|Birth name Michael Hutter|
Name Ethan III
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Height 1.85 m
|Billed weight 220 lb (100 kg)|
Movies The House of the Devil
|Born March 18, 1983 (age 32)
Willoughby, Ohio, United States (1983-03-18) |
Residence Tampa, Florida, United States
Ring name(s) Agent B. Agent D. Derrick Bateman Ethan Carter III Michael Hutter Mike Hutter
Trained by Florida Championship Wrestling
Similar People Rockstar Spud, Bobby Roode, Dixie Carter, Eric Young, Kurt Angle
Billed from Cleveland, Boca Raton
Michael Hunter Hutter (born March 18, 1983) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to Impact Wrestling under the ring name Ethan Carter III (often shortened to "EC3"), where he is the current Impact Grand Champion. He is also a former two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
- Early career (2002–2006)
- Ohio Valley Wrestling (2007–2008)
- Early appearances (2003, 2006)
- Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2010)
- NXT (2010–2013)
- Independent circuit (2013–present)
- Team Dixie (2013–2015)
- TNA World Heavyweight Champion (2015–2016)
- Various feuds (2016–2017)
- Grand Champion (2017–present)
- In wrestling
- Championships and accomplishments
Hutter began his professional wrestling career in 2002, and wrestled for several promotions beginning in 2006. In July 2006, Hutter signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (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 NXT. Hutter also competes in several independent promotions, winning the AIW Absolute Championship, Firestorm Pro Heavyweight Championship, and House of Glory's World Heavyweight Championship.
Early career (2002–2006)
Hutter began his career in Cleveland, after wrestling regularly for several promotions in the Ohio region after making his debut. He made his Absolute Intense Wrestling debut, defeating John Throne. He also wrestled for Pro Wrestling Ohio, making his debut on episode nine of the television show, as an ally of M-Dogg 20, under the name the "Deviant" Michael Hutter. He immediately began feuding with Josh Prohibition and Johnny Gargano and in the main event on episode 13 he teamed with Jason Bane to defeat Prohibition and Gargano. He made his final appearance for the promotion on episode 16, losing to Prohibition in a match to determine the participants in a match for the PWO Heavyweight Championship.
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2007–2008)
Hutter made his Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) debut on the March 27, 2007 television tapings, where he lost to Tony Braddock in a dark match using his real name. The following week, he lost to Mike Mondo in a dark match, before changing his ring name to Mike Hutter. He competed in several more dark matches before the television tapings, teaming with Nick Nemeth and Chris Cage in a loss to Mike Kruel, Vladimir Kozlov and Boris Alexiev in a six-man tag team match, before losing to Mondo again. On the April 25 television tapings, Hutter teamed with TJ Dalton and Jamin Olivencia in defeat to Pat Buck, Johnny Punch and Braddock, before losing to Del Electrico in a dark match on the May 2 tapings. Throughout May, he went on to lose to Anthony Polaski (a renamed Tony Braddock) in a dark match and Dan Rodman, and on the May 23 tapings, he was attacked by Kruel, Kozlov, and Mr. Strongo. In his final OVW appearance in June, Hutter competed in a gauntlet match to earn a match against then United States Champion, Montel Vontavious Porter, but the match was won by Chet The Jet.
On June 27, 2007, Hutter appeared at a Derby City Wrestling show in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teamed with Osiris to defeat The Belgian Brawler and Apocalypse in a dark match. On December 9, 2007, Firestorm Pro Wrestling held its inaugural show Destroy Erase Improve, which saw the start of a six-man round robin tournament, in which Hutter competed. The tournament lasted nine months, before ending on September 12, 2008 at Something to Die For. That same show, Hutter won a six-man elimination match to become the inaugural Firestorm Pro Heavyweight Champion. Hutter made his last appearance with Firestorm Pro Wrestling on December 13, 2008, when he vacated the Firestorm Pro Heavyweight Championship, which he later awarded to John McChesney when McChesney won a four-way match for the vacant championship.
Early appearances (2003, 2006)
On April 14, 2003 Hutter appeared at the Heat tapings prior to Raw as Mike Hunter, where he was defeated by Rodney Mack. On July 24, 2006 He appeared again at Heat, where he teamed with Chris Cronus in a loss to Viscera and Charlie Haas. He also appeared on Raw in August 2006, as a police officer with Shane McMahon who were to arrest D-Generation X.
