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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: X-Pac, 1,2,360 w/ EC III on if he wants to return to WWE, problems with the Impact Zone, the feud that made him a star (Ep. 41)

X-Pac 1,2,360

Guest: EC III

Release Date: June 14, 2017

Recap by: Christopher Gaspare

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Top Newsworthy Items

-EC3 has one year left on his Impact contract

-EC3 would like to return to WWE after his contract with Impact ends

-EC3 believes his hair versus hair match against Rockstar Spud made him a superstar in TNA

Timestamps

00:00: Show introduction
11:13: The weekly news segment – Dash Wilder off injured list and Johnny Mundo engagement
22:02: Sponsor Ad
22:34: EC3’s first meeting with X-Pac and his time in WWE developmental
30:53: EC3’s transformation from star to superstar in TNA
45:39: EC3 on what he took away from his time in WWE developmental
55:21: EC3 talks the recent Impact tapings in India
1:03:24: EC3 on working with Rip Rogers and the “#dive” debate
1:13:07: EC3 talks the upcoming Slammiversary show and possibly returning to WWE
1:28:46: Sponsor Ad
1:29:46: Show end and plugs

Show introduction

X-Pac is joined by Jimbo, TK Trinidad, Mark in the booth, and some random woman named Denise who said she was a big wrestling fan. Jimbo briefly brought up Slammiversary and mentioned how it’s in the Impact Zone instead of a traveling show. X-Pac explained to Jimbo that it’s expensive to travel for PPV. X-Pac was wrestling at an indy in Florida this past weekend. Elijah Burke and The Headbangers were on the card. X-Pac is a big fan of Burke’s “The Pope” gimmick and never understood why he wasn’t “a marquee guy.”

X-Pac got stuck in the airport all day even though he showed up early for the flight. He blamed Jet Blue being greedy and not having enough employees. He had an incident on the plane and was forced to cage Lula and put her under the seat and was given a middle seat instead of the aisle that he had paid extra for. Jimbo asked if being stuck in an airport tempts his sobriety, and X-Pac said no because if he wants a beer, he’ll have a beer. “That’s not a relapse for me,” he said as his addictions are different. He knows that will make a lot of 12-Step followers roll their eyes but it works for him. Lula had to have surgery to remove a tumor from her breast; when they went in, they found that she hadn’t been spayed and she had an infected uterus, so they removed it as well. The feeling was that she was fine now.

The weekly news – Dash Wilder off the injured list and Johnny Mundo engagement

The first news item was Dash Wilder being cleared to return to action. There was not a real reaction to this news. X-Pac discussed the broken jaw Wilder had and said “give me a broken anything” but that. He and Jimbo briefly discussed the Randy Savage advice of “Never take yourself out of the game” but how sometimes that can’t be helped. It was mentioned that Wilder was one of the wrestlers during the pull-apart and X-Pac said being one of the pull-apart guys “is the worst” because it shows your status on the card. The second news item was about the engagement of Lucha Underground stars, Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie. X-Pac said “it’s pretty cool” and put Mundo over as a great guy. Mundo’s movie, Boone, is apparently doing well. Walmart sold out and ordered a second shipment of the movie. The Get High Watch Wrestling show will be on June 29th, and X-Pac will appear at The Wrestling Guy’s Store on July 8th.

EC3’s first meeting with X-Pac and his time in WWE developmental

Before the interview started, EC3 described the first time X-Pac saw him as a fan when he was 16. He was at a Smackdown taping sitting in the first row. He had made an inoffensive sign, but brought markers with him and drew a large veiny phallus on the back of the poster. He called to X-Pac who looked over at him and he waved his sign; X-Pac laughed. X-Pac’s first memory of EC3 was when he, HHH, and The Undertaker went to an FCW show. EC3 believed that he wrestled Roman on that show. He was in FCW, NXT when it was a “game show,” and in OVW for a time. He was “fired” by WWE eventually after coming back from an injury. He said there were a lot of good people there who weren’t paid attention to. However, it “made him work harder” and he feels it “worked out so I can’t complain.” After getting fired, he did some independent bookings and questioned if he should do this, but he decided then to commit – “this is what I’m gonna do.”

