EC3: “NXT was cool but I was never meant for NXT”

Mar 26, 2022 - by Steve Gerweck

Chris Van Vliet shared his interview with EC3:

There are a lot of comparisons between Control Your Narrative to Fight Club. Do you think these are justified?

“Absolutely, because we stole a lot of ideas from it. No doubt about it. There was one comment ‘Someone should tell EC3 that Fight Club is satire and he shouldn’t try to be Tyler Durden.’ I said ‘Professional wrestling is satire, so you are making my point.’ I am aware, I am so self-aware.”

What made you decide to bring Austin Aries to CYN?

“He reached out before it was decided that we were becoming a promotion in the sense of having television or live events. He said ‘I dig what you are doing and I would love to be a part of it.’ Here is a guy who is a former world champion and one of the best wrestlers in the world. He went away for a long time on a journey of personal discovery, and that is a story worth discovering. We had a phone call with him and it felt good. We looked at the ups and downs, and while he has opinions, there is nothing cancellable. It seemed logical and safe, and if I am bringing in a world champion, he can teach the younger generation. He is a leader and a locker room leader, and I respect that. Do I agree with him on everything? Probably not. But I can live with the fact that we have the same vision.”

What exactly is the Rant Room?

“The Rant Room originated because it sounds cool in my mind. In the first feature we did I always thought that if we were creating an army of men, there would be this room with a camera, almost like a confessional. They would walk into the room and just rant and get it out. It started as that, but then I am watching social media where people are making all these horrific statements to people I know. There is nothing you can say to me to hurt me, but when it is people I know and have the best intentions, these horrible things are being said that no one would say to their face. In essence, maybe I rage tweeted, but I initiated The Rant Room. You can choose 3 minutes in the rant room, pay $100, and say anything to a wrestler of your choice and they can’t do anything about it. The backlash we received was because we were using The Rant Room to get money, which I am. But if you want The Rant Room and you don’t want to pay a cent, I will give it to you too. You won’t do it to people’s faces, you are a coward.”

Somone paid $100 to go in the Rant Room with Austin Aries:

“Yeah, so we were in Orlando and someone asked me if The Rant Room was real? I said it was and they asked to talk to Austin Aries. I said ‘sh*t! OK, I don’t know if he is here.’ The one problem is that The Rant Room was initially just meant for me, and bringing other people into my insanity was not the best choice, but those that support it were behind it. So Austin agrees, we find the guy and I bring them into the room. For those 3 minutes, all the fan did was talk about how good of a wrestler Austin Aries was and how much he respects him. After a while, the fan said ‘I wish you would just stop tweeting your opinions so much.’ Austin asked why and the fan had no justification. I’m like I think this is good. What I learned is that face to face, different opinions can find common ground and peace, and maybe that is what The Rant Room is for.”

So for those that don’t know, what is Control Your Narrative?

“To Control Your Narrative is to tell your story, that is my intent to it. But we ask people what it means to them and I am fascinated by the responses.”

I know I have said this before but you are a former IMPACT World Champion, you had a great run there. Then you go to WWE and they don’t know what to do with you.

“NXT was cool but I was never meant for NXT. When we were called up, it was very rash and very unplanned. Our vignettes were shot in our homes, and we were called up as a group. Then I am a mute even though I am capable of speaking. The people that brought me in knew I could [talk], but no one would speak up because one man’s opinion rules.”

I’m going to ask you a general question. What are your thoughts on pro-wrestling right now?

“I don’t like it. It doesn’t engage me and I can’t watch it.”

You mentioned that the turning point was when Goldberg beat The Fiend?

“It was. I know Windham and he has a super creative mind. I know how much he put into creating that character. That was so outside the box, so impressive and so not WWE. It caught on like wildfire and everyone was into it. Then people saw that it was diluting. But the way that he created and he gets defeated on a grand scale, that means something. To watch him put his heart and soul into it and it’s like ‘Let’s have Goldberg beat him in 3 minutes.’ At that moment, I knew whatever I did then it wouldn’t matter. If that didn’t work, then what will?”

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