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2010)
Hutter made his Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) debut on February 9, 2009, as Mike Hutter, when he lost to Drew McIntyre. On February 19, he changed his ring name to Derrick Bateman, and gained Abraham Washington as a manager as he teamed with Lennox McEnroe in a loss to Scotty Goldman and DJ Gabriel. On the February 26 television tapings, Hutter, Washington, and Tristan Delta lost a dark match to Brett DiBiase, Maverick Darsow, and Tank Mulligan. In March, he and Dylan Klein lost to Kafu and Sweet Papi Sanchez. In April, he became known as Agent D., as part of Washington's Secret Service stable alongside Agent T. and Agent C. He reverted to his Derrick Bateman name in June, in a loss to DJ Gabriel.
After a hiatus, Bateman returned to FCW in 2010, teaming with Adam Henderson in a loss to The Rotundo Brothers (Bo and Duke). In March, he lost to Richie Steamboat and Joe Hennig in singles competition, and to Johnny Prime, Orlando Colón, and Incognito as part of a six-man tag team match, before defeating Rudy Parker. He went on to lose to Skip Sheffield, Percy Watson, Mason Ryan, Wes Brisco, and Eli Cottonwood over the next several months. In mid-2010, he formed a tag team known as The Handsome Man's Express with Leo Kruger, and the pair unsuccessfully challenged Los Aviadores (Hunico and Epico) for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on July 2. The Handsome Man's Express disbanded as a team shortly afterward, with Kruger defeating Bateman in a singles match on July 29. On August 12, 2010, Hutter teamed with Johnny Curtis to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating the team of Donny Marlow and Brodus Clay and the defending champions, Los Aviadores in a three-way tag team match. They went on to successfully defend the championship against Los Aviadores, Clay and Marlow, and The Dude Busters (Caylen Croft and Trent Barreta). After a near three-month reign, Bateman and Curtis lost the championship to Wes Brisco and Xavier Woods on November 4.
During the finale of season three of NXT, it was announced that Bateman would be part of the fourth season, with Season 1 alumnus Daniel Bryan as his mentor. He made his in-ring debut on the December 7 episode of NXT, teaming with Daniel Bryan in a loss to Conor O'Brian and his Pro Alberto Del Rio. He had his first singles match on the December 14 episode of NXT, but lost to Alberto Del Rio via submission. For the next months, he participated in various challenges. Bateman made it to the final three competitors, but was eliminated on the February 22 episode of NXT. He then returned on the March 1 episode of NXT, competing in a tag team match with Conor O' Brian defeating the team of Byron Saxton and Jacob Novak. While competing on NXT, Bateman appeared in pre-taped vignette on Raw as a scientist with the "Bateman Institute" advertising a fictional Mark Henry cologne. He also made his SmackDown debut with Damien Sandow, who refused to fight him. Bateman got his debut match against Ryback and lost.
After a period of absence from WWE programming, Bateman was inserted into the fifth season of NXT as a rookie midway into the competition, returning on the June 28, 2011 episode of NXT Redemption and bringing back his Pro Daniel Bryan in the process. Meanwhile, Bateman's character began to show more villainous traits, eventually causing Bryan to abandon him after declaring that Bateman was making a fool out of himself. In July, Bateman started a long feud with Titus O'Neil that lasted until November, as both of them frequently traded wins and losses in a series of matches. In August, Maxine made her return to NXT as Bateman's girlfriend, and she started a concurrent feud with O'Neil's friend AJ. Bateman and Maxine lost to O'Neil and AJ on the September 6 episode of NXT Redemption. On the October 26 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman proposed to Maxine, who accepted the proposal after slapping and kissing him. On the November 2 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman and Maxine became known as "Beta-Max", and they participated in a six-person tag match along with JTG in a loss to O'Neil, AJ and Percy Watson.
On the November 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Maxine revealed to Bateman that she and his former friend Johnny Curtis went on a date, and they later tag teamed together in a winning effort against the team of Titus O' Neil and Percy Watson. On the December 7 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman defeated Johnny Curtis in singles competition, turning face once again, and was afterwards broken up with by Maxine thinking he flirted with her mother. After Bateman again defeated Johnny Curtis in a singles match on the December 28 episode of NXT Redemption, Maxine again turned on Bateman, thinking he was trying to ruin her career, kissing Curtis and leaving with him. The next week on the January 4 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman lost in singles competition to Darren Young after a distraction from Johnny Curtis and Maxine announcing that they're getting married in Las Vegas. On the 100th episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman interrupted Johnny Curtis and Maxine's wedding ceremony by showing a security camera video clip in his locker room of Johnny Curtis stealing Bateman's iPad and sending an email to Theodore Long about getting rid of Maxine and going to SmackDown, and was later reunited with Maxine.
