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The Essential Character

Michael Hutter (born March 18, 1983) is an American professional wrestler. He was signed to TNA under the ring name Ethan Carter III (often shortened to "EC3"), the storyline nephew of TNA President Dixie Carter and a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion until January 2018, after which he signed with NXT (albeit, still using the "EC3" name).

Hutter began his professional wrestling career in 2002, and wrestled for several promotions beginning in October 2006. In July 2006, Hutter signed a contract with WWE, where he wrestled as Derrick Bateman. He was assigned to WWE's developmental territories Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Johnny Curtis. During his time with WWE, he competed in the fourth and fifth seasons of WWE NXT under the tutelage of Daniel Bryan. Although he was signed to WWE, Hutter competed in several Independent promotions, winning the AIW Absolute Championship and the Firestorm Pro Heavyweight Championship. In February 2022, he and Adam Scherr (the former Braun Strowman) announced they were establishing the new CYN ("Control Your Narrative") promotion.

Later in the same year, he joined NWA during the 74th Anniversary Show with his CYN gimmick intact. In the meantime, with CYN having fizzled out and his CYN gimmick ditched, he started another new indy promotion, the Cleveland-based Exodus Pro. In 2023, in the Night Two of NWA 75th Anniversary Show, he won the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Tyrus in a Bullrope Match. Not long after this, the NWA announced that Exodus Pro, rechristened NWA Exodus Pro Midwest, would become the first member of its revived territory system.

Oh yeah, and DO NOT confuse him with the title character of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

"Control Your Tropes":

