuice and Moolah (I’m surprised they showed it unedited as Jarrett also put a Figure Four Leglock on Mae Young). There were so many more. James mentioned Jarrett got superkicked by Chuck Norris as well. Jarrett wanted to talk about the guitar shots. Elias mentioned hitting Strowman in the back with guitar shots a few times, Finn Balor, Jason Jordan and John Cena on the 25th Anniversary of Raw.
They got sidetracked in their stories with Jarret talking about when they were on the road he would go to the gym and Brian never really liked to do that. James was a skinny wrestler most of his career and has put on some weight since then. Jarrett said he would get back to the room saying that James bought “Dumb and Dumber” in the hotel room for 842 consecutive days. Brian thought it was a great way to spend $10 and Elias said he loved that movie. James said he was living his life like Dumb and Dumber.
James said he doesn’t think he hit a guitar shot and he said those things hurt like hell. There were images shown of Jarrett hitting Goldust and Al Snow with the guitar. James said that it hurt. Elias pointed out he’s not the one making the decisions about who gets hit with the guitar. They all laughed.
There were a few minutes left in the show as a clip aired from the Hall of Fame where James set up Jarrett to sing “With My Baby Tonight.”
Jarrett and Elias were handed guitars by the waiter. James said he hoped that neither one of them was hitting James. It was funny when James said after the rendition they did at the Hall of Fame, he doesn’t know if they want to do an encore of that. That was a good line because while it was a good song to sing in theory, the execution of it was bad. Clips aired from their singing at the HOF where they had forgotten the words. James said they were going to go up to Elias, but James was tired and forgot how long the song was. Jarrett said it was a long song.
The show ended with Elias playing the guitar (Jeff doesn’t really play) and they started singing the song. It stopped after one verse and then they did it again. They did it really well the second time. James said he wanted three of those cupcakes to take back to his room. They all laughed and that was it.
This was an okay episode with Jeff and Brian sharing a lot of fun stories, but Elias really felt out of place due to having no history with Jarrett. I can understand wanting to put a new talent in with two vets to hear the stories. However, it would have been better if an older guy was there like Goldust, Billy Gunn or somebody that could relate to Jeff and Brian better. I’m not saying it was a bad show at all because I enjoy Table for 3. It’s just weird when two guys are talking and the third guy doesn’t have much to offer.
It was a newsworthy show in the sense that we learned the AJ Styles song was originally intended for James Storm, which most of us didn’t know until this aired.
The part with Elias that I did like was him telling his story about listening to Eric Clapton songs, his dad got him a guitar and Elias picked up on playing the guitar naturally. I didn’t know much about his history in terms of the music, so it was cool to hear him talk about it.
Future episodes of Table for 3 include:
Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Edge and Christian – I guess that’s a Table for 4. (That is on Monday according to the WWE Network schedule.)
Trish Stratus, Lita and Alexa Bliss
Kevin Nash, Diamond Dallas Page and Big Show
Nia Jax, Beth Phoenix and Natalya
Check out my review of past Table for 3 episodes right here. Thanks for reading.