On the February 15 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman teamed with Justin Gabriel to defeat the team of Heath Slater and Johnny Curtis, and afterwards saved his friend Kaitlyn from Maxine. Two weeks later, Kaitlyn confessed her love for Bateman, kissing him during an intervention also involving Justin Gabriel and Alicia Fox, until Maxine came out and again attacked Kaitlyn. On the March 7 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman was backstage with Johnny Curtis and Maxine, who revealed to Bateman that they are no longer dating after Kaitlyn kissed Bateman, leading to Bateman and Kaitlyn defeating Curtis and Maxine in a mixed tag team match. On the March 14 episode of NXT Redemption, he confessed his love for Kaitlyn and kissed her, solidifying their relationship. On the March 21 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman and Kaitlyn were backstage with Tamina talking about he and Kaitlyn's new found relationship, and later encountered Maxine and Johnny Curtis, who accused them of being involved with Matt Striker's disappearance. Bateman was accompanied by Kaitlyn in singles competition on the March 28 episode of NXT Redemption, losing to Hunico. Bateman and Kaitlyn discovered Matt Striker in a janitor's closet hidden by Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks on the April 11 episode of NXT Redemption. On the April 25 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman was attacked by JTG, but later went on to defeat him in singles competition. Bateman made his televised return on the May 4 episode of SmackDown where he once again faced Ryback, but was defeated. On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman was attacked backstage by an unknown person. On the May 30 episode of NXT Redemption, Bateman competed in a tag team match with Percy Watson and Justin Gabriel in a winning effort against Johnny Curtis, Michael McGillicutty, and JTG. Bateman competed on the June 8 episode of SmackDown against Brodus Clay in a losing effort. On the final episode of the fifth season of NXT on June 13, Bateman teamed with Percy Watson in a losing effort against Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks.
After the conclusion of NXT Redemption, NXT transitioned into the renamed FCW developmental territory. Bateman then continued to appear on NXT, where he defeated rival Johnny Curtis on the June 27 episode of NXT. On the October 27 episode of Saturday Morning Slam, Bateman lost to United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match. In January 2013, Bateman entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament along with Alex Riley, but they were eliminated in the first round after a loss to Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger. Bateman's final match was a non-title loss against NXT Champion Big E Langston, which was taped before his release. On May 17, 2013, Hutter was released from his contract.
Independent circuit (2013–present)
Soon after his release, Hutter was announced to wrestle at Absolute Intense Wrestling's Absolution VIII in his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio under his real name. He made his debut for the promotion on June 30, when he defeated Tim Donst. He also worked for Florida Underground Wrestling in May 2013.
Hutter made his return for the promotion Absolute Intense Wrestling under his TNA ring name Ethan Carter III and he teamed with fellow TNA wrestler DJ Z and Raymond Rowe, collectively known as Dudes on TV, and defeated Alex Daniels, Johnny Gargano and Josh Prohibition. Hutter made his debut with Championship Wrestling Entertainment on April 10, 2015 in Port St. Lucie, FL.
In May 2016, Hutter made his debut for Evolve Wrestling again under his TNA ring name Ethan Carter III attacking Johnny Gargano during the main event of Evolve 61 forming an alliance with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway. He and Galloway then proceeded to attack members of the Evolve roster and proceeded to cut a worked shoot promo on WWE about how he and Galloway were treated by WWE and how they found success in TNA and various other companies despite WWE.
Hutter also wrestles for House of Glory which is owned by Amazing Red, where once again he wrestles under his EC3 name, and was a former HOG World Heavyweight Champion.
In August 2016, EC3 made appearances for the UK's What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) promotion.
On October 16, 2016 EC3 defeated Colt Cabana, Lance Hoyt and Raymond Rowe in a 4-Way Elimination match for the Ringmaster Title at the inaugural WrestleCircus show.
In November 2016, EC3 retained the Ringmaster Title after turning on the WrestleCircus ownership by picking his own opponents for 11/19 and 11/20. EC3 defeated George "The Trashman" Gatton on 11/19 and then defeated ring announcer Louden Noxious the next night 11/20.
On December 17, 2016 EC3 defeated Pentagón_Jr., by interference from George "The Trashman" Gatton, to retain the WrestleCircus Ringmaster Title.
