EC3 on His Ring of Honor Pay-Per-View Match and Obsession With Controlling the Narrative
EC3 became one of the hottest free agents on the market when his run with WWE ended last April, cut loose due to budget cuts caused by the pandemic. The “Essential Character” turned his focus to reinvention, lived by the mantra #ControlYourNarrative, and launched a website.
The question of where the talent would land was answered when Ring of Honor announced they had signed him in February.
Now, EC3’s first big test comes against Jay Briscoe at Ring of Honor’s 19th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 26. The match was supposed to take place in December at the Final Battle event, but was put on hold due to EC3 testing positive for COVID-19. Here, the star explains his decision to set up shop in ROH and why Briscoe is his perfect rival starting out.
After WWE, you didn’t sign with another organization. Why was that?
EC3: I’ve realized that being under a three letter brand with a corporate wrestling structure isn’t for me. No change will ever be made as long as people conform and do the exact same things. I want to be different, and if that takes guaranteed money away from me, that’s OK.
But you did become an official member of the Ring of Honor roster…
ROH is really, top to bottom, one of the only tolerable wrestling products on television. In my negotiations, they provided me with the freedom to create. No amount of money can take away the happiness and pleasure I truly get from creating and controlling my narrative.
Was there ever a point when you thought about moving on from pro wrestling?
I was closer in 2013 than in the pandemic-inspired bloodletting that happened with my former employer. But no. Quitting is not an option. I have far too much to give to an industry that needs something unique and different. Nobody outworks me. I am the most conditioned professional wrestler in this industry. I will get my way and take it upon myself to get my way. That’s what controlling your own narrative is.
The pandemic has been a horrible situation, but it has also forced companies to think outside the box.
It was an excellent opportunity for every wrestler and wrestling company to take a step back without live audiences and reevaluate what the apex of this business is, and that’s creating emotion and moments and storytelling. Instead, everyone doubled down on what has already been done. We could have easily stepped back to giving characters purpose and put on legitimate athletic competition as opposed to play-fighting and dance breaks. I blame people at the top, though the talent is just as culpable.
Control Your Narrative is a way of life for you. Impact Wrestling’s Moose is said to be inspired by your methodology. What does that mean to you?
The reason I chose him [when I returned for a few appearances at Impact] is because I see so much potential. He could never be himself. He’s now becoming the person he wants to be. He’s an example that I can help set people on a path where they become greater. Control your narrative. Tell your story. Many years ago, I didn’t get a chance to tell my story. I was telling someone else’s story. It sucked.
You have a long-term story unfolding with Jay Briscoe. Why was he your perfect first opponent in ROH?
EC3 evolving into the “Essential Character” started with the COVID era, so of course, I got COVID. I was fine thankfully, but it did delay this match. I envy Jay Briscoe. He has found happiness being in Ring of Honor for his entire career. He has found happiness raising a family and running a landscaping business. He kicks ass and works hard and is a family man. Jay’s probably one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen. He’s the biggest dog in this park who is not the champion. I had to go to him to find a purpose in Ring of Honor. I haven’t seen honor in this business in a very long time. Honor is in the name. I will put that name to the test.
Ring of Honor is in a rebuilding phase. Who would you say has the potential to break out that hasn’t?
A guy like Josh Woods, given his background [as an amateur wrestler]. He really trains like an athlete. Dak Draper reminds me of a young Derrick Bateman [EC3’s first character in WWE]. If there’s something that can unleash him, he can become the man. The next person to step up and step out in Ring of Honor has to realize this is a brotherhood, but to become who you truly want to be, you have to think about yourself. You can’t be friends with everyone.
Ring of Honor 19th Anniversary Show, March 26, Pay-Per-View and HonorClub
Ring of Honor TV, Syndication and HonorClub