Tonight at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, former Impact Wrestling star Ethan Carter III (EC3) — real name Michael Hutter — made an unannounced appearance, sitting among fans inside the Wells Fargo Center. A graphic identified him as “EC 3,” and Mauro Ranallo called him one of NXT’s newest signings.
You never know WHO you'll run into at #NXTTakeOver. Nice to see you, @therealec3! pic.twitter.com/6QsBQ14DZG
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 28, 2018
Hutter finished up with Impact Wrestling at their most recent set of television tapings on Jan. 13, with him being written out by getting the “fired” briefcase in a Feast or Fired battle royal. In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter following the tapings, Dave Meltzer reported that he was told months ago that Hutter was going to be leaving Impact and at the time was looking at going back to WWE.
Hutter was in WWE’s developmental system from 2009 through 2013, where he went under the name Derrick Bateman. He was on both versions of NXT; an all-rookie competition on seasons four and five, and then when the brand transitioned into a developmental promotion in 2012. He remained there until May 2013, when he was released from his contract during a talent purge. He joined Impact a few months later as Dixie Carter’s storyline nephew.