Team Dixie (2013–2015)
Hutter worked a dark match on August 29, 2013 before the Impact Wrestling television tapings in Cleveland, Ohio, losing to Jay Bradley. On September 26, TNA aired a vignette about a new talent, Ethan. The following week, another vignette aired as it was later reported that Hutter had signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and would be debuting with the new character as Dixie Carter's spoiled nephew. The following week, another vignette aired revealing Hutter's new ring name as Ethan Carter III (EC3).
On October 20, Carter made his TNA debut at Bound for Glory as a heel, defeating jobber Norv Fernum. Carter defeated another jobber Dewey Barnes on the October 24 episode of Impact Wrestling. On November 21 at the Impact Wrestling: Turning Point special episode, Carter took a step up in competition defeating Shark Boy. Since then, Carter had matches with other jobbers, billed as TNA Legends, like Curry Man or referee Earl Hebner. On the December 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter was confronted by Sting and was issued an option; either face Sting immediately, or enter the Feast or Fired match. Carter entered the Feast or Fired match and grabbed one of the briefcases, which was revealed to contain a future TNA World Tag Team Championship match. On the December 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter teamed with Rockstar Spud and The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) in a four-on-two handicap match against Sting and Jeff Hardy, where Carter pinned Sting. On the January 2, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter was challenged by Sting for a match at the Impact Wrestling: Genesis episode, a match which Carter would win after help from the special guest referees Magnus and Rockstar Spud. On the February 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter attacked Kurt Angle to save Magnus from losing by submission against him, then launched a vicious assault targeting Angle's surgically repaired left knee, resulting in serious injuries. The following week, Carter teamed with Magnus losing to Gunner and James Storm in a tag team ladder match where Carter's and Gunner's Feast or Fired briefcases were on the line.
On the February 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kurt Angle had a match against Magnus, which Angle won by disqualification, when EC3 attacked him, performing a leglock, which injured his knee. On the February 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Angle officially accepted his induction into the TNA Hall of Fame, but the ceremony was interrupted by EC3, who said he tore Angle's knee ligaments and therefore must retire. However, Angle attacked him and challenged him to a match at Lockdown. On the March 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Angle was attacked again by EC3. It was announced after that night's Impact Wrestling that Kurt Angle, due to EC3's attack, would be pulled from the Lockdown card due to a torn MCL. On March 9, at Lockdown, Bobby Lashley answered Carter's open challenge after his scheduled opponent (Kurt Angle) couldn't wrestle due to injury the match ended in a no contest. The following week on Impact Wrestling, Lashley and Carter had a rematch which Carter won via disqualification after an assault by Willow on Carter. This started a feud between the two, as EC3 and Rockstar Spud attempted to search for Willow in the woods. However, they were both attacked by Willow. At Sacrifice, they were defeated by Willow and a returning Kurt Angle. On the May 8, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3 faced Kurt Angle, where EC3 won. During the match, Angle re-injured his knee, which allowed EC3 to capitalize on the victory and tear Angle's ACL.
After his feud with Kurt Angle, he started a feud with Bully Ray, who threatened to put his aunt, Dixie Carter, through a table after the match. This resulted in a Texas Death match at Slammiversary XII, which EC3 won with help from Dixie Carter and Rockstar Spud. Through TNA's relationship with Wrestle-1, Carter made his debut for the Japanese promotion in Tokyo on July 6, teaming with Rockstar Spud in a tag team match, where they were defeated by Tajiri and Yusuke Kodama. On the July 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3 defeated Bully Ray in a tables match, following interference from Rhino on Carter's behalf. This prompted Ray to challenge EC3, Rhino, and Spud to a six-man hardcore match with Devon and Tommy Dreamer as his partners, which EC3's team won following interference from Rycklon and Snitsky. On the August 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3, Rhino, Rycklon and Snitsky were defeated in an eight-man Hardcore War against Team 3D, Al Snow and Tommy Dreamer. Afterwards, Bully Ray fulfilled his four-month promise by putting Dixie Carter through a table. EC3 would then blame Rhino for Dixie Carter being put through a table, resulting in EC3 attacking him. The following week, he got himself disqualified by repeatedly hitting Rhino with a chair. Spud tried to stop EC3 from the beat down on Rhino, but EC3 threatened to hit him with a chair, thus teasing tension between the two.
