Given his success in Impact Wrestling, many have been wondering if it’s possible that the wrestler known as “EC3” would make a WWE return at some point in the future. While the wrestler known in real life as Michael Hutter was mainly in WWE’s lower card as Derrick Bateman, he’s experienced massive success in TNA/Impact Wrestling as Ethan Carter III, the storyline nephew of former TNA Chairwoman Dixie Carter. And with that in mind, it seems that coming back to the WWE just might be feasible for EC3, but probably not at this point in his career.
Earlier this week, Ethan Carter III appeared on former WWE wrestler Sean Waltman’s podcast, X-Pac 12360, where he had addressed several issues, including his departure from WWE in 2013. According to quotes from the podcast published by WrestlingNews.co, EC3 was fired some time after suffering an injury at what he believes was a match against Cesaro on Saturday Night Main Event. After undergoing surgery and rehabbing his injury, EC3 was sent to NXT to “at least work on (his) skills,” but instead of getting promoted back to the main roster, he was released by WWE, a move that he says inspired him to “work even harder.”
As for the chances of an EC3 WWE return, the 34-year-old wrestler stressed that he sees it as a possibility for the future, but not something he’s interested in, due to his ongoing commitments with Impact Wrestling.
“To be blunt and frankly honest I have a lot left to accomplish. I believe I have a lot to prove there (WWE), that I never had the chance to do or didn’t deserve at the time. But you know I’ve learned a lot about myself and know myself now that it’s definitely on my mind, but it’s not something I can focus on. My commitments are with Impact.”
Although Impact Wrestling’s rate of attrition has slowed down in recent months, the company has recently lost several of its top talents, including Mike and Maria Bennett, The Hardy Boyz, and Drew Galloway. Last month, Sportskeeda wrote that the Bennetts are expected to “appear on (WWE) television shortly,” though it’s not quite sure when this is supposed to take place. As for the latter two names, The Hardy Boyz returned at WrestleMania 33 and won the RAW Tag Team Championships on their first night back with WWE, while Galloway is now using his old WWE ring name, Drew McIntyre, as part of the NXT roster.
All that makes a possible EC3 WWE return plausible, though as he sees it, it’s all about his current run with Impact Wrestling for the time being. That was further underscored in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, where he said his focus is on “making Impact great again,” particularly through his ongoing feud with TNA/Impact veteran James Storm, and their upcoming match at Impact’s Slamniversary pay-per-view on July 2.
Prior to joining the company then known as TNA in 2013, EC3 was known in WWE as Derrick Bateman, a contestant in the fourth season of NXT, when it was still in its old “game show”/rookie search format. He was mostly booked as a lower-card talent during his time in WWE, mainly appearing on B-shows and being booked to lose far more often than he won.
Would you like to see EC3 make a WWE return, now that he’s accomplished much bigger things in TNA and Impact Wrestling? If he does come back to WWE, do you see him enjoying similar success, or do you think he may have a hard time moving up the card?
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling]