Two weeks ago, Ethan Carter III (EC3) launched his EC3 For Champion Campaign on Impact Wrestling. For the last few weeks, though, EC3 has had to deal with Mr. Anderson interrupting him and making him look less than good. On last week’s Impact Wrestling, Mr. Anderson counteracted EC3’s Campaign with one of his own, his Beat The Streak Campaign, pledging to be the first man to pin EC3 or make him submit.
On this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling, fans have the chance to decide the stipulation for the match between Carter and Anderson- an Arm Wrestling Match or a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Not only that, but this week marks the first LIVE edition of Impact Wrestling and Anderson took some time to talk to The Front Row Report about the matchup and how it’s been for him to deal with Carter as of late.
FRR: This is the week! We’ve got the live edition of Impact this week. How are you feeling going into the live edition? It’s been taped for a couple of months now, and now we’re doing it live.
Mr. Anderson: You know, there are certain things that I actually like about doing taped shows. We’re able to sort of clean things up if they need to be cleaned up, which every television show in Hollywood takes months and months, and you film a movie and it takes years for it to come out sometimes, but there’s something about doing it live. I’ve heard it said before that you can’t screw up and if you go into it with that mindset, look, you just have to adapt, work on the fly, and think on your feet, and I like that aspect that it adds. It adds a unique challenge to the situation, to an already challenging situation.
FRR: And you’ve got a lot of experience with the live aspect from previous promotions. Do you feel like yourself and a couple of the other guys with all the experience that you’ve got with it being live, do you feel like you’re a little more at ease, less nerves compared to the younger guys who do mainly taped shows?
Mr. Anderson: Yes and no. I still get nervous when I go out and if I do an independent show that doesn’t draw well there’s only 150-200 people in the audience, I still get nervous because I care about what I do. It’s sort of a positive stress. I am at sort of ease with what we’re doing and the fact that it’s going to be live doesn’t keep me up at night, but I still will be nervous before I walk through the curtain. I mean, there are times where I’m standing behind the curtain and I feel like I’m just going to go out there and stink it up so bad. Physically I’m to the point where I can’t even, I feel like I can’t even warm up, I can’t do enough push-ups or squats to sort of warm myself up and get rid of those jitters, and then I walk to the curtain and hear noise and start getting into what I’m doing and all that stuff sort of goes away.
FRR: Nice. This week you’ve got EC3 and fans have a chance to vote for the match they want to see- the arm wrestling match or the Falls Count Anywhere. Last week on Impact you launched the whole Beat the Streak campaign. EC3 has got his whole EC3 for Champion campaign, you’ve got Beat the Streak, which I think is just genius.
The fans have a chance to vote, which I think is really cool. TNA’s been doing a lot of things to get fans more involved and doing a certain focus for each episode, this week’s live, does it make it harder to prepare for the match knowing that the fans have a chance to vote so it could go either way?
Mr. Anderson: No, I guess I just- one of the options is the arm wrestling match and there’s not much I can do to prepare for that other than work out and stretch out and things like that, so I just automatically assume it’s going to go the other way. I hope it goes the other way, obviously. So I just prepare for the worst-case scenario. But I guess that’s sort of the way I approach life. I try to prepare for the possibility that the worst-case scenario can happen, and if it doesn’t that’s gravy. That’s wonderful.
FRR: How did you come up with Beat the Streak? There’s so many things that you could’ve done to counteract EC3. To me it seemed like a no-brainer to do Beat the Streak, he’s never been pinned, he’s never been submitted, and I think you’re the perfect guy to go toe-for-toe with EC3 because you have some of the best mic skills in all of TNA, but how did you come down to Beat the Streak and what has it been like with this specific feud with EC3, because you’ve had some great feuds.
Mr. Anderson: I guess you sort of summarized it yourself, it’s a no-brainer in some respects. He does have this streak, he’s been in TNA for quite some time now, it’s not like he just fell off the turnip truck. He’s actually been wrestling for probably as long as I have in the business, doing independent work and stuff. He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, and he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth so it just seems logical. You’ve got this streak, this is your crowning achievement so far? I’m gonna take that from you.
And as far as this little go-around with EC3, I sort of take each of these little feuds as what they are at the time and I enjoy it thoroughly. I’ll tell you what, as cocky as he is and as stupid as I think some of the things he says and some of the things that come out of his mouth are, I respect him because I know his story, I know how long he’s taken to come here and he’s a great performer, he’s great on the microphone and I’d love to go toe-to-toe with him and tear him up on the microphone or in the ring, or wherever it might would be.
FRR: With Falls Count Anywhere I don’t think any other matches open the door for as much creativity as much as a Falls Count Anywhere does. I assume you’ve got some special stuff in store for Ethan with this match, but is there any other match you can do with EC3 that can go over as well with a Falls Count Anywhere match?
Mr. Anderson: I would actually love to do, I haven’t seen it done in a while, but I’d like to really put it on the table. Put it on the line and see who’s the better wrestler and have a best of 7 series. We’ve got a playoff season at hand, and I think it would be…
I haven’t seen it done since Chris Benoit and Booker T did it, so yea, I’d love to just- hey, we’ve got potentially seven matches here to find out who’s the better man and really have a competition.
FRR: One thing I love about TNA is you’re free to do really whatever you want, whether that be indie dates with the independent promotions, you’re also in one location, you’re not traveling 300 days a year which has got to make it easier on you. How has it been for this go around with TNA with this much freedom that you have?
Mr. Anderson: You just said the word- ‘freedom.’ It just feels like we’re not constantly- look, when you’re travelling and you’re in a different town every single night, that’s amazing and it’s fun but it’s very draining and it’s exhausting emotionally, physically, it’s hard on relationships whether it be friends, family, loved ones, significant others, so being able to be in one location for a couple of days and know exactly which gym you’re going to train at and basically which restaurants you have to choose from. We go and have a long day because we knock out several episodes in one shot and those days are long and exhausting but you can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel because you know you’re going to be there 3-4 days and then you’re going to go home or movies, television, podcasts, whatever it is, and so that’s a beautiful thing
Tune in this Friday on Destination America at 9/8c for the LIVE edition of Impact Wrestling.