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TNA Slammiversary 2016 Preview: Ethan Carter III vs. ‘The Miracle’ Mike Bennett

EC3 vs. ‘The Miracle’ Mike Bennett

Ethan Carter hasn't had a great year, at least by his standards. The peak of his 2016 was the first night Impact was on PopTV when he beat Matt Hardy to become a two time TNA champion. He was on top of the promotion, still unpinned and unsubmitted. That same night, The Miracle Mike Bennett and his wife Maria Kanellis debuted. A backstage encounter between men would subtly set the stage for what was to come: A downslide for Ethan Carter.

The first thing that went wrong for the champ was when he lost his title to a Matt Hardy, who had turned to the dark side to take the title. That included Matt convincing Tryus’ bodyguard to betray EC3 to help him win the match. Hardy would retain his title by convincing EC3’s only friend Rockstar Spud to do the same. The only solace that EC3 could take is those two losses were stipulation matches where he lost without being pinned nor submit. At least his streak was in tact.

Mike Bennett started targeting EC3 when he attacked Carter during a triple threat match for the TNA title. Weeks later, Ethan was in a battle royal for a chance to become Number One contender to the title and Bennett cost him that too. It’s not clear why Bennett went after Carter initially. It’s possible that Big Money Matt Hardy paid him in order to help him keep his title. Or The Miracle could have been trying to make a name for himself.

After Bennett cost Carter enough, Ethan demanded and then received a match with The Miracle. During this match, Bennett’s wife Maria continued to interfere to ensure her husband would not lose. She was never caught by the referee, but it was enough to enrage Carter that he ended up grabbing a chair and using it on Bennett, which got him disqualified. Technically, the Miracle had won.

And technically was fine by Bennett. He had no desire to go at it again. But EC3 was insistent. So he sold it the Miracle as the real chance to make a name for himself. If Mike really wants to be the big dog, do what no one else can do. Pin or submit EC3. That was enough to sell Bennett. They had the match.

And Mike Bennett pinned EC3.

Suddenly, Carter had nothing left. He lost his title. He lost his friends. And now he lost his streak. This left Carter incensed, almost unsure what to do with himself. He had to avenge the loss. He needed another shot at the Miracle. But now Bennett had absolutely no reason to give him another shot. Bennett took what mattered most from Ethan. Now he’s the man. He’s the one who’s is unbeaten in TNA.

After EC3 pushed enough, Bennett told him he could face him if he could beat his demons of the past. Desperate to get another shot at Bennett, Carter agreed to his stipulations. He beat Rockstar Spud in a cage match. He beat Tyrus in a Last Man Standing match. But when he was close to defeating Matt Hardy by pin or submission, which was Bennett’s required stipulation, the Miracle ran in and attacked EC3. This caused Carter to win by DQ and not the required pin or submission, meaning EC3 wouldn’t get his match. It was clear that Bennett was just toying with Carter. He never planned to give Carter the match.

This forced Carter to pull the last string he had. He convinced his Aunt Dixie Carter to allow him to run Impact and his first order of business was to make the match between him and Bennett at Slammiversary.

However, getting the match was the easy part. Now EC3 needs to overcome the albatross that is Mike Bennett. Since Bennett arrived in TNA, The Miracle had an upward trajectory while EC3’s headed in the opposite direction. Can Carter right the ship at Slammiversary or will Bennett prove he just has EC3’s number? We’ll find out tomorrow when two of TNA’s hottest talents meet in this grudge match.

For further coverage of Slammiversary, you can see our predictions here and the overall preview of the show here. And keep it at for the live blog and reactions post during and after the show.

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