You can also check out part one at this link, which features EC3 talking about his days on NXT, and the negotiation process with TNA.
* * *
You have a big main event, on a big PPV weekend. There's the WWE MSG show, UFC 192, and of course Bound For Glory. Is that something that excites you, worries you?
"I had no idea anything else was on pay-per-view honestly. I'm only concerned with wrestling Drew Galloway at TNA Bound For Glory and being the TNA World Heavyweight Champion."
You mean to tell me you're not plotting a move to the UFC? It seems like it's lucrative for former wrestlers.
"Well…no. Despite being undefeated in bar fights and in TNA, I'm not."
You're from Cleveland. Being undefeated in bar fights is nothing to scoff at.
"You can't shake a stick at that one. There have been some close calls, don't get me wrong."
So you're in the main event of Bound For Glory. You had your debut in 2013 and wrestled Ryoto Hama last year, but this is a huge leap you're taking when you face Drew Galloway and Matt Hardy.
"The show hinges on this match delivering. I don't want to say there's pressure, because that isn't a real thing, but there is a responsibility on us to make sure that the match delivers."
Do you do anything special to prepare for a show like this? We always hear about guys tanning more, training more, watching their diet before huge event.
"Oh no. I keep myself impeccable at all times. My tan is on fleek, which is what I think the kids are saying now. Training on point, which is what I'm saying because I'm not one of the kids. Just knowing that the match is going to be grueling, going 20-30 minutes. It's going to be physically and mentally demanding, but I prepare myself for that every day."
Kurt Angle will be back that weekend. How do you feel about that? You've had problems with him.
"Dirty Kurty's coming back. It's always on my mind, because I technically owe him a rematch clause, and I'm kind of surprised he didn't finagled himself into this match. It's great that he's going to be back, and hopefully he's healthy, because a healthy Kurt Angle is one of the best in the world. I'm excited to see what he's going to be doing at Bound For Glory, as long as it's not German suplexing me."
You've defended your title an absurd number of times. The competition maybe has been questionable. If you remember, I predicted Norv Fernum was going to get a title shot during our last interview.
"Yeah, but you're a smart guy."
With TNA's taping schedule, you're defending your title two or three times in consecutive days. What's that like for you?
"I'm glad that it's transpiring that the title is being defended and kept honorable and prestigiable. Is prestigiable a word? Prestigiable in a way, even though people say the competition is questionable. In my opinion Norv Fernum and Shark Boy are more than worthy. As far as having several title matches in a few days, it's the responsibility I want. I've always wanted this chance. I'll take whatever they have to dish out."
How far out from winning the TNA Championship are you told that you're winning it? It seemed like you were being groomed for it, but lots of people get that and end up screwing it up.
"There was never any 'this is our plan, here's exactly how it will unfold.' I've been a wrestling fan, and I've been in the business long enough to know what's a golden opportunity and what's not. Keeping the head on straight, don't rest on your laurels or rest when you're lethargic. As far as knowing the outcome of that match, it was probably the day before that I was told. But, leading into it, win, lose or draw it didn't matter to me, because it was just the showcase I needed."
You've worked with Matt Hardy lately, and he's in the triple threat main event with you. What have you learned from that feud?
"I'm really happy with the work we've done together. He came along and was a great asset to me. You only get better in the ring by working with people who are better than you and have been around longer. Being in there with Matt Hardy taught me a lot, and he can still go. That Full Metal Mayhem match was physically exhausting. But I truly love torturing his brother."
You mentioned the Full Metal Mayhem match. Are there ever gimmick matches that are pitched to you, and you just say "hell no"?
"No. I hate when people can't accept something. I go out of my way to try to make everything good. When you're in a developmental system for four years clawing and trying and it doesn't happen, having any sort of gimmick match and scoff at it? I don't believe in that. You can give me the dumbest thing on paper, and I'm going to try to make it good."
When you were in the WWE developmental system and were told you'd be carrying a company on your back, what would you say?
"I'd say 'about time, I should be.' Then I'd be like 'this one!? Really?! Well, alright.'"
You had to know you had a chance, considering your aunt ran the competition, right…….?
"You always have to have a plan."
My favorite line was when you compared your bad coffee to a Robbie E match.
"That seems to be the most popular line."
You're facing Drew Galloway and Matt Hardy at Bound For Glory. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but are you and Drew looking forward to showing WWE what they've lost out on with this match?
"My days of 'showing them they made a mistake' are over. I can't worry about what they did. My goal is to be the absolute best I can be and try to be one of the best in the industry regardless of what company I'm in. The motivation is always going to be there, that chip on the shoulder. It's been there a while and won't go away no matter what happens. Us having that opportunity to turn heads, maybe not their heads, because I don't care about doing that because I don't work for them, but turning heads in the wrestling world. That's what I'm looking at."
Jeff Hardy will also be the special guest referee for that match. How do you feel about that?
"I don't know how or why. That doesn't seem like a real thing that should happen. He's not a sanctioned referee. He doesn't have experience in referee training. He has one good leg and may not even be able to get to the ground to count the pin on Drew Galloway (or Matt Hardy). I don't like this decision. It'll be in North Carolina where he might feel the atmosphere of the creatures of the night and jump up and one-legged Swanton Bomb me. I don't like it. But yes, he'll be the referee."
What the hell is the North Carolina Athletic Commission thinking licensing him!?
"(laughs) I should get you on the payroll as an enquirer to this mystery board about why they're letting that transpire."
North Carolina may not even have a commission. It may be the wild west. I think Kentucky is about the only place left that regulates wrestling. It's a money grab. They require a license to wrestle, but make you get it before your first day of training. What's the point?
"I had to drive to Frankfort from Louisville to get a license just to practice."
What else are you looking forward to at BFG?
"Kong and Gail Kim have great chemistry. They're always great together. Kurt Angle will be back. That'll be interesting."
Kurt Angle vs. TBA is on the listing right now. (Later announced as Eric Young vs. Kurt Angle)
"Ooh, TBA. He's tough. I've heard about him. The way we film tv makes it tough to get our card out there sometimes, but what I will guarantee is that every time our guys go out there, they'll bust their ass. We do what we do best and entertain."
Would you like to see wrestling companies in general start announcing PPV lineups earlier? I couldn't imagine ordering a boxing or MMA show if we didn't know who was on it until a few days before.
"Yeah. Wrestling doesn't seem to build anticipation enough for a big encounter. To play devil's advocate, there's a lot of things to go into consideration to appease people who aren't fans to give them numbers or social media buzz or whatever. In a perfect world, I'd love an epic confrontation built up over time routinely, but I understand sometimes that won't be the case."
Lashley vs. Bobby Roode, Wolves vs. Brian Myers and Trevor Lee also have been announced.
"Ooh yeah, Bobby Battle. Ew, Brian Myers coming back. I obviously have history with Bryan. That Trevor Lee is 21. Looks horrible, just like a scumbag, but he's extremely talented and looking forward to seeing what he'll do at the PPV."
Also, Tigre Uno faces THREE TBAs. How will he overcome that? (This was later booked to be Tigre Uno vs. TJP vs. Rockstar Spud vs. DJ Z
"TBA has quadruple duty!?"
What are your feelings on the Global Force angle that's been going on?
"I think it was good for both companies. We needed something to spark interest and they needed some television format to get their names out moreso. It appeased the powers that be to come to terms and get their business settled so everyone could have a clean, friendly break and move on. There were some good matchups. I could have seen it going a little longer, but also, time-wise you have to adapt and overcome. I thought Lethal Lockdown was a great match and a satisfying conclusion. Now it's on to BFG. Boom."
Do you see that going down more?
"I'm not privy to that information, but I wouldn't be shocked considering there are two of their guys on our Bound For Glory PPV."
Earl Hebner is being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, and you have a win over him.
"My toughest challenge, Earl Hebner!"
When you're in there with a veteran like Kurt Angle, Sting, Matt Hardy, do they take the lead and call the match?
"All three guys you mentioned are very giving and very eager to hear your ideas as much as your own. As far as calling it, you bow out to the veteran to lead the charge, but they're very receptive to hearing what you have to help you level up and make you better."
You can check out part one of the interview with EC3 at this link. Don't forget to check out Bound For Glory on Sunday, October 4. Wrestling Inc will be providing full, live coverage of the event. Also, be sure to follow Ethan Carter III on Twitter.