Ethan Carter III has had an amazing past few years since leaving the WWE for TNA, and was interviewed by Sean Ross Sap of about his career.

The interview is long and spans two different articles with a lot of questions, so the most relevant questions will be mentioned here in sections.

Part 1 Questions

Who’s idea was it to bring Tyrus in? He’s fulfilling his potential in this role.

“His potential has yet to be seen, if you ask me. Especially when he can be in control of himself. I love it for him, I think it’s great. It takes a huge load off my back, but when it’s time for him to be his own man I think he’s going to shock some people. I’ve known him for 7 years now. He has a very unique talent and he knows it. The opportunity to show himself never really came about. You saw glimpses of it in NXT season 4. Go back and watch his promo when he was eliminated in Cleveland, it was awesome. He has something. As far as him being there, it wasn’t my idea, but I certainly didn’t turn it down. It’s been good.”

One of my favorite pro wrestling segments this year was you two forcing Rockstar Spud to peel Tyrus’ potatoes. Is something like that your idea or the writing team?

“That was conjured up by the creative team. The great thing about our team is that there’s a lot of give and take with the segment. You can write it down, but to deliver it on paper, you need those three dynamic characters using their mannerisms to make it work. It lets the talent develop while the creative is on point. I like that. I like that s–t.”

How did the negotiation process start with TNA?

“I have people I talked to, even throughout my tenure in WWE. I wasn’t stupid, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. You keep your ducks in a row, but I came over based on Dave Lagana’s recommendation and John Gaburick being in WWE and seeing something in me when I was over there. It’s really a perfect storm of an opportunity, because if I had any kind of a real run on WWE TV, I wouldn’t be able to transition into this character. Going under the radar completely sucked at the time, but it couldn’t have worked out any better for me.”

At what point did you know the release was coming? Because you said you knew you weren’t going anywhere.

“I kind of knew when I wrestled Cesaro on Saturday Morning Slam. It was cool and we were having fun. I was in this weird spot where I was maybe getting this character that I was pitching, but I didn’t know because there you never know. I did a suicide dive and dislocated my kneecap, and thought it was probably my last WWE match. There was a transition in the office. Old guys are leaving, new guys are coming in. The guys who signed you aren’t going to be in power anymore. There’s no one in your corner per se, because they want to make their own people and it’s business, I get that. I just wish I didn’t have to go through the last five months of developmental. I could have just walked out that day with my head held high.”

Another interesting show you were on was NXT Season 4. Daniel Bryan wrote in his book that you all got in trouble for rigging one of the games.

“(laughs) I need to pick up his book. That was NXT before the internet godsend that everyone loves and adores so much. This was probably the most hated show of all time. It had nothing to do with the talent involved, but the way it was presented. You put that talent in the same NXT show today and I think it’s still a damn good show. Everyone was good….well, ok, 90 percent of it was good.

“We did get into a little bit of trouble. The way I looked at it was that the show was based
around screwing with us as talent. We kind of changed the game by rigging our answers. That should have been commended and I should have been promoted immediately for being the ultimate wrestling snake. But alas, when you go against the machine, sometimes you get a slap on the wrist. The only thing that bothers me is the next week they deducted time from me doing the Out Think The Fink challenge, and I had Howard Finkel beat. You know? Now I’m pretty upset.”

Another great segment was the double date with the Bellas. How much lenience are you given in something like that? We’ve all seen WWE writing, and it seems like you all went on your own a lot there.

“There was a lot of allowing us to put in our own words. That was some of the cool stuff we did in season 4 and even in Redemption with a lot of the weird storylines. There was freedom to see it yourself. There was creative helping you, but not telling you to do it verbatim. That’s the way I feel is best for pro wrestling. We’re not Shakespearean actors, we’re extensions of ourselves. The double date was fun, a laugh riot. I had a blast doing it and got to throw a bag of change at Nikki, and now Brie and Daniel are happily married forever after. All thanks to me.”

Were you and Daniel Bryan friends off the show? You two had really good on-screen chemistry.

“Yeah, we rode together and stuff. Like, yes. But, yeah. I don’t know how to say it. I don’t talk to him every day or anything, but yeah.”

Something I noticed while preparing for the interview, in July, you teamed with DJ Z, Ray Rowe, Matt Cross and Samoa Joe. That’s talent from WWE, ROH, Lucha Underground and TNA. Was that something you realized going in? You’d never see that in the 1990s.

“They built that whole match around the fact that they got five guys from those promotions on the same team. It was great. We took on Johnny Gargano, Josh Prohibition, Alex Daniels, Young Bucks. The match was awesome. I wish the show wasn’t five hours before the match because it probably would have been one of the best matches ever. It was cool, unique, and a lot of us have ties to Cleveland.”

If you would like to read the other questions asked for Part 1, click here.

Part 2 Questions

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

For the other questions EC3 answered in part 2, click here.

EC3 will be defending his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway with special guest referee Jeff Hardy at the “Bound For Glory” pay-per-view on October 4 at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Editor’s Note:

EC3 is one of my favorite athletes in TNA and in wrestling right now. He performs good inside and outside the ring. Have you heard his music? Even that is amazing. Going into the match, I am predicting EC3 walks out as Champion, but with Jeff as the special guest, he is going to be in for a rough night.


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