Despite making his huge return to WWE over a year ago EC3 has struggled to make the impact many fans expected him to do so. Recently joining the RAW roster, the company have given its audience more than enough reason to fear for the future of EC3 and there are early signs that a repeat of his first run with the WWE could be on the cards. Fans, of course, continue to rally behind the former Impact Wrestling star but has the damage already been done? What mistakes have WWE already made? And can things turn around for the top one percent?
Meeting Dean Ambrose
The first-time fans saw EC3 back on Monday Night RAW was during a Moment of Bliss segment where he was interrupted by former WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose. While there was great humour here and Ambrose was his usual entertaining self EC3 struggled to gain the upper hand and was made to look like an idiot during his first RAW appearance. Prior to the Ambrose interruption, the former NXT star had great on-screen chemistry with Alexa Bliss and while the back and forth communication was a tad bit cringe-worthy, we were able to see exactly what his character was all about. The match itself between EC3 and Ambrose was easily forgettable and failed to show the NXT star for what he really is capable of. This was a weak introduction of EC3 to WWE Universe and has done him no favours in the long run and most certainly failed to showcase him as a dominant star to watch out for in the main event scene.
André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
There really is no denying that Braun Strowman’s win in the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal was a long time coming. His win was one of the most needed of the night and I’m most certainly glad his name can finally go in the history books, however, looking at the line up its clear EC3 was another name the WWE should have considered as the victor of this match. While not the most memorable bout of the Mania card the bragging rights he would have gained from simply winning such a contest and doing so on the Grandest Stage Of Them All would have suited his character fantastically and given him an angle to work with moving forward. However, not only did EC3 now walk away with the win but he had an extremely short time in the Battle Royal itself being eliminated surprisingly early. This was a huge mistake and a massive opportunity wasted! Here the WWE could have very easily made the top one percent look like a major star to keep your eyes very firmly focused on. A dominant showing and a historic win would have set him up for a solid few months ahead of him and taking the moment away from Strowman by a shock elimination last minute would have given fans plenty of reasons to talk about him. Once again, he was overshadowed, forgotten about and made to look incredibly weak!
Lack of Direction
One of the key problems WWE have faced with EC3 is the lack of direction. The roster is jam-packed full of top stars the company are keen to push way before EC3’s name comes into the conversation. Whether it be Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Braun Strowman or Lars Sullivan the top one percent has been pushed down the ladder and its unclear as to what his place is on Monday night RAW. WWE hasn’t focused on giving him a strong rival or storyline despite the stacked roster and he has failed to compete in a standout contest since his arrival on the bigger stage. What needs to become clear in the coming weeks is exactly what the plans are for this incredibly talented star before its way too late and fans lose interest and faith. Of course, pairing him with Drake Maverick is the angle we all want to see considering the pair work so well together and there have been rumours suggesting this is exactly what could happen and taking into consideration the weak and disappointing start for EC3 this alliance may be the only way to turn things around.
Welcome to Monday Night RAW
Last week we learnt that alongside Ricochet and Aleister Black EC3 will now be apart of Monday Night RAW, however, unlike his fellow NXT graduates, this former Impact Wrestling star hasn’t received the strong introduction fans would have expected. In what was a terrible beginning to his RAW career EC3 found himself the latest victim to Braun Strowman’s brutality being choke slammed through the stage. If he had any momentum before last Monday it most certainly was destroyed on this night and once again instead of coming across like the dominant, impressive, top talent, he is EC3 looked weak and far less important and must-see than he truly is.
Leaving NXT Too Early
It’s clear that EC3 isn’t a man who needs to work on his in-ring skill or his character and charisma, however, what is evident is that he most certainly should have spent more time on the black and gold brand. During his time in NXT to my surprise, EC3 was not given a championship reign, did not receive the in-ring time to showcase his wrestling abilities (and what a talented in star he is), and he wasn’t given a major storyline/angle to work with and this itself has been problematic. What this means is he transitioned from NXT to the main roster with no bragging rights, no past accomplishments and no real connection with fans who were not familiar with his work in Impact Wrestling. WWE continues to push many other stars before reaching EC3 which of course is another sign he was called up far too early. If he had been used better and stronger during his time in developmental and had the time to create a better connection with fans away from what he had achieved outside of WWE, then maybe he wouldn’t have found himself in the position he currently finds himself in.
You really cannot deny the incredible potential and talent EC3 possesses. This is a man who has already spent time turning his career around and anyone familiar with his Impact Wrestling work will know for sure this is a man who could become WWE/Universal Champion and easily the face of the company. However, for those unaware of that area of his career, he is a man who simply comes across weak and with no clear direction. WWE made a huge mistake with how his time in NXT was used and the lack of storylines and wrestling time was the first sign of bad things to come. However, with such amazing charisma, brilliant wrestling ability and experience I believe things can turn around for EC3 but will the WWE save and turn things around before it’s too late?