After being trained in FCW, Stephens debuted on the July 18, 2008 episode of SmackDown under the name Ezekiel, as The Brian Kendrick's bodyguard. On the August 8, 2008 edition of SmackDown, his ring name was tweaked to Ezekiel Jackson, and he was revealed as being Kendrick's "advisor". He then began interfering in Kendrick's matches against Jeff Hardy, Finlay, and WWE ChampionTriple H. On the October 17 episode of SmackDown, Jackson made his official in-ring debut by quickly defeatingSuper Crazy, after replacing a supposedly sick Kendrick. In late 2008, Jackson began teaming with Kendrick and both began feuding with the Tag Team ChampionsThe Colóns (Carlito and Primo), although Kendrick and Jackson failed to win the championship. He suffered his first defeat on the February 13, 2009 episode of SmackDown, when he lost a singles match to R-Truth. Jackson made his final appearance on the SmackDown brand in a losing effort against Jeff Hardy on the April 3, 2009 episode.
The Ruthless Roundtable and final ECW Champion (2009–2010)
On April 15, 2009, Jackson was drafted to the ECW brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft, therefore breaking up the team of himself and Kendrick. Jackson returned to FCW for further training, however, without making an immediate appearance for the brand. He made his ECW debut defeating Jack Meridol on the July 9, 2009 episode. Jackson then began an angle with Vladimir Kozlov in which, week after week, after one of them had squashed a local competitor, the other would come out and hit their finishing move on the fallen opponent in a game of one-upmanship. On the August 18 episode of ECW, Jackson formed an alliance with Kozlov and William Regal after betraying the ECW Champion, Christian, during a tag team match to side with them, and attacking Christian at Regal's request. Kozlov and Jackson aided Regal in his feud with Christian over the ECW Championship, but Regal was unable to capture the title.
On the November 24 episode of ECW, Jackson attacked both Regal and Kozlov after Kozlov accused Jackson of costing Regal a match. The following week, Jackson once again betrayed Kozlov and Regal by walking out on Kozlov during a tag team match against Christian and Shelton Benjamin. Jackson, however, realigned himself with Regal, when he was aided by Regal in defeating Kozlov on an episode of ECW. On the January 12, 2010 episode of ECW, Jackson won the ECW Homecoming battle royal to earn a match for the ECW Championship. He faced Christian for the ECW championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view but was unsuccessful. On the final episode of ECW on February 16, Jackson defeated Christian to win the ECW Championship in an Extreme Rules match. Upon winning the title, WWE credited Jackson as the final ECW Champion.
The Corre and Intercontinental Champion (2010–2011)
On the February 19 episode of SmackDown, a video package aired, promoting Jackson's return to the brand. He made his return on the March 5 episode of SmackDown without Regal, who instead joined Raw, and defeated Jimmy Wang Yang. On April 10, 2010 at a house show in Glasgow, Scotland, Jackson suffered a tear in his right quadriceps muscle during a match against Kane, and was expected to be inactive for approximately six months. During his injury, Jackson was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft.
Jackson made his return to the ring on September 13, 2010, defeating Zack Ryder in a dark match prior to the Raw tapings. He returned to television on the October 18 episode of Raw, where he was revealed as a member of Team Raw for the Bragging Rights pay-per-view. At Bragging Rights, Jackson was one of the final two remaining members of Team Raw, but they lost to Team SmackDown. On the November 22 episode of Raw, Jackson qualified for the 2010 edition of the King of the Ring tournament by defeating Alex Riley, who replaced Jackson's original opponent The Miz. He faced Drew McIntyre in the quarter-finals, but the match ended in a double countout, so neither advanced. In December 2010, Jackson was traded back to the SmackDown brand. On the January 11, 2011, taping of the January 14 edition of SmackDown, Jackson joined Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater in assaulting The Big Show, appearing to form an alliance with the three. The following week the group was named The Corre. On the May 6 episode of SmackDown, Jackson defeated Big Show in a singles match, but refused to celebrate with the other members of The Corre afterward. Backstage, the other members of The Corre attacked him in retaliation, turning Jackson face. Jackson went on to face Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship at Over the Limit, and won by disqualification, which meant that Barrett retained the championship. Jackson continued to feud with the other members of The Corre, winning against Barrett by disqualification and countout respectively.
On June 19, at the Capitol Punishment pay-per-view, Jackson defeated Barrett to win the Intercontinental Championship. Jackson retained the championship in a rematch against Barrett on the following episode of SmackDown and also successfully defended it against Ted DiBiase on the July 15 episode. On August 12 episode of SmackDown, Jackson lost the Intercontinental Championship to Cody Rhodes. He went on to feud with both Rhodes and DiBiase. On the August 19 episode of SmackDown, he lost a rematch for the championship to Rhodes. Jackson was part of a ten man battle royal for the Intercontinental Championship and was eliminated by Rhodes.
Hiatus and departure (2012–2014)
On January 29, 2012 at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Jackson entered the Royal Rumble match as the thirteenth entrant, but was eliminated by the returning Great Khali. Jackson started a losing streak losing to the likes of Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, and David Otunga. Jackson finally ended his losing streak by teaming with The Great Khali to defeat Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks on the May 16 episode of NXT.
Around mid–2012, Jackson suffered an upper-body injury and was sidelined for many months. After almost a year of inactivity due to his injury, Jackson returned at a live event for WrestleMania Axxess on April 4, 2013 by teaming up with Yoshi Tatsu to defeat Hunico and Camacho. On January 4, 2014, Jackson announced another surgery. On April 7, 2014, Jackson reported that he had parted ways from WWE.