Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Your Host: James Walsh
No longer Ethan Carter, Essential Character III, EC3 for short, is facing Flip Gordon at Ring of Honor’s Best in the World PPV on Sunday, July 11. In this short but powerful chat, EC3 explains his new, darker character after his WWE departure, the disappointment of his WWE run and badly timed release, and his choosing ROH over all others and the reasons why.
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Ring of Honor presents Best in the World on Sunday night, July 11th from Baltmore, Maryland featuring the return of a live crowd! You can order the event on traditional pay-per-view, FITE TV, and Honor Club. For more information, visit www.ROHWrestling.com.
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On if he’ll still answer to the name Ethan Carter:
“Well, if I’m one of your favorite guys to watch in the entire world, you should know that Ethan Carter the Third is no more. EC3 has been replaced by the Essential Character. But I am doing fantastic on this gloomy day and tropical storm Elsa, how are you?”
On if he’ll change his travel plans due to the hurricane:
“Absolutely not! I’ll be there the last chance I get. It will be fine. It’s just like with anything else. A couple of days ago, they said it is the end of all hurricanes coming to blow Florida off the map again. But of course, the media are just fear mongers and full of lies! It is a tropical storm. There’s a nice rain, maybe a tree or two is gonna fall down. We’ll be okay! Business will continue. Life will go on!”
On his recent health scare and what was up with it:
“Yeah, several weeks ago, I had a pretty bad infection, cellulitis and something else. I don’t remember. It wasn’t great. I was hospitalized. But through grit, determination and modern medicine, I made it out. The second I walked out of that hospital, I had a date circled and that date was July 11, 2021! Best in the World! I did everything to make sure I’d be prepared. Not only prepared but better than ever at Best in the World! I’m on course for that. So physically, I look great. With the amount of work I’m putting in, I feel like shit. But that’s to be expected. That’s what happens when you go hard. Non stop! Come July 11, I’ll be one of many facets of Best in the World.”
On facing Flip Gordon at Best in the World:
You know, I’m intrigued what would happen between Flip and me as we built to this match. We have not had that many altercations. There’s a lot of story to tell. There’s a lot of differences in similarities which humanizes people that I think could be exploited for some in depth storytelling. We have minimal reactions, interactions on television, but seeing as we tagged and he notably cheated in a match at the 19th Anniversary Show I found out a quest, an answer to a question I’ve had is, “Is Honor Real?” When I wrestled Jay Briscoe I did find out that Honor truly is real in professional wrestling. It is not the dilapidated degrading industry that I thought it was. Honor still exist and to be honorable is to not cheat. So Flip… I like what he’s done with himself. I like he’s taking away the things like the actual Flips, and things of that nature with people that would clap for him. aimlessly. We have no context of substance and he’s adding in that substance. So a talent like that is compelling and I’m interested in not only competing with, but showing them the way! Showing them to take back control! Fight for freedom! Find their purpose! As far as that though, I respect him and I’ve been watching him for a very long time. Best in the World… I prove that and to be the best in the world, you have to win!
On his recent self-done PPV Free the Narrative:
“Free the Narrative is available on FITE TV now. We soft launched it via Vimeo as we figured out exactly what we are and who we are. Critically, anyone who’s watched it, it has changed their perspective on wrestling. I want to present wrestling in a different way. Now with the (COVID) Pandemic, a lot of things have changed. There is a lot of uphill battles which wrestling had to fight. When are not doing the same old, same old interacting with audiences and things of that nature. Cinematic matches became kind of popular, but I definitely feel they jumped the shark in how they are portrayed. I believe there’s an element to storytelling cinematically that can be applied to wrestling that is physical and real. Free the Narrative was my experiment in breaking down psychology as opposed to commentating, having narrations. It was a daunting project. The people that have seen it loved it, it is still available on FITE TV, and it will have a home there forever. The version on FITE actually has a very special extended, top secret ending. All I can say is “monsterous”, . to allude to what’s next, ”
On Free the Narrative using stars from Impact and AEW:
“Yeah, that is where the Wrestling World is kind of going and should go. Like, every wrestling fan knows companies exist! The proverbial “Forbidden Door” is kind of open. But to see talent be able to interact on a neutral ground with no three letter corporate branding… The purpose is them being themselves! Finding themselves creatively. Expressing themselves. Being able to recreate themselves, perhaps if something happened, like a firing. Where they want to reinvention and re enlightening become to the narrative, the narrative I look at, Free the Narrative as
supplemental content to the Professional Wrestling world. The door is always open. There has been a lot of people knocking on that door.”