EC3’s transformation from star to superstar in TNA

EC3 is asked about the differences working with Dixie Carter, Billy Corgan, and Dutch Mantell. He dodged the question by joking, “I’ve had a lot of bosses it seems.” X-Pac ends up talking about how TNA didn’t drop the ball with EC3, and Jimbo said that EC3 is “so different than any other homegrown characters.” He was asked his feeling on Dixie’s nephew storyline. He said that always when an idea is pitched, “deep down in your gut I think this is gonna suck.” However, after seeing it start, he thought, “I can make this work.” His hair versus hair match against Rockstar Spud was mentioned as the point where he turned from a star into a superstar and he agreed saying it was “designed that way.” He was coming back early from a surgery and a little worried that re-injury in the match. He said it was “not a masterpiece of clinical precision” but it told a good story.

He knew of Spud from television before he came on. He thought, “I hate this guy” and that’s how he knew Spud was a good heel. He said they “became close” through working together. Working with Tyrus in FCW and TNA was brought up, and EC3 said it was a strange dynamic because Tyrus would kick the hell out of him in FCW then suddenly Tyrus was the bodyguard he got to boss around in TNA. EC3 also mentioned that he and Daniel Bryan got along well in developmental because they were “both huge dorks,” and Bryan had come through a different, non-traditional path.

The conversation turned to how promos and segments worked in developmental. The bookers would set scenarios for them, give the germ of an idea, and the wrestlers had to execute. He mentioned specifically a submission wrestling segment that he and Daniel Bryan did and a double date dinner with the Bellas segment where they had a lot of input into determining how it played out. He said that he thinks that is happening on Smackdown right now because that environment seems more relaxed.” He thinks Fandango and Tyler Breeze have a lot of input on the Fashion Files segments. X-Pac mentioned that Road Dogg was on the show last week and said that Vince “doesn’t even show up half the time” now and let the writers handle it, which is interesting because Road Dogg didn’t say that on the air.

EC3 on what he took away from his time in WWE developmental

EC3 said he learned “everything” in WWE developmental. The bumps and drills got him in “great condition.” He learned promos from Dusty Rhodes, psychology from Tom Pritchard, and how to get in and out of holds from Norman Smiley. He also said that working on the road, sometimes in front of only fifty people, forced him to figure out what worked to get over. He mentioned that they had some “handcuffs” on in terms of what they could or could not do, and he knows now that he “shouldn’t ask and just do” then ask for forgiveness.

He is asked about his promos and working with Dusty in NXT, and he said he was going for being “funny” but not “comedy.” He was attempting to emulate Edge and Christian, Austin, and Angle who he thought were funny without being comedy characters. X-Pac asked him, “Did you have to reach deep down to find that inner asshole?” EC3 replied, “No.” He said that Dusty taught him how to “pace a promo” and create a hook and conclusion. He said that Dusty would equate a promo with a match. He would say you could have a bad match and a good finish and people would remember the finish or you could have a great match and a bad finish and people will still only remember the finish, so the “finish” of the promo was the most important part.

EC3 lamented that characters aren’t more fully realized and he likes to have reasons for why his character would do something. “Why can’t [we] have a character like Walter White?” Katrina from Lucha Underground and Fandango, who he worked with closely in NXT, were brought up. EC3 said it is “reassuring to see Katrina succeed” on Lucha. He was worried about how Fandango was treated, but he’s glad to see the Fashion Police gimmick working out and that the Fashion Files are “fun to watch.”

EC3 talks the recent Impact tapings in India

The recent tapings in India were asked about. EC3’s first response was it was “hot and humid” and that part of his luggage was lost so he only had two pairs of underwear the whole time he was there. He said the Indian audience was “hungry for action” and “wanted to enjoy” the show where with the Orlando audience, they would have to try to work harder because many of them are tourists and not committed to the product. He believes crowd reaction is important. He said that you have only have a “great match” when the crowd is reacting which X-Pac agreed with. He was asked about whether Impact’s partnership with Pro Wrestling Noah would lead him to wrestle in Japan, and he “assume[s] it will happen.” He said he would work with anyone.

