EC3 Reportedly Headed to WWE

WWE has reportedly continued its trend of cherry-picking top talents from other promotions: Ethan Carter III is WWE bound.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports they can confirm that EC3 (Michael Hutter) is returning to WWE. PWInsider actually has information that puts the 34-year old wrestler at WWE's Performance Center earlier this week. At this point the question is not if EC3 is with WWE but when he'll be making his debut.

The Impact veteran was once with WWE for a brief stint begging in 2010. Adoring the name Derrick Batman, EC3 spent most of his WWE cup of coffee in NXT but a slew of injuries may have cost him a more significant run with the company.

But not only is EC3 making his prodigal return to WWE, but he may be doing with his Ethan Carter III moniker. Thanks to Matt Hardy, Impact Wrestling has loosened its grip on intellectual property and EC3 has legal ownership of his name.

Now that he's on the team, where does he go? Well, yesterday we wrote a story that may have him making a loud debut at the Royal Rumble. Freed of Impact, EC3 was booked to appear a Houston show on January 28, the same date as the Royal Rumble, However, he's since been removed from all advertisements further feeding the narrative that WWE wants him at their Philadelphia pay-per-view.

It's possible WWE has EC3 skip NXT, like his Impact/TNA peer AJ Styles. Perhaps WWE will use a similar formula to introduce EC3 as they did the WWE Champion. Styles rode the momentum from his monstrous Rumble crowd reaction into having one of the best "rookie" years in WWE history. However, WWE will have to decide if they believe EC3 is capable of similar results.

A Rumble debut is a great way to introduce any star and seeing that this year's event is in Philadelphia, the ravenous crowd may be exceptionally receptive to EC3's big moment. In short, it makes sense.

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We'll just have to wait and see!