EXCLUSIVE: EC3: Why It Didn't Work Out In WWE

EC3’s WWE runs were underwhelming to say the least

From his break-out as lover of chicks and America Derrick Bateman on NXT season four, through his reemergence following his successful TNA/IMPACT Wrestling run, many pegged EC3 as a future WWE main eventer, but both runs were underwhelming to put it politely.

During an appearance on Cultaholic Straight to Hell with Ross Tweddell, EC3 talked about why he felt his WWE runs failed, saying the following:

“Maybe on the first occasion it was the presentation. It was Derrick Bateman, I was a curly-haired idiot. We’re thrown on a throwaway show, the NXT before NXT was cool. To stand out I made sure I stood out and to stand out if they’re not taking it seriously it was hard for me to take it seriously. It was more about being entertaining but sometimes when you’re entertaining, you’re pigeonholed as being a comedy guy. When I grew up watching wrestling, I’m watching The Rock, Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian, who entertained the absolute hell out of me. But [they were] also badasses because they had something to fight for. On NXT, what were we fighting for? Nothing. There was no point or purpose to what we were fighting for. So to be entertaining it was perceived as being, ‘Oh he’s comedic. Oh you’ve got the next Santino [Marella].’ Well whatever, at the same time Santino’s making the company millions of dollars pulling an anaconda out of his ass crack. So there’s money in that but it didn’t work out. I got hurt at an inopportune time. I was back in NXT but there was change-over going and I mean, I was there for a minute. A long time I was part of the system despite my attempts to change who I was and my presentation. They were met on deaf ears. And when you’re there for a long time and not contributing or you’re just kind of stuck, it’s better to go. It was the best thing that ever could have happened to me to go. 

“Second time... It was a rushed call up at the time. They called me up when I was injured with a concussion which was bizarre to me. There were no real plans or interest, it was just a whatever call up met with fly-by-night booking. There was no character development, there was no ability to present myself. Maybe that’s on my end too because I didn’t push hard enough but when one of my great assets is storytelling and speaking, I was told not to speak. I was caught in the Moxley leaving the company scenario where there was no way to punish him. In some theory, perhaps I was punished because of it. Just bizarre, strange. One thing I promised myself, which I saw within the industry and especially on the main roster, was to never get down or be depressed or just fall in line, and I did so I take full responsibility. I became miserable and deluded and saw no way out short of ‘I’m there to collect a paycheque and do my job, I’ll do it to the best of my ability’. There were multiple times I attempted to pitch and push and get in with him. But maybe I did not get in with the boss enough to present my case, which is very difficult to do but if you’re persistent – I wasn’t persistent enough perhaps. Got another concussion, I was kind of on the wayside for a while. When I was coming back I was presenting this that I’m currently portraying, my reality, as the next character revolution and instead a pandemic happened and I got fired. So, again, probably the absolute best thing that could have happened for me at the time because I was mentally, physically, even spiritually not in a great place.

“At not one point did I say, ‘Well I was under-utilised.’ Complaining, bitching and moaning. I’m so f*cking tired of hearing it from talent. It’s about doing something for yourself. It’s about taking that initiative. That’s what ‘Control Your Narrative’ came from. Did I get in a bad spot? Yeah. Was I mistreated? No, I was paid every week. Was I creatively stifled? Absolutely. Was I unable to perform to the best of my abilities? In a way the opportunities didn’t show themselves. But I’m not gonna blame them. It happened, I’m over it. I’m better for it. Here we are.” 

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.