On the October 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Rockstar Spud snapped and slapped EC3, resulting in Carter firing him as his Chief of Staff. On October 12, at Bound for Glory, EC3 defeated sumo wrestler Ryota Hama. On the October 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter introduced his new bodyguard Tyrus. Carter and Tyrus entered the TNA World Tag Team Championship number one contenders tournament defeating Eric Young and Rockstar Spud in the quarterfinals only to lose to The Hardys on the October 29 episode of Impact Wrestling in the semifinals, when Tyrus was pinned by Matt Hardy. On December 31, Hutter re-signed with TNA for a multi-year contract. On the March 13, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3's feud with Spud came to a conclusion in a hair vs. hair match which Carter won.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion (2015–2016)
After defeating Mr. Anderson on the May 29 episode of Impact Wrestling to become the number one contender, Carter defeated Kurt Angle on June 25, 2015 (which aired on tape delay on the July 1 episode of Impact Wrestling) to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career. Three days later, on June 28, at Slammiversary XIII, Carter and Tyrus defeated Anderson and Lashley in the co–main event. On the July 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, he retained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship three times in one night against Norv Fernum, Shark Boy and Kurt Angle. On the July 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3 defeated Drew Galloway to retain his title. At No Surrender, EC3 defeated Matt Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem match. He successfully retained his title against GFW wrestler PJ Black at Turning Point. Ethan Carter III gave Matt Hardy a last chance to win his title, in a Title vs. Jeff Hardy's Services match, which Matt Hardy accepted. On the September 2 episode of Impact Wrestling EC3 retained his title and won Jeff Hardy's services. On the September 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ethan Carter III successfully retained his title against his former rival Rockstar Spud. Ethan Carter III finally dropped the championship to Matt Hardy, who pinned Drew Galloway in a three-way match on October 4, at Bound For Glory, after special guest referee Jeff Hardy betrayed him, officially ending Carter's reign at 101 days.
Carter then filed an injunction (kayfabe) that banned Matt Hardy from appearing on Impact Wrestling for a month, which forced Hardy to relinquish the title in order to stay on the show. Throughout the rest of the year (taped in July), Carter began competing in the TNA World Title Series for an opportunity to regain the vacant championship, in which he continued his winning streak by defeating the likes of Lashley, Mr. Anderson, DJ Z and Davey Richards.
On the January 5, 2016 live episode of Impact Wrestling, during its premiere on Pop TV, Carter defeated Lashley in the semi–finals and Matt Hardy in the finals, to win the tournament and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for a second time. Three days later, during the tapings of Impact Wrestling, which aired on January 19, Carter lost the title to Hardy in a Last Man Standing match, after Tyrus turned on Carter and attacked him, turning face in the process. In February, Carter started an alliance with his former rival Rockstar Spud in order to even things with Hardy and Tyrus, defeating them in a tag-team match on the February 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, only for Spud to attack Carter and cost him his rematch against Hardy during a six sides of steel match at Lockdown. On the March 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3 defeated Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Tyrus and Reby Hardy by disqualification in a Four On One Handicap match.
Various feuds (2016–2017)
On the March 29 episode of Impact Wrestling Mike Bennett declined a challenge issued to him by Ethan Carter III, leading to Bennett attacking Carter and officially starting a feud between the two. During the April 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Bennett and Carter had a match that ended in disqualification when Carter attacked Bennett with a steel chair. On the April 26 episode of Impact Wrestling: Sacrifice, Bennett defeated Carter by pinfall, ending Carter's unpinned streak. On the May 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, Bennett declined another challenge from Carter unless Carter faced three of his former enemies; if Carter won all the three matches, then he would get to face Bennett at Slammiversary, to which Carter agreed. His first match was against Rockstar Spud in a Six Sides of Steel match, which Carter won. On the May 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter's second match was against Tyrus in a Last Man Standing match, which Carter won. On the May 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter won his last match against Matt Hardy, but Bennett refused to give him his rematch, since Carter won by disqualification. On the May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter was put in charge of the show, and he made the match between himself and Bennett official for Slammiversary. On the June 7 episode of Impact Wrestling, EC3 and Gail Kim defeated Mike Bennett and Allie. Ethan Carter III defeated Bennett in a single match at Slammiversary on June 12.
