wrestling / News

EC3 On Changing His Character From Impact to NXT, Being Inspired By American Psycho, Keeping His Name

December 22, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
EC3 Ethan Carter III NXT Takeover Philadelphia - Kurt Angle

EC3 has been one of the rare talents to maintain a cohesive character before, during, and after his WWE run, and he discussed how that happened in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet. While he stared out as Derrick Bateman in his original NXT run, EC3 took the Ethan Carter III name from TNA into NXT, then up to the main roster and is still using the character now that he’s left.
He talked with Van Vliet about how he tweaked the character going onto WWE, how he has been inspired by American Psycho and how he kept the name. You can check out the highlights and full video below:

On tweaking his character after leaving Impact : “Yeah, I think leaving Impact — I like change. And I don’t like to rest on laurels. So coming from Impact, going back to NXT, I thought had a brand and identity. It was a little different so I kind of wanted, I don’t know [if] I would call the character or the idea sort of a … reboot. I rebooted it a little bit. 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 with identity. And I could expand on it within the realm, so it would be cool.

“But then again, I’m just rehashing the ‘best of,’ and it never felt right and comfortable. And I had this idea that I wanted to do, kind of this nihilistic, psycho boy … a sort of cult [Tyler] Durdenesque, culty kind of leader, talking about evidence of truth and purpose, and finding yourself within the realms of combat and fighting. And stuff like that. So, I pitched that; instead of going with that, I wound up getting called up. And then, now we’re rebooting a reboot that nobody has a vested interest in, and the rest is mediocre history.”

On taking inspiration from American Psycho: “That always has been [an inspiration]. 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 like the personality traits. I’m like, ‘Oh god, I unfortunately like this person! I’m a terrible human!’ … Yeah, it’s heavily influenced a lot of the stuff I did. But what I really loved about that is the ambiguity [in the book and film]. You don’t know what’s real, you don’t know what’s made up. So that’s kind of what we like to portray with The Narrative: make your own decisions, take it in for what it is, and think of it however you want.”

On keeping his name from TNA in WWE: “When I came in there with Ricochet and The War Raiders, they weren’t going to use War Raiders for obvious reasons. And then Ricochet and I, they asked us for different names. And I was dead set, like, ‘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, it’s sort of an identity. I’d like to keep it. So Ricochet and I had this piece of paper and I just wrote the sh**tiest f**king names that started with E and C on it. So I like, 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.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.