When he was called up toward the end of 2018 after a successful stint on WWE's developmental brand, NXT, all signs pointed to Ethan Carter III, or EC3 for short, having a much better main roster run than he did earlier this decade, when he competed as lower-carder Derrick Bateman. But after a promising start that included a win over Dean Ambrose on the February 4 edition of Monday Night Raw, recent developments now hint at EC3 possibly being on the outs with WWE management for one reason or another, according to a new report.
According to WrestlingNews.co, things appear to have "gone downhill" for EC3 since his big return to the main roster. The 35-year-old wrestler, who, per ProFightDB, has not competed on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live since losing his rematch against Ambrose on February 11, was able to defeat Apollo Crews and the departing Tye Dillinger at live events, but as noted by the outlet, also lost several matches in recent weeks, both at live events and on the televised program WWE Main Event.
While some of these losses came against the likes of lower-card wrestlers such as Shelton Benjamin and Tyler Breeze, WrestlingNews.co wrote that EC3 was, together with Crews, most recently involved in Triple Threat matches for the Intercontinental Championship against defending champion Bobby Lashley. These matches reportedly saw Lashley successfully keep his title, with EC3 regularly taking the pin.
Citing backstage sources he supposedly spoke to, WrestlingNews.co's Paul Davis wrote that the reason for Ethan Carter III's apparently low status on the main roster is still unclear. However, one source reportedly told Davis that WWE chairman Vince McMahon is "not too high" on EC3 at the moment.
"[T]he recent losses (especially the latest one to Tyler Breeze) all point towards EC3 being in the doghouse," Davis added.As recalled by Sportskeeda, EC3, real name Michael Hutter, got his first break with a major wrestling promotion when he signed with WWE in 2009. After failing to achieve success as Derrick Bateman, he was released in May 2013 and, soon after, signed a contract with Impact Wrestling, which was then known as TNA. Thanks to a sustained main-event push, the now-renamed Ethan Carter III/EC3 became a two-time TNA World Champion and a one-time Impact Grand Champion during his time with the company. He then returned to WWE early last year, re-debuting for the company in March 2018 as part of the NXT roster.
Despite his erstwhile lack of exposure and the rumors that he might be in WWE's "doghouse," EC3 remains optimistic about his chances of moving up the card on the main roster, as reported earlier on Sunday by The Inquisitr. Speaking on the Gorilla Position podcast, EC3 recently said that his primary goal is to have a match with John Cena at WrestleMania 36 next year, though he's willing to "let the chips fall where they may" as he hopes to get more opportunities in the months to come.