Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion EC3 was on a recent episode of The Chris Van Vliet Show where he discussed his character’s involvement in Impact Wrestling and ROH. EC3 discussed transitioning the Ethan Carter III character from Impact to NXT.
“So, coming from Impact, going back to NXT, I had a brand and identity. It was a little different,” EC3 noted. “I don’t know if I would call the character a reboot because, obviously, some of the intangibles with the character will have to change being in the WWE Universe. But also, at the same time, it’s known. It’s popular. It’s a brand new identity, and I could expand on it within the realm. So, it would be cool.
“Then again, I’m rehashing the best of it, and it never felt right and comfortable. I had this idea that I wanted to do – this new hectic, psycho boy. Sort of cult kind of leader, talking about evidence of truth, purpose, and finding yourself within the realms of combat and fighting. So, I pitched that. Instead of going with that, I wound up getting called up. Now, we’re rebooting a reboot that nobody has a vested interest in, and the rest is mediocre history.”
When wrestlers come from another promotion to WWE, they typically change their names for various reasons. However, EC3 was able to keep his name, and he explained how and why he was able to do so.
“When I came in there with Ricochet and The War Raiders, they weren’t going to use War Raiders for obvious reasons,” EC3 pointed out. “Ricochet and I were asked for different names and I was dead set. I didn’t want to be Ethan Carter III, but EC3 is such a marketable name to sell merch and easy to say. It’s easy to chant.
“It’s sort of a brand identity. I like to keep it, and so, Ricochet and I had this piece of paper. I wrote the sh–iest f–king names that start with E and C on it. So, I forced to keep them, but I don’t think it needs a name. I like the idea of it being nondescript and then someday, a name arrives.”
This past summer, EC3 returned to Impact Wrestling, but he also appeared on ROH. EC3 was pulled from Final Battle after testing positive for COVID-19, but his future with the company remains bright, and he explained what it is like for him to be able to appears on both promotions freely.
“I definitely wanted to be free, and experience different things and completely take a completely new direction with me. I felt wrestling itself especially in the mainstream was just too much,” EC3 admitted. “We’re trying to hide from what’s going on. We’re a soft distraction and that’s cool. That’s one way to do it, despite the fact we’re firing 30 plus people during the most trying and confusing time in our history.
“So, we’re still a business and we’re ruthless. But that did change me, as this pandemic has probably changed everybody. So, I just wanted to tell my story of change through the great medium of professional wrestling, sports entertainment. I used social media to do it, and unfortunately, when that 90 days came up, Impact was there. Ring of Honor was there. They were free to allow me to kind of play around into both. I wanted to do something different, and different selling. Look what happened with AEW and Impact.
“People are intrigued by different things and intermingling of different worlds, and I think we’d be remiss as a wrestling universe to not understand there are multiple different avenues of multiple different towns, multiple different companies. They could mix and match. People will be intrigued, and the business improves.”
EC3 has gone through a dramatic character change after his release from WWE. He explained the process he came up with his character and how he created this new character for himself.
“I knew in 90 days something would have to give because we had a countdown on the website, and I didn’t know what that was to be,” EC3 recalled. “As a failsafe, my friend and partner within The Narrative, J.C., suggested we do a cinematic match, and I thought it was a good idea. We do a match. His idea is to make it look like a music video. In the first half, sell our theme song and all the stuff we’ve done, and kind of tell the story. The next half is basically in my view, was to have my debut match because I don’t know where I’m going to go or who I’m going to be with.
“Sometimes, fans need to see what this guy does when you debut a new character. I knew if I were to go back to Impact, I’m going to be right in the main angle probably if I go anywhere. I’m right involved with somebody where you’re going to have to have 50/50 kind of matches. So, I wanted to establish what the character did. Upon the 90 days, we shot a long footage. We shot two matches and we shot how other people were joining The Narrative. Upon release, it fell on the same day of Slammiversary.
“If I release this midnight on Friday, that’s the 90 day end and people could talk about it. By the end of Saturday night, I’m the last thing on Impact. So, we definitely kept it a short version because attention spans are not what they used to be. That always has been. Just the book and the character have always fascinated me, especially the movie. Christian Bale’s a stud. I noticed not the serial killer parts of it, but the personality traits.”
Many have noted the parallels that EC3’s character has with “American Psycho”. He talked about the love for ambiguity and how we don’t always know what is real and what is not.
“It heavily influenced a lot of the stuff I did, but what I really loved about that is the ambiguity,” EC3 said. “You don’t know what’s real. You don’t know what’s made up. We like to portray the narrative, make your own decisions. Take it in for what it is and think of it however you want.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Chris Van Vliet Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.