On two separate occasions, Carter got involved in Drew Galloway's matches with the purpose of aiding him. However his plans backfired when he inadvertently ended up striking Galloway with a chair on the first occasion and the second occasion he struck him with a kendo stick. Following on from this, the two began a heated rivalry, fighting each other on several occasions, including an unsanctioned fight that led to a no-contest at Destination X. Later in August, Carter was involved in the Playoff, the winner of the series would go on to main event the PPV against the reigning champion at the time of the event. Before appearing in his own semi-final match against Matt Hardy, Carter interfered in a match between Drew Galloway and Mike Bennett, during which he intended to try and make-good on his recent mistakes costing Galloway matches. However, as before, he once again strikes Drew Galloway costing him the match. Carter would eventually win the series defeating long-time rival Mike Bennett. Galloway challenged Carter to a match with the winner going on to face the champion at Bound for Glory. The next week, Carter defeated Galloway, with Aron Rex as special referee, to keep his spot in the main event of Bound for Glory against Lashley. At Bound for Glory, he was defeated by Lashley. After the PPV, he started a feud against Eli Drake after his Fact of Life segment on the October 6 episode of Impact Wrestling. On the October 27 episode of Impact Wretsling, Carter and Jessie Godderz were defeated by Eli Drake and Aron Rex. On the November 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter defeated Eli Drake in a title shot vs. voice match where if Carter lost, he would lose his TNA World Heavyweight title shot and if Drake lost, he would not be able to talk for the rest of 2016. On the December 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, his match against Eddie Edwards for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship ended in a no contest.
On the January 5, 2017, episode of Impact Wrestling, he challenged Lashley and Eddie Edwards for Edwards' TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match, in a losing effort. At One Night Only: Live!, Carter was defeated by Eddie Edwards, and failing to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On the January 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter was defeated by Lashley in a Last Man Standing match and failed to become number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On the March 9 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter interrupted the debut of Alberto El Patron saying that he does not deserve a World Championship match. However, his speech was ignored, and a match between El Patron and Lashley was scheduled. Carter watched the main event and congratulated El Patron for his championship win. However, when El Patron relinquished the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, a match between Carter and him for the number one contender was scheduled the following week, which El Patron won by submission.
Grand Champion (2017–present)
On April 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter made his way to the ring and tells Bruce Prichard to read result of the fan poll again which was won by James Storm, Carter says he thinks this is a rigged system. Prichard said they took Carter's idea two weeks ago when Carter said that the decision should be put in the hands of the people. Carter said he is put his body on the line for this company and yet they are holding one loss to Alberto El Patron over his head. Bruce tells Carter that maybe he should go back, look in the mirror, and ask what happened to the man he used to be. Prichard reminds him he didn't just lose to Alberto but he tapped out. Did he tap out in a match or tap out on himself. Carter says he'll take Prichard's advice and figure out what he needs to do.
On April 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter interfered in the match between Lashley and James Storm for the World Heavyweight Championship, hitting Storm over the head with a beer bottle, thus turning heel in the process once again. On May 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter came out dressed as a Cowboy and proceeded to berate James Storm and the new management of Impact Wrestling. Storm then tried to attack Carter but Carter retaliated by lashing James Storm over 30 times with a leather belt causing significant injury to the back of James Storm. The following week, Carter was defeated by Storm after Carter brutally lashed the referee. After the match however, he tried to attack Storm but Storm take the top of him, but was immediately attacked by Magnus. Then, Bruce Prichard announced a 3-way match between Carter, Storm and Magnus to determine the number one contender to the Impact World Heavyweight Championship. But, after an altercation with Prichard, Carter attacked him. The following week, Carter defeated James Storm and Magnus and become the number one contender to the Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. However, on the June 1st episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter was defeated by Alberto El Patrón in a Six Sides of Steel match, failing to win the GFW Global Championship and lost his opportunity to face Lashley at Slammiversary. At Slammiversary, Carter defeated James Storm in a Strap match.
On July 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter ruined the match between Impact Grand champion Moose and Naomichi Marufuji, but was quickly attacked by Moose. On the July 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter teamed with Eli Drake and Chris Adonis, and defeated Moose, Naomichi Marufuji and Eddie Edwards. On the August 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter defeated Moose via split decision to win the Impact Grand Championship for the first time in his career. On the August 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, Carter entered in the 20 Man Guntlet match for the vacant GFW World Heavyweight Championship at N°7, but was eliminated by Moose and Eddie Edwards. On the September 14th edition of GFW Impact!, he successfully retained his Impact Grand Championship against Fantasma before being attacked by Fantasma and Pagano of AAA, with Eddie Edwards making the save, turning face in the process.