Which Recently Released Star Pushed To Be A Heel In WWE?

The 'Top 1%' wanted to be a 'Cena-ish' character.


Recently released current Impact wrestler Ethan Carter III revealed on Chris Jericho's Talk is Jericho podcast that he was pushing to become a top WWE heel before he departed this year.

EC3 was finally called up to the main roster in 2019 after re-joining WWE a year earlier and spending some time in NXT. However, instead of sparing no expense and making sure he was introduced in the coolest way imaginable, the former Impact World Champion ended up filming his debut vignette in his own apartment with his roommate.

'They kind of haphazardly put all these vignettes together and my literal vignette to be called up to the biggest wrestling company in the world was filmed by my roommate in my apartment in Orlando. A nice apartment, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool. I walk in, not in a suit, but looking nice. They’re taking away the suit aspect in this Top 1%. We film the vignette in my apartment and it airs for like six weeks but we’d never hear anything about anything. Royal Rumble comes, I thought, ‘I’ll be number three, get a good pop, be off to a good start.’ Nope. I think it was the week after, I’m working with Moxley.'

Although working with a top star like Moxley (or Dean Ambrose as he went by then) for a spell wasn't the worst way to kick off his time on the main roster, EC3 quickly realised that fans weren't going to cheer for him despite Ambrose being booked as the heel. So, he had an idea to morph his character into a Cena-esque over-pushed top heel disguised as a babyface.

'We got to the live events, I’m working babyface and he’s working heel, and he’s getting great reactions because he should. He sacrificed for years for the company, he told the company ‘F You’ and people love that. For seven years, this guy puts his body and soul on the line, the people are going to love and respect him. I’m just a jacked-up dude in trunks who has no character or development. We’re working these matches, he’s getting cheered, but it’s working though. It’s my wheelhouse because if I can be pushed as the mega Five Moves of Doom babyface that can’t be beat, but I’m obviously liked for certain reasons and people are turning against it, like Cena-ish, then I’m made. That was my pitch, ‘Push me as a babyface, but I’m a heel.’

As we know, EC3 wasn't given the chance to bring this version of his character to life in WWE and he was eventually let go in April during the Black Wednesday releases. He's now successfully reinvented himself as a brooding personality, determined to destroy his past in Impact Wrestling.

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Lifts rubber and metal. Watches people flip in spandex and pretends to be other individuals from time to time...