EC3 recently spoke with Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com and discussed a wide range of topics, shedding light on his frustrations while working for WWE.
The former IMPACT Wrestling World Champion was hindered by recurring concussion issues: "I was concussed. I actually was concussed at the NXT Takeover in Brooklyn. We’ve had a few in the past. We all get them, but that was the first time I didn’t know where I was. That was a scary feeling. All of sudden I was in a trainer’s room talking to a doctor, and I had no idea how I got there.
"I remember the first thing they said was, “Do you know what city you’re in?” I said, “I don’t.” Then I was like, “Oh sh**.” So from there, I started the road to recovery, and I did come back. Then in another match on NXT TV, I believe, I was donked to the back of the head and fresh off that one concussion, I had another. That sucked. It sucked real bad, but shortly after that is when I got the call to the main roster, which I was kind of perplexed by. Assumed that I wasn’t cleared."
As well as being physically effected, EC3 says that the concussions were mentally and emotionally draining, too: "Somebody caught me a few months later, and I was out again with a concussion. This time, it was very difficult to come back from, because we’ve talked about injuries in the past, and knees, and my back, and my bicep tear, or pecks tear, body’s falling apart.
"This injury was the most difficult, because in lieu of the physical aspect of it, it was a lot mentally, and having to deal with the brain chemistry and the mental aspect of this concussion and maybe life in general was really difficult and extremely hard to come back from. I will say they let me see people specifically that work in that field, and I’m thankful for that, because I was able to learn a lot about this. But yeah, took a long time to come back from it, and pass tests, and be ready, and come back, and then come back, and hurry up and wait and fight. Okay. Yeah. Here we are."
Rather than being upset by his release on April 15, EC3 felt relieved: "It didn’t hurt my feelings. It relieved me immediately. I finally took a breath and I was like, “This is fine. This will be okay.” Granted, we don’t know what the rules are going to be or where I’m going to work next, because who knows what’s going to happen with entertainment and the world in general, but hey, there’s 90 days to figure it out. But at the same time, it was a relief for me."
During his brief time on the main WWE roster, EC3 engaged in a short feud with Dean Ambrose, which took place while it was known that the former Shield member would be leaving the company once his contract expired.
Speaking about the experience, EC3 said: "I think they were mad at Dean for choosing to free himself as well. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s their business. But we were working live events, having good matches, but obviously he was being cheered, because he’s a notable name and everyone loves him, and I was being booed, because I was going against the guy who just told the company, “Hey, see you,” and was a hero to them. Also, he has a stellar body of work with the company. They’ve been watching him for years. He killed himself countless times for their entertainment. Of course they’re going to cheer them and boo me.
"A lot of the matches, they were pretty run-of-the-mill, babyface versus heel, baby face and whatever, but on the last night, I vividly remember Dean, he was like, “Let’s just switch it.” “Yeah, all right.” Then I started turning it up as a hero, and he started fighting from underneath, babyface, and then I cheated to win. It was great. They were getting me what I always wanted, the response is like, “Oh, shove the babyface down his throat, but we actually don’t like him.” Sort of the boo Cena kind of thing. I’m like, “Holy hell, if I fall into that, I’m money.” But instead, I turned heel, and he went on to finish, and I went into obscurity.”
EC3's 90-day non-compete has expired and he has teased that he will fight on July 18, the date of IMPACT Wrestling's Slammiversay pay-per-view.