Free Agency Outlook: EC3

One of the not-so-surprising WWE releases last month was the departure of uber-charismatic Ethan Carter the 3rd, better known as EC3. EC3 originally performed under the WWE banner in 2009 under the name “Derrick Bateman” and was a contestant in the old game show format of NXT. Bateman never really caught and was released after multiple starts and stops on B shows.

He signed with TNA Wrestling (Impact) in 2013 as Dixie Carter’s spoiled nephew and his career took off and eventually won the World Championship on June 15 2015 by defeating the legendary Kurt Angle.

After years of chaos and turmoil in TNA’s management he left that promotion in 2018 and began his 2nd stint with in WWE. He debuted in NXT and impressed many with his presence, promos, and look and was decent in the ring. He was called up rather quickly as he has everything Vince McMahon wanted in a guy 20 years ago. But he fell out of favor after just a couple matches on the main roster and he has been a ghost for over a year. EC3’s age (37) will work against him but he has a great look, promos are top tier, and has a ton of charisma, and carries himself like a star. However he does not adhere to the flippy-floppy-Canadian Destroyer-leg slap-forearm-forearm-kickout at 2 in ring style of the day. With all that in mind, lets take a look at where he could end up:

Most Likely: Impact Wrestling

In my opinion, it is time for EC3 to come home. Impact is where he had his greatest success, its where he made his name, its where he fluorished, he has connections there, and he will be allowed to be himself again. While Impact employs a lot of great workers, a lot of what they do is heavy story telling and promos and he would fit right in with what they do.

Uncle Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer agrees: “For Impact, he has history there, the quality of work there is such that he’s fine for what they do, and has the look, presence and talking ability ahead of almost everyone there. To me, that’s his best fit.”

With several teases of TNA being brought back and Moose carrying around the TNA Heavyweight championship, it is only fitting that EC3 debut at Slammiversary and challenge Moose for the title. Moose and EC3 are really good friends btw (see below). If and when he does debut, please for the love of all that is holy, give him some new ring music.

Possible: NWA

EC3 does have an extensive history with Dave Lagana and Billy Corgan as they were two big driving forces in TNA during his time there. NWA has become a landing spot for former TNA guys with whom Lagana has worked with in the past (NWA Champ Nick Aldis, James Storm, Eli Drake, an Bram among others). His style would fit right in with what they do, as they rely heavily on promos and the in-ring work is really secondary. I would still say the betting odds are with Impact, but do not count out NWA here.

Longshots: AEW, NJPW, ROH, MLW

I dont really see him being a fit with any of those promotions. His work-style goes against what they do in AEW-NJPW-ROH and MLW couldnt afford him.

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