Ethan Carter III vs. Bobby Lashley (c)
No Holds Barred match for the TNA championship
EC3 has had a pretty easy time in TNA. Sure he’s come up against difficult challengers such as Sting, Kurt Angel, Bully Ray, & Drew Galloway, but he’s always found a way. In fact, it was only this year that he’s first been pinned, and that was at the hands of Mike Bennett. Carter ended up winning that feud as well.
Unfortunately for Carter, he’s never faced someone as dominant as the 2016 version of Bobby Lashley. EC3 did face Bobby in January as part of a tournament to crown the vacant heavyweight title and won. But he was a different Carter, still willing to cut corners if need be, and more importantly, Lashley was a different man then.
Lashley was an upright citizen at that time, not having yet tapped into an aggressive side that elevated him to another level. It wasn’t until a couple months later when he got to face Kurt Angle in Kurt’s last TNA match that the aggressive side of him emerged. He beat the Gold Medalist clean, but after the match, attacked the retiring Angle. And then he attacked almost everyone who came out to aid Kurt. That was when Ethan Carter got his first look at the man who would become his insurmountable obstacle.
Carter was the last man to come down to the ring to stop Lashley’s path of destruction. They stared each other down but Lashley decided not to waste his time with Carter. He smiled and left.
With a new found aggression, Lashley became more dominant than ever. He earned the right to face then-champion Drew Galloway for the title and choked the Scot out at Slammiversary. He then fended him off in multiple rematches (a few which EC3 himself were involved in). The Destroyer defeated Eddie Edwards for the X Division title. He took out James Storm to win the now-defunct King of the Mountain title. (Those titles were stripped from him when he refused to defend them.) He retained his title against the one man who was able to defeat EC3 via pinfall in Mike Bennett. And each of the times, he seemed to do it with relative ease.
EC3 earned his title shot by winning a tournament and geared up to face Bobby Lashley. But the road would not be smooth. During a press conference announcing the match, Lashley first calmly explained why he was going to beat Carter’s arse at Bound for Glory in a a war of words that Bobby looked to have won. (That is quite the feat against the silver tongued Ethan Carter.) And then it turned into a brawl that the champion obviously won.
Last week, they faced off in Lethal Lockdown as captains where the winner got to pick the stipulation at the pay-per-view (PPV). To shake the confidence of Ethan Carter further, after throwing almost everything he had at the champion, Lashley still hit his challenger with a spear and choked him out with the front choke that won Bobby the title. To make matters worse, he made tonight’s match no holds barred, meaning he can do whatever he wants to destroy Carter and keep his title.
EC3 has made a point to say that he needs to win, he has to win. Bobby Lashley has become the dominant wrestler that Carter was for years. For Ethan to reclaim his title, he’ll have to face a ruthless Lashley who’s doing the best work of his pro-wrestling career. And it won’t be easy. The champion has promised that he will hurt EC3 at Bound for Glory, that he is a man who can end his career. And with the no holds barred stipulation, he now has the ammo to do it. This will be the toughest match Carter has fought in his career.
Can Carter overcome his toughest obstacle to date to claim a TNA championship that he once had an iron grasp on? Find out tonight at Bound for Glory, which airs at 8 EST on PPV.