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: You wouldn't think so, but he'd unintentionally become TNA's answer to New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Kazuchika Okada, who ironically enough was in TNA for a couple of years and partly based his Rainmaker gimmick on past TNA characters. Both are wealthy prodigies openly questing to become legends and as a result started out in their current runs as highly arrogant jerks, but were eventually humbled by defeats which brought them down enough to tap into their latent heroic valor as well as appreciate the fact that crowds were actually giving them love, all prepping them on a path to becoming the organization's next top babyface.
  • Always Someone Better: Ultimately, is this to Matt Hardy. Which is why on the two occasions in which Matt has been successful in taking the TNA world title from EC3 he's had to take advantage of some shenanigans involving his family in order to do it.
  • Arch-Enemy: Bateman had Johnny Curtis. EC3 has had Kurt Angle, Sting, Bully Ray, and also Matt and Jeff Hardy. During his return run to Impact Wrestling and his ROH run respectively, he had Moose and Jay Briscoe.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Sometimes calls himself the greatest living professional wrestler alive.
    • During the TNA World Title Series, this also doubles as an inverted Heroic Vow:
      "The world title series isn't over until I win." For the record… 
  • The Bad Guy Wins: What he believed in and clearly lived by in TNA for over two years.
  • Battle Couple/Official Couple: "BetaMax" with Maxine and "KaitMan" with Kaitlyn.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Derrick Bateman got this from Kaitlyn when he dared ask her "what is love?" during her intervention to get him away from Maxine.
  • The Bully: Became this when feuding with Rockstar Spud and eventually Jeremy Borash.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bateman was once knocked out by Gail Kim with a headlock when Daniel Bryan asked her to show off her technique.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Openly calls himself the bad guy, because he also says the bad guys win in real life. He's not wrong so far with his record.
  • Cassandra Truth: Seriously, he was literally THE ONLY PERSON who saw fit to express the thought that his Aunt Dixie suddenly up and trusting Jeff Jarrett to the extent of making Double J her second choice to run the product is a horrible idea. But because he's a corrupt entitled prick himself who's out to protect his TNA World Heavyweight Championship title, not even Dixie believed him…until Drew Galloway got the proof that GFW's Chris Mordetzky was the man that attacked Drew and gave a GFW wrestler the opening to challenge for Ethan's title. Even then, just to prove that face Dixie is no less biased than heel Dixie, when she thanked Drew's team of five TNA guys for helping beat back GFW by giving them a #1 contender's match to face Ethan for the title, she never stopped heaping praise on Drew for his loyalty long enough to even give EC3 credit for calling the truth beforehand or stopping PJ Black from stealing the world title for GFW. In fact, when EC3 questioned her on this, she responded by giving Matt Hardy the opening back into the World Title picture by putting him in the match and making Jeff the referee. No wonder his reactions to Dixie following each time Matt took the title from him were less than embracing.note 
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I am EC3. And I'm a Carter. The world needs us!"
    • The original/joint version shared with Dixie had "We're the Carters" as the first sentence, but it wasn't said as often.
    • "I am the greatest living professional wrestler alive!"
    • "I am in the top one percent!"
    • Victory after victory.
    • Control Your Narrative
    • You've been warned
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As Derrick Bateman. It's the only explanation for "Chicks and America!" and BetaMax happening to the same character.
  • Continuity Nod: Upon returning to NXT, he was acknowledged as being a former member of their roster, but had no mention of his previous alias, Derrick Bateman.
    • Discontinuity Nod: The flipside to his arrival as EC3. Not once has the full version of that name (Ethan Carter III) ever been mentioned. While he maintains a pompous rich-boy attitude and it is referenced that he's been spoiled and entitled because of his upbringing, it won't be said that he's the nephew of Dixie Carter for obvious reasons.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Got demolished by Ryota Hama during the Wrestle1 hosted Bound For Glory but ended up preserving his "winning streak" by kicking Hama below the belt.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The greatest living professional wrestler alive.
  • Eagleland: Has always had elements of this in his characters, which type he leans towards depending on alignment, but has never made it his entire gimmick.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted with his 2016 face turn. He hasn't entirely forgiven Dixie for mistrusting him, and Spud hasn't forgiven him AT ALL for his previous abuse.
  • Expy:
    • Overpaid/overhyped prima-donna athlete whose name can be turned into an acronym. Definitely shades of MVP there. Funnily enough, the real MVP came back to TNA, gradually took away Ethan's security blanket in Dixie, and started calling him C3PO—much to his dismay.
    • Egotistical ex-WWE superstar with an entrance consisting of a back-turned pose and darkened blue lights goes about two years in TNA and and even wins and loses the World Heavyweight Championship twice all before ever being pinned or submitted, and is eventually subject to Bodyguard Betrayal in a pivotal title match. Talk about an instant classic there, eh? Continues this in his departure by returning to WWE and going on its third brand, and his entrance graphics/lighting scheme in WWE being gold.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: One could say this played out over a period of several months, what with being right about Jeff Jarrett and GFW, being the only reason they didn't get the world title before Dixie wizened up; getting effectively screwed out of the title at BFG thanks to Dixie pandering to the Hardyz in their home state just to stick it to Ethan for questioning her; his injunction on the title out of spite resulting in a FIFA World Cup style series being booked for the title; and ultimately beating Matt clean in the finals of the tournament to reclaim his titlenote . The trigger was finally pulled a couple of weeks after the tournament's endnote  when Matt, influenced by his wife Reby Sky's advice to stop giving and start taking, drew Ethan into giving him a Last Man Standing title match by putting his TNA career on the line, only to execute a plan to blatantly screw Ethan over and take the belt for keeps with the help of Reby and the traitorous Tyrus.
