I'm doing my best to keep up with TNA since their move to Destination America and Friday nights late last year (KDidz' awesome recaps, which include video, help a great deal. You should check them out).
When I do give Impact a look, I'm consistently reminded how much I enjoy the man a lot of fans new from WWE days as Derek Bateman. Now re-styled as Ethan Carter III, Dixie Carter's egotistical nephew, he's routinely one of the best things about a promotion that's working hard to overcome its LOLTNA reputation.
A couple of days ago, Carter, or EC3 as he's known, took part in an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on Reddit's /r/SquaredCircle to promote his hair vs. hair match on Impact tonight (March 13), the blow-off of his long running partnership-turned-feud with the equally entertaining Rockstar Spud.
And if I thought I enjoyed him on the old versions of NXT, or in TNA...boy howdy, is he great at online question and answering. Let's start with the headline you may have been drawn in here by:
You are put into a steel cage match with Brock Lesnar. What is your instant plan of action?
EC3: Have someone play the person he is feuding with's theme music, so he is distracted and I school boy him.
It's a good plan, and one that gives you a glimpse into both the sense of humor and level of wrestling nerd cred that are present throughout the session. Both were again display when answering a question about Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, the California promotion famous for "vanilla midgets" who "get their shit in" every match:
Could and can you work for PWG?
EC3: I don't know. I'd have to learn 20 new moves probably.
For fans who haven't followed TNA, last week's Bill Demott news cycle reminded many about that Derek Bateman guy who was on NXT: Redemption when Carter responded to Chris Jericho's quickly deleted Tweet about the situation. He answered a few questions about that topic, some seriously, others with funny jabs you'd expect from someone who feels he helped topple someone who'd bullied him:
So got any fun bill demott stories?
EC3: Yea, him being forced to resign last week.
What is your opinion on the whole Bill Demott situation?
EC3: These allegations that are true should've been addressed 2 years ago. Whatever. Not my place anymore.
I hated having productive and enjoyable 4 years in developmental and the road version of NXT be ruined by 5 months of his influence but as Bill liked to say "It is what it is"
I'm very happy though with how everything turned out because I am getting an opportunity I probably never would have there.
Would you rather train with 100 DeMott-sized horses or 1 horse-sized DeMott?
EC3: I trained with 1 DeMott sized DeMott and that is probably worse than either those options.
Many questions unsurprisingly deal with his time in WWE, and Carter gives some thoughtful answers without pulling punches:
When was the moment you realized that WWE's creative will never have the proper idea to utilize your talent ?
EC3: A lot gets heaped on the creative team when it isn't just. The real creative starts at the very top, and who/what they "get" or "don't get." Majority creative is hip and cool and try to think outside the box, so don't pass them all the blame.
Any guys that're underutilized in the E that you'd like to see back on the indies or TNA?
EC3: I can build a company on guys that are underutilized there. Having said that, we got Drew (Galloway, FKA McIntyre). I'm very happy about that.
While he's obviously invested in TNA and represents them well, he's honest about their challenges - and not afraid to make a few jokes about his time there (and if you've forgotten or missed Jeff Hardy's time as Willow from this time last year, you owe it to yourself to click here and here):
What are some of the big differences between working for WWE and working for TNA?
EC3: To long to answer, so I'll be brief.
WWE is great because at the end of the day one person is making the decisions. What isn't great is that sometimes it is very difficult to get to that one person. There is a guy to get to a guy to get to a guy etc.
TNA one thing that has been great is that they have allowed me to develop and put faith and trust in me doing it. I owe them the world for that. Then there are 1452 other things.
How was it like to be BEATEN WITH AN UMBRELLA IN A SHACK
EC3: Not exactly what I envisioned when I saw Hardys Vs Edge/Christian live in their first match saying "I WANT TO WRESTLE AND I WANT TO WRESTLE THOSE GUYS" But I'm the only one to ever be beaten in a shack with umbrella on global TV, so awesome?
Where do you see TNA being in 5 years?
EC3: Internationally as competitive as ever and domestically thriving. If it's not, it is my fault.
I've never watched TNA tell me why I should
EC3: Because I'm very good. And a lot of other people are.
Since our move to Destination America that shows have been concise, solid story telling, and not intelligence insulting. Start with this week.
Last but not least, EC3 has some good life advice for many members of the IWC:
Any dating tips?
EC3: Be yourself. Unless you are a wrestling fan. Then don't be yourself till like 6 months in.
Why isn't TNA pushing this guy to the moon?