Ethan Carter III is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and dynamic talents on the TNA roster. Together with Rockstar Spud, he has been drawing fans into the soap opera of their relationship and matters are due to culminate in a Hair vs Hair match this Sunday 15 March at 9pm on Challenge TV (Friday 13th on Destination America in the US). We had the chance to question EC3 about the match and he remains confident. Fans will need to watch to see whether that confidence is justified or whether Spud will end Carter's unbeaten streak and shave him bald.
What is the obsession with hair?
It's not about hair for me. There's an old adage, I think it describes the competitive nature of (basketball legend) Michael Jordan, who said he doesn't just want to win, he wants to collect scalps. I am competitive and I've won a lot but I need more than just winning. The shaving of a head, the scalping, I get to do for real because I have that power unlike Michael Jordan who, don't get me wrong, is a good-looking bald man but who could not do that scalping on the basketball court.
Surely you could defeat Spud alone, why have you used Tyrus to protect you?
Tyrus is there to protect all my interests, not just in this match with Rockstar. You have to surround yourself with the best and I need powerful, dominant people, loyal to my cause to watch my back because plenty of people are trying to stab me in it. But in fact, I can guarantee that Tyrus will not be involved in my Hair vs Hair match with Rockstar Spud at Wembley Arena this Sunday on Challenge.
You used to get along with Spud, did you learn anything you can use against him?
Well I think in scouting Rockstar Spud it's not so much about what he can do in the ring, it's knowing how to push his buttons. He values friendship dearly. He considered me his best friend and for a time, I guess, he was a close associate or a work acquaintance but he looked at it as a best friendship. So knowing that he has an attachment to friends, I can use that to get under his skin and really make a statement. Whether that's with Jeremy Borash or the new TNA Bootcamp winner Mandrews. Friendship and his admiration for it, is his weakness.
You mention Mandrews, he's been helping Spud, What's your view of him?
I think Mandrews is a fresh, young-faced talent who has found himself in a scenario that is a little bit above his head and above his pay grade. Great way to make a first impression Mandrews but tread lightly...
If you beat Spud, what's next. Is this the final chapter?
I think regardless of the outcome - whether I win, hah! which I will! Or if he somehow pulls off the upset of a lifetime, it ends. It's over. There's no going back, we are done. We are focussed on this moment, we'll finish it as men regardless. When I win and when I've shaved his head it will be more than just a statement, it will be a notification to this industry to take notice of who I am and what I'm about and what I will do in the future
Spud once told us that other companies had dropped the ball "so badly" by letting you go. Does that win him a reprieve?
He was on the payroll at the time, I doubt he still feels that way! In reality that happening became the best thing that ever happened to me. And provided me this opportunity which I cherish and relish and enjoy. Im very proud to be a TNA superstar and Im very proud to hopefully lead this company for as long as I can and Im very happy to have found a home here.
It was that more serious note that led us into a much wider-ranging discussion with EC3. Look out for our forthcoming 2-part interview with Ethan Carter III in which we will discuss his training, his views on rival companies, his tips for the future and more.
EC3 vs Rockstar Spud will be on Challenge TV at 9pm this Sunday and broadcast on Destination America in the US on Friday.