Despite achieving great success in Impact Wrestling after a lackluster initial run in WWE and getting a good push in the developmental ranks following his return to the company, EC3 has been a staple of WWE’s lower-card scene for most of his time on the main roster. The promotion’s creative team hasn’t given him much to work with so far, and most of his appearances have been on Main Event, a program ironically dominated by lower- and mid-card matches. However, there appears to be a reason why the wrestler originally known in WWE as Derrick Bateman has lacked a meaningful role in recent months.
As reported by Wrestling Inc., Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose in WWE) may have opened up on the reason behind EC3’s “quick decline” following his promising main roster call-up during his recent appearance on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast. As Moxley recalled, WWE was planning to have him lose to several wrestlers as he finished up with the company. EC3 was one of those wrestlers, as he re-debuted on the main roster with a quick win over his departing colleague on a February episode of Monday Night Raw.
According to Moxley, it seemed that EC3 got some “backlash” after he won the match, as he was booked as a babyface but got booed by the live audience. This, he said, was because most of them felt Moxley was doing the honors for a highly-regarded newcomer, much like the case is for wrestlers who have given notice of their departure.
“We get to that weekend, I’m working with EC3 on house shows, now I’m the biggest babyface on the show,” Moxley continued. “I’m a heel, I’m thumbing him in the eye, I’m making fun of the town, it doesn’t matter, they’re violently rejecting him as the babyface and they’re cheering the hell out of me. It’s got nothing to do with him, it’s like anti-WWE.”
The reason for EC3's recent main roster misfortune has come to light: https://t.co/IQfy3BAVyX— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) May 30, 2019
On Thursday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer corroborated Moxley’s account of why EC3 appears to have been buried by WWE in the aftermath of his debut match, saying that the former Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion’s lower-card push is “100 percent” because of the negative reactions he got while wrestling Moxley as a babyface. Meltzer added that EC3 was getting booed in house shows because fans at WWE’s live events tend to cheer established wrestlers who they are familiar with, rather than performers who had recently been called up from NXT.
Since the conclusion of his brief feud with Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley on Monday Night Raw, EC3 has not been booked in a singles match on the red brand’s flagship show. As noted by Newsweek, he was most recently seen on Raw earlier this month as one of several wrestlers who took part in a “scramble” match to decide the inaugural winner of WWE’s 24/7 Championship.