On going from WWE to Impact Wrestling along the same time as John Gaburick: "When things work out, it's so weird how they work out and I didn't have to toil too long because, at the time, I believe it was, well it was, John Gaburick was leaving WWE and going over to TNA, and he enjoyed some of my work for WWE or saw that I always had potential and charisma. Something he could do, he could bring somebody in and start building new people as they were getting rid of old people. Not old, but former things. So it kind of worked out. We started talking. I had the three months between WWE and being able to do other things. And I think right at the three-month mark, we were in talks. And then, I think, a week after that I started."
On immediately liking the Ethan Carter III character when it was pitched to him in Impact Wrestling: "When I had the call with TNA, they had the idea for the character that is the rich, entitled nephew of the owner and the second I was hearing that, I was like, 'this is good! I can really do this very well,' and started thinking. So it was a rare occurrence, where I'm like, 'yeah, yeah, yeah,' and then, at the same time, there's creative freedom in the sense that if somebody else came in as that character, it would be completely different than if I did it, or if [Christian] did it, or what have you. Yeah, I know for a fact, I mean, that the owner likes to be on television, so the nephew of the owner will probably be standing by her while she's being berated, or booed, or hissed at, and thrown things at. 'Yeah, I'll be right there just soaking it in!' And yeah, couldn't have been better. And what a foil to play with, my sweet Aunt Dee. Bless her."
On his Impact Wrestling departure: "I became champ and had a run with it. Then, lose it, win it back, run with the Hardys. It was kind of a weird time especially within the company. I think it was the closest to 'nobody knows what the hell is going on' because there [were] always rumors and speculation and we were never really abreast. It could be real or it could be facetious. You never knew and all we could do is do our jobs and did them well. Then, I go from a heel to a babyface for a while. Management changes once, twice, and then, finally, a third time. There was new ownership and at the same time, in my life, I don't know, my life plan did not work out and I can just probably leave it at that as far as personal things. I thought I had it figured out. I obviously didn't. And I'm looking at everything and I definitely needed a change and the time seemed right. I loved the company. Impact was great to me. Management was nothing but wonderful and accommodating and I had a really sweet deal. But at the same time, I've done it. I don't know what else I can do here besides this company becomes number one, which is not going to happen at all with me. I have unfinished business that I have to seek. Like Good Will Hunting, I had to see about a girl, but that girl was named Vince, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. And she is beautiful! She is so hot! She's not crazy at all! A little bit [boxy], yep. Yeah, thick around the shoulders… In the back of my mind, there were other options. I was going to leave regardless, before my time just because I had to do something with my life to change it."
On one of the reasons he wanted to return to WWE: "When I pop in the [WWE] Performance Center or if I'm doing a live event, the local shows that we'll do in Florida, and you get critiqued. When I first started getting critiqued again, because Impact is all, for better or worse, like, 'good job! You filled the time. Good job.' 'Ah, that wasn't a good job!' Or if it was a good job, I know if it was a good job or not. One of the main reasons I wanted to come back too was you've got to go to grow. And you need people telling you, 'you suck' or 'this sucks, this sucks, this sucks, this could be better' and you didn't get that as much over there."
On what is different about him in WWE this time around: "This time, I'm not afraid to fail. I'm not afraid to be bold and do what I think is right, which I think is a mentality that does lack there still to this day where people are just punching a clock and are just happy to be there, or they don't want to rock the boat. I don't care about rocking the boat! I've already been f--king shot off into the sun. I've already blown up in a fireworks factory. I've already been killed off in a sense that it can't happen again. It won't happen again because I believe in myself this time."
Check out the complete EC3 interview at Art19.com.