Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you do as a WWE Superstar. Certain talent on the roster will be pushed to the moon without any rhyme or reason to justify their spot on the card while other immensely talented individuals who deserve any recognition for their abilities get buried before ever getting a fair shake.
This is the case for EC3 who has now been wasted in both of his runs with the company.
Admittedly, EC3’s first stint in NXT as Derrick Bateman was anything but memorable. WWE simply didn’t think they had anything with him and ultimately parted ways, opening the door for him to make his jump to TNA/Impact Wrestling. In his new home, the former Bateman would be re-branded into Ethan Carter III (or EC3 for short) and would immediately gain traction as a legitimate main event talent.
While his in-ring work isn’t anything over-the-top or special, it’s always been good enough to make a match believable. More believable than some of the wrestlers that WWE actually does push, at the very least. Where EC3 shines, however, is in his character work. Even in his first run, it was clear that he had charisma and was able to hold his own on the mic. This was made even more evident when he was given the perfect character to match his charisma.
With EC3 proving that he could carry TNA/Impact Wrestling as their top star, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before he’d return to WWE and earn himself a spot as a top talent on either Raw or SmackDown Live. On paper, he has everything Vince McMahon looks for in a large, muscular wrestler with great character work and a built-in audience who already support him.
For one reason or another, though, EC3’s return has been lackluster at best. His NXT run was forgettable and his call-up to the main roster has left him used as a glorified jobber, assuming he even gets seen on television or used in a match at all.
It’s not the first time WWE has failed to use a talent to their full potential, but it’s shocking to see them drop the ball so hard on EC3 not once, but twice.
EC3 Can Still Be Saved
There’s still time to fix his image to the main roster crowd but with his most recent appearance on Monday Night Raw resulting in a squash-match loss to Braun Strowman for no reason whatsoever, including a chokeslam off of the entrance stage, EC3’s stock in the company is dropping rapidly.
It wouldn’t even take a Championship to make EC3 look good on the main roster. What he needs is legitimate booking that sees him develop his top one-percent character into a full-fledged heel role on Raw. If he can be consistently seen on Raw as a wrestler who thinks he’s better than everybody else, it would immediately set him up for a feud with virtually anybody at any given time.
While WWE has had heel World Champions in recent history on Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens
Regardless of what happens to EC3 in the future, it’s clear that this run has been nothing short of a catastrophe. When he re-signed with the company, this couldn’t have been the expectation he had for himself or that the company had for him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done anything wrong on-camera to merit this type of treatment. If he was tried and he failed, that would be one thing; unfortunately, he’s never even been given the chance to succeed.