EC3 ready to make WWE Smackdown debut in New Orleans
By Gene Guillot, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
When EC3 was released from World Wrestling Entertainment in 2013, he was disappointed, as most would be from getting let go from the wrestling giant.
But he also set a goal then that carried him to new heights as a performer before coming back to the WWE in 2018. And that goal was not just to one day return to the company, but to do so well as to make them want me.
EC3, who was with the WWE as a developmental talent from 2009-13, became a multiple time champion over the next several years. In the eyes of the wrestling world, the now 35 year old had grown into a star. His goal was complete when the WWE pushed for him to return.
His first match back was at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in a six-man ladder match during the weekend of WrestleMania 34 last year. EC3 said it was nice to debut in a bout that stole the show, but he lost, so it was a catch-22 for me.
After less than a year in NXT, EC3 is now part of the main roster, though its unclear whether he will end up on the Raw or Smackdown brand.
Yes, it was a goal, and that goal was accomplished, EC3 said about getting back to the WWE. Now, whats next?
On Tuesday (February 19) at the Smoothie King Center, EC3 returns to New Orleans and is expected to be part of Smackdown Live. It is episode 1,018 for the show and the eighth time for the city hosting. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and range from $20 to $100.EC3 has yet to wrestle on Smackdown, but he has fought on Raw, splitting a pair of matches with former WWE champion Dean Ambrose, though EC3 called Ambroses win this past Monday a fluke rollup. In his appearances on Smackdown thus far, EC3 has been seen flexing in the backstage area, which he jokingly referred to as a painstaking exercise.
His opponent in his Smackdown debut, which could be this Tuesday in New Orleans, is anyones guess, but he does have his sights set high, as he mentioned the six combatants (Jeff Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and champion Daniel Bryan) set to fight for the WWE Championship this Sunday at the Elimination Chamber event in Houston.
I am in the top one percent of this industry, he said. Who is the best is subjective, but I believe that I am the best.
EC3 said he learned a lot from his first stint in WWE when he was just a curly-haired fool. Two things hes carried with him on his journey are a no-quit attitude and getting even with his foes, which should now help him live up to his belief that he is the best.
I hate to steal a catchphrase from John (Cena), but never give up is a real thing. I never quit on something. (And) if Im spited in the past, I remember it. I hold onto it. Its an angst. It drives me forward.If you ever stepped on my toe, cut me off in traffic, stole money from me or stole my cats, I hold a vendetta against you. And I do not quit until it is reciprocated.
Though his focus is on climbing to the top of WWE, EC3 also knows how to let loose. And he cant wait to get a taste of Bourbon Street after the show Tuesday night.
Im not a saint. Im a sports entertainer, he said. Its a great atmosphere. Its great fun, even if you have to catch a flight at 6 in the morning. New Orleans is always a city where youre going to find yourself in a unique set of circumstances. And Ill keep it safe, because I want to keep my job.