  • Heel: Oh yes. He has turned his understated wrestling ability into an advantage rather than a handicap simply by mastering the art of being a entitled trolling silver-spoon jock who will either get under your skin and piss you off or make you admire his brilliant ability to do so. The latter reaction gradually took over, which combined with oddly sympathetic booking over a period of several months heading into 2016 ended up in a Face/Heel Double-Turn as described above.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: He and Drew Galloway hijacked the EVOLVE 62 recap.
  • Idiot Ball: At Takeover: New Orleans, EC3 and Adam Cole forge an alliance to take out the competition. It goes well as they send various guys on and look to be getting along well. But then EC3 decides to yell out "EC3, Bay-Bay!" with Cole's signature pose. Naturally, a ticked off Cole immediately drops EC3 onto a fallen ladder.
  • I Have Many Names: Ethan Carter III (EC3), Derrick Bateman, Michael/Mike Hutter, Agent D, Agent B…
  • Informed Ability: As Derrick Bateman and Michael Hutter, his wrestling ability was generally considered pretty good but not entirely outstanding. So when he became EC3 and was billed as this hot new star, he deliberately invoked this trope for heat via constantly getting squash matches to stay undefeated yet hyping them up as epic victories. It ended up sticking even after moving beyond this, leading to Insult Backfire below.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Heavily implied to be the reason Bateman didn't leave Maxine to Johnny Curtis and go for Kaitlyn sooner than he did.
  • Insult Backfire: The following has happened on numerous occasions, especially in the northeastern United States.
    Crowd chants: You can't wrestle!
    Ethan: I disagree.
    Crowd chants: You can't wrestle!
    Ethan: I'm very good.
    Crowd chants: You can't wrestle!
    Ethan: I disagree.
    Crowd chants: You can't wrestle!
    Ethan: I'm very good.
  • It's All About Me: Until Bully Ray started targeting Aunt Dixie, then it was all about her. Then when she was put through a table it was all about getting revenge for her. Became all about him again when Bully Ray was out of the picture and he started blaming Rockstar Spud for what happened.
  • Jerk Jock: His gimmick, or at least his name, is clearly a send up to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3).
  • Large Ham: When he gets more mic time than just saying his "I'm a Carter" catchphrase he can really chew some scenery with his voice.
  • Love Triangle: Bateman with Maxine and Johnny Curtis in NXT Redemption. He and Johnny were the male Betty and Veronica, with Derrick as the Betty. Eventually he abandoned the situation once Kaitlyn got him to realize Maxine was the most toxic person not only in the triangle itself, but on the show overall.
  • Market-Based Title: During Impact's Indian tour, he went by the name of Ethan Singh III, or ESingh3.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy / Henpecked Husband: Actually boyfriend, but was this to absurd degrees with Maxine until Kaitlyn and friends woke him up to what was really going on.
  • The Men in Black: One of Abraham Washington's in FCW, known simply as "Agent D" (for Derrick) or "Agent B" (for Bateman).
  • Metaphorically True: Like nearly all long undefeated streaks in pro wrestling, he's lost matches at times during the streak but never by himself being pinned or submitted. For example, he got beat down by Bobby Lashley at Lockdown 2014 but immediately pointed out that Lashley did not have a TNA contract at the time and provoked Lashley to beat on him before the bell could ring or the cage could close, allowing him to escape without the stain on his record.
  • Nepotism: As Dixie Carter's Kayfabe nephew, he is a parody of her own notorious penchant for nepotism. See Squash Match below. Eventually ended when Dixie returned as a face, outright calling him a disgrace and refusing to trust the company in his hands (at least on an administrative level).
  • Only Sane Man: Jeff Jarrett's shady intentions for his return to TNA and the fact that Matt Hardy could not beat Ethan for the title cleanly were both obvious things to the average viewer…and to no one on the show save for EC3.
  • Power Stable:
  • The Quiet One: His return to NXT saw him speak very little, and after his call-up to WWE's main roster he doesn't speak at all.
  • Red Baron:
    • Often went by "The Deviant" when working as Derrick Bateman or under his real name.
    • As EC3 he's called himself "The New Icon of Professional Wrestling", "Wrestling's Greatest Hero", "The Hardcore American Icon", and "The New (Fucking) Game". Since turning face Josh Mathews has referred to him as "The Ass-Kicking Machine". In his return to WWE he's called "The Top One Percent".
  • Rich Bitch: And how! Though he's gotten better about it over time.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: After fully recovering from the injury that caused his elimination in the final three of NXT season 4, Derrick Bateman was reinstated in the competition during season 5. That season went off the rails into a storyline format before the competition even finished, but even then he managed to thrive as part of the Love Triangle story arc with Maxine and Johnny Curtis. Eventually all the other "contestants" were either formally eliminated or moved to the main roster, with Bateman being the only one that remained when NXT changed its format into the indie-developmental crossover it is today, and thus technically the uncrowned victor—but he was released soon after and eventually ended up wrestling in TNA as EC3.
  • Sadist Teacher: As a WWE developmental talent he was a victim of one in Bill DeMott.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Earl and Brian Hebner became the first real victims of Ethan's entitlement, with him forcing Brian to count him pinning Earl with a finger and calling that a "match".
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: When not wrestling, this is apparently what he considers relaxed dress. Less so when he was trying to convince Kurt Angle to fire Bully Ray and threatening him with legal action.
