Like many talented wrestlers who came before and after him, EC3 was a genuine prospect in the NXT roster. Destined to do great things, he immediately was thrown into the fire by given a NXT North American title opportunity. He was then catapulted to the main roster at a time when WWE was trying to please fans who were giving up on them. Alongside Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black and more, EC3 found himself lost in a sea of rush storylines and bad booking heading into WrestleMania 35.
EC3 ended up not just having no match on the main card of that WrestleMania, but he had no significant match on the main roster, period. It was then reported he’d suffered a concussion and was kept off of television until he was unceremoniously fired during the global pandemic that rocked the industry for the past two years.
After his departure from the company, he began creating a series of shows which featured him claiming that he planned on controlling his own narrative for now on. Months later came the announcement of a new wrestling promotion, Control Your Narrative
During this week’s “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy,” EC3 discussed turning down offers from other wrestling companies so that he could continue to travel on his path. While he understands the cost of turning down lucrative offers, the tone of his words reflects a deep need to not only control his narrative but also not copy what he had done in the past.
There were times when companies asked me to come in to do the old thing. I’m like, ‘I don’t think I can’, even though it would be easy to come back and do a top 1%. But the circumstances and what I went through, there has to be a consequence to it from a creative standpoint,
So maybe I cost myself a lot of money or opportunities, but I’m sticking on the path.
In today’s oversaturated marketplace, it isn’t easy to stand out from the crowd. EC3’s old character showcased his charm and charisma, but it wasn’t enough for him to hold the attention of that higher-up in WWE, especially on the main roster. Ec3 still holds no ill will towards anyone who failed to give him a chance to strive. Instead, he’s pointing the figure at himself and not making any excuses while doing so.
You hear people say, ‘I never got my chance. I was in prison, bla bla bla.’ I hate that. I despise it. But at the same time, the only person you can blame, and this is control your narrative, is yourself.
When I look back, I remember coming back and I was on top of the world. Impact was great. I was able to create myself. NXT was going to be good. We started off with a five star match. I had all the confidence and gusto.
But even through the process of NXT, I started second guessing things because this coach tells you this, this agent tells you this, and you allow that to happen, but you let it slide.
The NXT North American Championship ladder match at NXT Takeover: New Orleans featured some up-and-coming guys looking to make a name for themselves on the black and gold brand. While Adam Cole walked away the victor that night, EC3 made it known that he was there to say. Unfortunately, he hadn’t quite reached the heights as he did when climbing the steel ladders during the match. While some fans would blame creative for EC3’s downfall, EC3 himself believes he let too much negativity get in the way of achieving any sort of success.
Then you’re randomly called up and it doesn’t feel like it’s for a reason. It kind of feels like it’s a rash decision and they don’t have something for you, but you’re gonna go into the fire.
But I remember saying to myself because I know the atmosphere in WWE and I’m friends with the people there, just how negative they were about everything. I’m like, no matter what, I will not be negative. I will be positive. I will push forward. I will strive and I will fight for everything, and the second I was there, I lost that fight because I was like, it doesn’t matter, and I fell into my own trap of negativity and the other negativity that’s laid by others.
So if I could go back, even if I would have got thrown out of the building, fired, shot out of a cannon, launched from a catapult into the fu**ing sun, I would have. If I just did it the way I wanted to and fought harder for myself, I could have accepted those consequences as opposed to the way it did, injured, lost, wasn’t being used anyway, fired for a worldwide pandemic. You can’t live with regret, but my regret was not fighting for myself because I could have been proud of myself, regardless of what happened.
Instead of drowning in regret, EC3 has embraced his much darker and enigmatic side to himself. He’s controlling his own narrative, blazing his own path, no matter where that takes him. For now we’ll have to see what Ec3 does next.
What do you make of EC3’s comments? Sound off in the comments section below.