On the “Free the Narrative” concept’s inception:
“You have to remember that when my former corporate wrestling brand fired me, we were in the midst of a worldwide pandemic when there was nothing but questions and zero answers. The wrestling world didn’t know what it was going to be. You know, we didn’t! Nobody knew anything at that time! So, I definitely wanted to keep options open and use that platform. I used my own platform to recreate myself and re envision myself, be who I’m supposed to be! This Essential Character! And then, to have options. And, yes, the phone did ring.”
On his brief stint with Impact Wrestling last year:
“I did briefly stop by Impact. But, that was not about me. It was about Moose! Because Moose has a talent and what the Essential Character sees is talents who don’t truly show who they are. I wanted to bring that out of him. That was my sole reason for returning to Impact. That and also to end Ethan Carter the Third once and for all as that name serves me no more.”
On choosing ROH above Impact, AEW, and other options:
“Yes, the phone rang elsewhere. But Ring of Honor is something I’ve never done. And. it’s a storied brand and a legacy that is reinventing itself. It’s finding its own new purpose. It’s something that I want to help build and create. I don’t want to go somewhere where I’m part of something – Just an interchangeable part. I want to go somewhere, create something, build something, make something special happen based on
the hard work I can put in.”
On the evolution of EC3 to the Essential Character:
“Well, I mean if you look at it like this – Entitled wrestler finds their way into their Aunt’s wrestling company, is given every advantage possible to become something, eventually gets, trial by combat, learns under fire. Becomes a legitimate not only contender, but a legitimate World Heavyweight Champion.
Takes that legacy – That brand, that top 1%, that gusto, that confidence. Brings it to (WWE) NXT, succeeds carrying on that torch. But then, when it truly mattered on the main (WWE) roster… Negated, thrown away, injured, concussed. Things of that nature. These things have consequences. Then, to eventually be fired during a pandemic! If I showed up as a top 1% somewhere else, that means nothing in this world matters because so much happened to me. When things happen to you, you change and you evolve. So, in reality, I changed and evolved, I went through things. Things I preached about being lied to my whole life… The things, the corporate mentality, the gears in the machine that they make us become. But, being able to find yourself… To control your narrative as to tell your story! So that’s the evolution. When things happen to you, if you don’t react to them, then did anything truly happen? A lot has happened to me professionally and personally.”
On his online videos where he threw out and burnt his own WWE action figure:
“As long as you live in the past, you’ll forever remain in the past. So, if you’re shopping at a Target and you see your likeness, your image captured in toxic chemicals made in China sold for commerce. When something destroyed a part of your soul and took your pride and tried to destroy your passion… Truly let everything go! Let that which does not matter, slide. So, I threw out my own action figure. Eventually, I burnt one too. If you’re going to destroy your past, you must commit. If you’re going to do something, go all in. Be bold! Be brave! Don’t stop! Sometimes things work out… Sometimes they don’t. Everything happens for a reason.”
On why he felt WWE didn’t push him on the main roster:
“That’s not a question for me. That is a question you would have to ask the powers that be there.
On his overall goals and objectives in Ring of Honor:
“Whoever is the World Heavyweight Champion. If it is RUSH… I guess we will find out this Sunday at Beast in the World on FITE TV (and pay per view)!”