James Ellsworth is an unlikely WWE Champion, but he'll have the opportunity to become one on tonight's Smackdown.
Ellsworth earned his shot at the title by defeating AJ Styles on last week's episode, thanks in large part to help by special guest referee Dean Ambrose. When speaking to CBS Boston, Ellsworth said that he's glad the chance didn't come sooner.
"I'm glad it happened now and not five or 10 years ago. I'm in a better place now than I was five or 10 years ago with my career. If this were to have happened five or seven years into my career, I don't think I would have been as prepared for it," said Ellsworth.
Facing the biggest match of his life, Ellsworth admitted that the butterflies are there.
"Obviously, I am nervous. You're wrestling, in my opinion, the best wrestler in the world in AJ Styles for the biggest championship in the world, the WWE World Championship. Yeah, the nerves are there. I'm trying to stay as calm and collected as I can right now at this time, but tomorrow I'm sure I'll be very nervous," he said.
Ellsworth also credited Chris Jericho for embracing him, and making him feel comfortable in the WWE.
""That is definitely 100 percent Chris Jericho. The day after I did the match with Braun Strowman he contacted me on Twitter and wanted me on his podcast (Talk Is Jericho). I went in and did the podcast with him the next time I was at TV. Ever since then we text all the time. He gives me advice and helps me out. He's just an outstanding human being," said Ellsworth.
Ellsworth will face AJ Styles for the WWE Title tonight on Smackdown.