After successfully reinventing himself in TNA/Impact Wrestling as the entitled storyline nephew of former majority owner Dixie Carter, Ethan Carter III — aka EC3 — has failed to make an impression on WWE television. As a member of the Monday Night Raw roster, the former TNA World Heavyweight Champion is barely utilized on the red brand’s programming and is usually seen these days as one of the many lower-card talents in the chase for the 24/7 Championship. However, a new report suggests that there’s a reason why WWE owner Vince McMahon apparently abandoned plans to give EC3 a more meaningful push.
As explained by Cultaholic, EC3 has faced numerous challenges since returning to WWE under his current ring name, as he lost most of his big matches during his time in NXT and has mainly been used to put over his fellow lower-card talents since joining the main roster in February 2019. There was a time, though, when WWE reunited him with a former Impact Wrestling ally and had Drake Maverick manage him in an April house show, where he lost to Luke Harper.
Quoting Dave Meltzer’s comments on a recent Wrestling Observer Radio episode, Cultaholic noted that McMahon apparently wasn’t impressed with the pairing, despite EC3 and Maverick’s past history in their former promotion.
“I think that Vince (McMahon) pretty much gave up on EC3 real fast…They did a try out in April of EC3 with Drake Maverick and putting them back together like they were in TNA, and Vince hated that too so I don’t think this one is a Paul (Heyman) call.”
Aside from McMahon apparently not liking EC3 and Maverick’s pairing, AEW wrestler Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) mentioned one other reason why the wrestler — who was originally known as Derrick Bateman in his first WWE run — hasn’t enjoyed much success in his second. In May 2019, he recalled EC3’s main-roster debut, where he received a lot of boos from fans for picking up the win over the soon-to-depart Moxley, despite being booked as a babyface at that time.
Given how Meltzer was quoted as saying McMahon “gave up” on EC3, he isn’t the only wrestler who has reportedly seen less television time because of the WWE boss’ perceived tendency to lose faith in certain performers. In December, it was reported that McMahon felt similarly about former Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander, who got some additional exposure on Monday Night Raw last summer before disappearing from the red brand’s storylines with little to no explanation.