EC3 on working with Rip Rogers and the “#dive” debate

EC3’s time working with Rip Rogers in OVW is asked about. EC3 said that he thought he knew something about wrestling until he met Rogers then he realized he knew nothing. He learned how to get the most with the least and psychology from Rogers. He also wished more people had the experience of working with him so they would “slow down” and “have more longevity” to their careers.

On the Twitter controversy from a few weeks ago involving Rip and Randy Orton, EC3 says he “see both ways” and thinks there is “room for both.” He himself used to do a dive until an injury limited him. He could still do one, but he is waiting for the right time. He said he fears an overreliance on dives leads to “a loss of creativity.” He provides an analogy: There Will Be Blood is one of the best movies he’s ever seen, but it doesn’t have as many explosions as Transformers 3, which “kinda sucked.” X-Pac always sees both sides as there are things from the past “worth holding onto” but things also need to “evolve.” Jimbo brought up a recent California indy show by Bar Wrestling. EC3 was in a “Barroom Brawl” match on the show. He said it’s important to plan what to do on the card as not to steal heat from others. Impact facilitates most of his indy bookings. He doesn’t care how big the crowd is because he likes working different sizes and types, but he would prefer not to deal with indy companies that don’t’ pay the undercard wrestlers.

EC3 talks the upcoming Slammiversary show and possibly returning to WWE

The Slammiversary PPV on July 2nd is brought up where EC3 will wrestle James Storm in a strap match. EC3 will have to watch tapes because it’s his first strap match. EC3 didn’t know what rules would be used in the match, but he thought it would be the two men strapped to one another and would be determined via pinfall. The pay-per-view being held in the Impact Zone is brought up, and EC3 said he would love to travel, but the company is filming seven to eight episodes not long after the pay-per-view. He likes taping because then he can go do independents and figure out what is working in the ring and with his character and what isn’t. The Impact Zone crowd doesn’t give the feedback he needs especially after a long taping and because of the makeup of the audience.

EC3 said the locker room and talent at TNA/Impact was “never a problem.” The problem is the “perception” they need to overcome from the publicity of their problems, not the talent or the creative. Jimbo briefly asked a series of questions: EC3 prefers four-sided rings but thinks the six-sided distinguishes the product. His finisher he “stole” from a video of a Sami Callihan independent match. Finally, X-Pac asked about his Impact contract. EC3 said that he’ll have one year on the contract after Slammiversary. When asked about returning to the WWE, he said that it’s “definitely a thought I have” because he has a “lot to prove.” If he had stayed with WWE, he believes he would have been a “low to midcard comedy guy,” but he wants to be “the top guy.”

Show end and plugs

Jimbo and X-Pac mention that they definitely think EC3 will end up in the WWE. They plug the same upcoming shows from earlier and TK gives their social media information.

Score and Review (4/10)

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the best episode of X-Pac 1-2-360. Most, but not all of that, lies with the guest this week, EC3. He brought little energy to the show with his answers and that was when he actually gave answers. Understandably, he needs to remain somewhat politic with criticisms of TNA/Impact and needs to create the right narrative for a potential WWE return; however, this hampered the interview severely. Even when he was asked questions about specific matches he seemed disinterested in providing detailed answers.

Understandably, he needs to remain somewhat politic with criticisms of TNA/Impact and needs to create the right narrative for a potential WWE return; however, this hampered the interview severely. Even when he was asked questions about specific matches he seemed disinterested in providing detailed answers. Usually, X-Pac and Jimbo are able to get more out of interviewees, but this show had too many cooks in the kitchen for this interview. There were four different people either asking questions or talking throughout the interview which is distracting and lacks focus. The news segment was short this week, thankfully with two unimportant news items in a week with multiple MOTY candidates at NJPW’s Dominion, a couple big angles on WWE television, and a PPV upcoming this Sunday. The “dive” debate segment might be worth listening to, but unless you are a big EC3 fan, this week’s episode is skippable.

About Chris

Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.

For more, check out last week’s recap of X-Pac 1,2,360 with Road Dogg. 

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