This past Saturday night, the Evolve 61 iPPV took place in Queens, NY. There were wrestlers from several promotions in attendance. Full Impact Pro’s Bravado Brothers, Drew Gulak from Chikara and Johnny Gargano from NXT are a few examples. However, it was the unexpected appearance of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s (TNA) Ethan Carter III and what he had to say that sparked controversy.
Carter expressed that Evolve is sacrificing its independent spirit by bowing down to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He vented about his time in WWE NXT and coach Bill DeMott. He stated that he and fellow TNA star/champion Drew Galloway left the machine to go on and become world champions and that the “King of Kings” (Triple H) blew it by not seeing their potential. Carter competed under the name of Derek Bateman during NXT’s formative years (i.e. before the program was actually good). Unfortunately, his career didn’t take off the way he’d hoped there. Given that both WWE and TNA would have reacted more harshly had this not been a work, how far do you think they will take this angle? And if it happens to be a shoot, do you think that this is the first shot in a war between TNA and WWE? Or was this the red headed stepchild looking for press by attacking the favorite son?
If I were a betting man, I would bet on the latter. At no point in TNA’s existence has WWE ever mentioned them by name, let alone anything about the brand. If there were going to be repercussions for this, we would have heard something by now. WWE at least fired back when rival promotion World Championship Wrestling took a shot at them. Not once have they ever responded to a slam by TNA. That reinforces the feeling that WWE sees them as not even worth commenting on. Perhaps the talent or creative at TNA can come up with some more surefire methods to gain the ‘big dogs’ attention in the future. Still, outside of the International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), I highly doubt that this will be enough to gain some real heat.