  • Ship Tease: Derrick had this with Kaitlyn while still officially tied to Maxine, which he was actively encouraged to pursue for obvious reasons. Eventually upgraded to Official Couple following the Staging an Intervention segment.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: After seeing him dragged through the coals by Maxine in such a relationship, it was so refreshing to see Kaitlyn wake him up from that fantasy and get him in a much more healthy coupling. Unsurprisingly, as EC3 he has made no pass at any female wrestler, whether in TNA/Impact Wrestling or on NXT.
  • Small Name, Big Ego / You Kill It, You Bought It: Any time he beats a legendary wrestler, he will siphon off part of their nickname or general identity to add it to his own. This is where the "New Icon of Professional Wrestling" and "Hardcore American Icon" handles come from. Has even threatened to add "Charismatic" in front of the latter title if he faced a certain enigma—before declining the match.
  • Smug Snake: The new face of American wrestling apparently beats jobbers well below his weight class and attacks anyone of any higher stature before a match can take place. He did gradually become more credible and less smug. Well…not really less smug. More credible, sure, but definitely not less smug.
  • Squash Match: Kept getting easy targets for his "epic" winning streak before Sting finally forced him to put up or shut up.
  • Staging an Intervention: Kaitlyn, Justin Gabriel, and Alicia Fox did this to get Bateman to see how toxic Maxine was and finally leave her behind. It worked because the only thing holding him back was that he'd been psychologically put so far down that he didn't think he was good enough for anyone better than Maxine, and luckily Kaitlyn was particularly determined to prove him wrong.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: One of the more refreshing aspects of his Heel–Face Turn in 2016. He is still the same wealthy, suave, self-assured Ethan Carter III, just a bit more valiant and interacting more positively with the crowd.
    • Just because he and Dixie Carter are both face after Matt Hardy's actions doesn't mean that her mistrust of his intentions and ignorance of his character judgment for over half a year is now water under the bridge. He still hasn't completely forgiven her mistakes, and is perfectly willing to take his vengeance against Matt Hardy all on his own if he has to.
    • Rockstar Spud, meanwhile, hasn't forgotten about either the good times he and Ethan shared together as friends during the Team Dixie run, OR the abuse, betrayal, hatred, bloody battle, and eventual scalping he suffered at Ethan's hands when Ethan outright became The Bully in response to Dixie being thrown through a table. And, as it turns out, he hasn't forgiven Ethan for the latter in the least, pretending to have his back against the Matt Hardy Brand only to slam a cage door in his face, cost him a chance to take back the title, and then destroy him with a one-man stair-and-con-chair-to.
    • Throughout his feud with Mike Bennett in 2016, Bennett has been making use of the same types of dirty tactics Ethan employed throughout his heel run, including using the help of Maria's distraction to pin Ethan for the first time in TNA. EC3 has maintained a level of respect for Bennett's ability to underhandedly get the better of him…up to a certain point. Turns out reneging on a dealnote  is a no-no for him.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Derrick Bateman, natch. "SUBMISSION! WREST-LING!" This only makes the fact that Maxine had him so doggedly compliant to her every whim even more disturbing and obviously abusive.
  • Troll: EC3 gradually developed into this during his promos, Insult Backfire above being one of the more prominent examples.
    • It's even more evident on Twitter, where he at one time posted a series of tweets praising someone named John for achieving greatness despite being hated by the "misinformed" public, with the implication being obvious as to who this John is…only to reveal in the concluding tweet that this is his "review" of John Carter and the John he's heaping praise at is actually the title character.
    • Pulled the same one again with another different John. "John always delivers the goods every Sunday night!!!" Turns out he was talking about Jon Taffer, host of Spike TV's Bar Rescue series.
    • After defeating Rockstar Spud in a bloody blowoff match, he came out with a big speech putting Spud over as a true wrestler with tremendous heart, showing respect and refusing to shave his head bald, and hoping to shake hands and end things on cordial terms…NOT! It was bait to bloody up Spud some more and then scalp him, before calling out that "THE WORLD IS MINE!"
    • On and TNA's YouTube channel, Ethan started up a talk video segment with a fireplace set called EC3 Fireside Chat. His first episode? Why wrestling is stupid. Given the fallout from Twitter comments Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White had floating around at the time regarding the price of UFC shows vs. WWE specials, this was the lowest hanging fruit available to get a rise out of wrestling fans. Look in the comment section, it simply works too well.
  • Underwear of Power: Glistening with diamonds at that.
  • Unrelated Brothers: Unrelated nephew and aunt in his case; he's not really a member of the Carter family, just the Ethan character.
  • Wild Card: Became this in 2017 with the switch from TNA to GFW, though it was initially portrayed as a straightforward Face–Heel Turn. He hated the new management for looking past his accomplishments or Carter pedigree in their loudly-proclaimed quest to "make Impact great", but also didn't take kindly to members of the AAA roster coming in and declaring their supremacy. Because of this, he's gone from whipping James Storm with a leather belt to rescuing Storm from getting his head bashed in with a beer bottle in a fairly short time span.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses: In a backstage segment on the last night of NXT Season 4, Daniel Bryan recalled saying that he'd punch Bateman if he got eliminated (which he did, the prior week). Bateman reaches down and immediately tries to invoke this; as soon as he straightens up, Danielson decks him. But seeing how he would go on and win the match for his team, Danielson's actions turned into a Wangstless version of Get A Hold Of Yourself Man.
    Bryan: Now get up. Because you've got a NXT Rookie Reunion Tag Team Match tonight, an I want you to win! And I don't want you to win for me, I want you to win for you! I want you to win for chicks! I want you to win for America! AND I WANT YOU TO WIN FOR CLEVELAND!

You've been warned.

Alternative Title(s): Ethan Carter III, Derrick Bateman, Michael Hutter