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EC3 On His Feud With Dean Ambrose Being Dropped, His WWE Release & More

July 16, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
EC3 Ethan Carter III NXT Takeover Philadelphia - Kurt Angle

EC3 discussed his WWE exit, his time out due to his concussion and more in a new interview with PWInsider’s Mike Johnson. You can check out the highlights below:

On the mental and emotional toll of dealing with his concussion, recovering and then not being used: “That’s a loaded and diabolically complicated question that I’m going to try to answer to my best… Because you’ve covered so much, but yeah, when you mentioned mental health, everyone’s, in this day and age, rightfully so, bringing attention to mental health and how important that is. It’s okay to talk about it if you certain ways, anxiety, depression, even worse. So if anybody gets any inspiration from my story, all the better, but I think it’s something everybody feels to a certain level. So I’m not different than anybody, just at what levels of expense to my overall psyche did it take. I was concussed. I actually was concussed at the NXT Takeover in Brooklyn. We’ve had a few in the past. We all get them, but that was the first time I didn’t know where I was. That was a scary feeling. All of sudden I was in a trainer’s room talking to a doctor, and I had no idea how I got there. I remember the first thing they said was, “Do you know what city you’re in?” I said, “I don’t.” Then I was like, “Oh sh**.” So from there, I started the road to recovery, and I did come back. Then in another match on NXT TV, I believe, I was donked to the back of the head and fresh off that one concussion, I had another. That sucked. It sucked real bad, but shortly after that is when I got the call to the main roster, which I was kind of perplexed by. Assumed that I wasn’t cleared. I didn’t know when I would be. At the same time, I was coming off as a character. I felt the extent of what this character should have been. I was ready to progress, and I pretty much, I don’t want to say pitched this character that I’m doing now, because it’s not a character. It’s very real life to who I am, but I gave this as a presentation, and then it just, “Nope, next episode.” “Okay, cool.” You feel obligated to be prepared. This is going to be what you think is the biggest opportunity of your life. I passed the test. I got back, called up, and then the run was what it was. Somebody caught me a few months later, and I was out again with a concussion. This time, it was very difficult to come back from, because we’ve talked about injuries in the past, and knees, and my back, and my bicep tear, or pecks tear, body’s falling apart. This injury was the most difficult, because in lieu of the physical aspect of it, it was a lot mentally, and having to deal with the brain chemistry and the mental aspect of this concussion and maybe life in general was really difficult and extremely hard to come back from. I will say they let me see people specifically that work in that field, and I’m thankful for that, because I was able to learn a lot about this. But yeah, took a long time to come back from it, and pass tests, and be ready, and come back, and then come back, and hurry up and wait and fight. Okay. Yeah. Here we are.”

On the emotional weight of being released: “I think there’s aspects of every feeling you mentioned involved in that. I will say at this point, realizing who I kind of was as a person, how unhappy I was all the time, how much it wears on me, my ability to be satisfied creating something and working hard towards something, and then when I can’t do that, who it makes me become is not the best version of me. So yeah, it sucks, but at the same time, coming back from that injury, I was prepared. Must be realistic from a business perspective. They don’t use me, and I just had a couple months where I couldn’t even live up to the meager use of me. I understand that from a business point. What do I have to offer besides… You don’t know, because they haven’t tried, but it makes me expendable, and I’m okay with that. I’m fine with the professional aspect of that. At the same time, I was realizing how unhappy of a person I was. I was prepared to ask to be released. Everybody does all that shut. They go on social media, and they whine and complain. I never do that, or they would ask, and then post on social media about it. I wouldn’t do that. I’d have a direct conversation man to man, let the chips fall where they may. But at the same time, we’re walking into a COVID world. Who knows what’s going to happen, especially, what was that? March and April, we had no clue what was going on. The economy gets shut down. I have a job that pays well. My parents own a business, which is being throttled by this shutdown. I know I have to stick it out for as long as possible. So at least something really drastic happened, I could take care of them. But at the same time, if it was business as usual, I probably would have tried to, “Let’s do something,” or, “I have to go, because I’m not happy.” But with the pandemic, I just held on, and business wise, yeah, get rid of me. Bye. That makes sense. I would say there was, unlike the first time, it was a… I don’t want to say, “I’m better off. See you.” That’s not what I’m trying to say at all, but it wasn’t… It didn’t hurt my feelings. It relieved me immediately. I finally took a breath and I was like, “This is fine. This will be okay.” Granted, we don’t know what the rules are going to be or where I’m going to work next, because who knows what’s going to happen with entertainment and the world in general, but hey, there’s 90 days to figure it out. But at the same time, it was a relief for me.”

On what his 90 day no-compete clause did in terms of his creativity: “I would say me personally, everyone’s different, but it inspired me to have 90 days to create something unfiltered, unfettered, something directly my own, something that has my stamp on it, my heart, my soul, my passion. I have some help with my partner as well helps me on creative aspects, but this is the one time, what do I see may be coming? How do I get there? How can I tell that story while still corporately funded, in theory, and be okay to take a couple risks, but make something that I can present to, whether it’s fans, to the next people that may hire me? This is who I am. This is what I want to do. Show it to the world so they know, “Okay, I see where he’s kind of going with this.” Then when it goes somewhere else, there’s give and takes you’re going to have on the creative endeavor with people that you work for. So I just wanted to create something in 90 days that I was proud of, that I was happy with, I won. I did seriously challenge myself to say in 90 days, I could create something creatively that shows, in my opinion, the creative process in the company is broken. I can do it with myself, my mate, a Sony handheld, and some forthright some articulate words. I can’t even say the words right. Ah, concussions. No, articulation, words, my story, wow, with something true and personal and real to me, and hopefully it applies to others. If not, it’s a cool wrestling character. If it’s nothing, people don’t like it, it’s fine too. This is what I’d like to see. This is who I think I am. This is the person I am. Let’s see what I can do.”

On why his feud with Dean Ambrose dropped off so quickly: “I wish I knew, to be honest. I don’t know. I was at the point where I thought I was brought up with an intention and a purpose. So I made the mistake of trusting the process instead of being the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I remember I think, “Hey, I think we’re turning you heel.” I’m like, “Oh, thank God I’m such a better heel and I don’t do flashy things, and I can really talk… Man, yeah, turn me heel and get me on the microphone right away. Let’s go.” But that didn’t ever happen. So I found myself by trusting others would be one thing. I think they were mad at Dean for choosing to free himself as well. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s their business. But we were working live events, having good matches, but obviously he was being cheered, because he’s a notable name and everyone loves him, and I was being booed, because I was going against the guy who just told the company, “Hey, see you,” and was a hero to them. Also, he has a stellar body of work with the company. They’ve been watching him for years. He killed himself countless times for their entertainment. Of course they’re going to cheer them and boo me. A lot of the matches, they were pretty run-of-the-mill, babyface vs. heel, baby face and whatever, but on the last night, I vividly remember Dean, he was like, “Let’s just switch it.” “Yeah, all right.” Then I started turning it up as a hero, and he started fighting from underneath, babyface, and then I cheated to win. It was great. They were getting me what I always wanted, the response is like, “Oh, shove the babyface down his throat, but we actually don’t like him.” Sort of the boo Cena kind of thing. I’m like, “Holy hell, if I fall into that, I’m money.” But instead, turned I heel, and he went on to finish, and I went into obscurity.”

article topics :

EC3, WWE, Jeremy Thomas