01 April 2015

The Yellow Streak

It has been 18 months since the debut of Dixie Carter's nephew, and barely a week goes by lately without Ethan Carter III reminding us that he has remained undefeated this entire time.  His claim of having an 18 month undefeated streak is tenuous to say the least, and is often made with the addendum that he himself has not been pinned or made to submit during any of his matches.

Whilst this is certainly true, is Ethan Carter III's undefeated streak as impressive or as glorious as he seems to think?  The answer to that question has to be an unequivocal no.

EC3's journey in TNA began with a series of matches against opponents handpicked by his Aunt D, and he picked up win after win for several weeks.  Unfortunately, no-one can deny that his handpicked opponents were comically mismatched.  TNA merchandise peddler Dewey Barnes and his friend Norv Fernum were made to suffer defeat after humiliating defeat as they were drilled into the canvas by a 1%er from a man twice their size.

Buoyed by his ability to beat up a couple of dweebs, EC3 decided to step up his game by selectively challenging some of the veterans of TNA.  Bobby Roode?  James Storm?  AJ Styles?  Nope, he set his targets somewhat lower by calling out lifelong jobbers Sharkboy and Curry Man.  Shortly thereafter his bravado reached new heights (just as his calibre of opponent sank to new lows) when he began picking fights with wrestling "legend" Earl Hebner and TNA stalwart Jeremy Borash.

It wasn't until true wrestling legend Sting (last seen in WCW over ten years ago) poked his head above the parapet of obscurity and made a rare appearance to challenge EC3 to put his money where his mouth is before he began facing some real opponents.

And so began 12 long months of EC3 using every dirty trick at his disposal to cheat his way to victory, or at the very least ensure that he would personally avoid defeat.  Below is a list of some of the highlights (or rather lowlights) of this illustrious streak:

Ever since his debut, Ethan Carter III has been a protected man in TNA.  Whilst Dixie Carter was in control of wrestling operations, he was protected by her influence; be it the opponents he was facing or having the deck stacked in his favour with the help of any or all members of #TeamDixie.  When Dixie lost control of her company, EC3 was protected by the wealth of the Carter family and the allies it could buy to help him preserve his streak.

With the exception of his early matches against the likes of Dewey and Norv, there has barely been a single match in the past 18 months that EC3 has won without some underhanded tactics or the aid of those he has bought.  He claims that he is undefeated, but the record books show that he has losses next to his name, even though it was not him personally taking the pinfall or submission for his team.

Although this undefeated streak is one of the most dubious in wrestling history, a new era on a new television network brought about a change in TNA that must have had Ethan Carter III cackling like a Machiavellian villain of old; the Top 5 power rankings.  The mechanics behind the system are a little unclear, but what is clear is that the system has paid off big time for EC3.  Ever since its inception, EC3's name has been hovering about the lower end of the Top 5 due to this streak of his, and if the trend continues he may soon find himself poised to challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Title.

However, one has to wonder whether this is truly a blessing or a curse for Ethan Carter III?

During Kurt Angle's World Title celebration this past Friday, EC3 was one of the many people that came to the ring to stake their claim as the number one contender for the belt.  Standing alongside the likes of former World Champions Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Bobby Lashley and Kurt Angle, Dixie Carter's nephew stood out like a sore thumb.  EC3 has never held a championship belt, nor has he ever defeated or even been tested in singles competition by any of these other potential World Title contenders.  What these men have achieved by merit of what they can do in the ring, EC3 has accomplished through cowardice and deceit.

It has taken 18 months for EC3 to position himself for a World Title shot, but his championship ambitions may soon come crashing down around him.  Sooner or later, EC3 is going to have to step into the ring with someone else from the Top 5 rankings, and I have to question whether he is ready for a challenge unlike anything he has faced before.  He has Tyrus in his pocket and in his corner, but with the signing of Drew Galloway and his group The Rising determined to enforce the spirit of competition in TNA, EC3 may have to stand on his own two feet for the first time in his career.

Can Ethan Carter III trade in that yellow streak down his back for a golden belt around his waist, or is he headed for a world of trouble (trouble trouble trouble trouble) ?

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