Former WWE Superstar Chris Masters was a recent guest on the Why It Ended with Robbie E podcast. Hosts Robbie E. and Matt Koon did a masterful (pun intended) job with the interview, as Masters opened up about his WWE career like never before. Highlights appear below.
On The Mentality At OVW:
Looking back now, to me, it might have been the best times of my career. For me it was like college going in at 19 years old. Being around the OVW wrestling scene, which was very old school – Jim Cornette, Danny Davis, and Rip Rogers was the trainer. It was a culture shock, but it was just really interesting. You just got there and you realized that you weren’t in Los Angeles anymore. Jim Cornette would not let babyfaces hang out with heels. It was very old school; everything about it, the atmosphere around it, the guys involved with it. It made it a lot of fun. I didn’t know what to expect because it’s Kentucky, but we had such a good group – there was about 30 of us and 20 of us signed – a tight knit group and everybody lived within the same quarters and everybody hung out together. It was the last bit of innocence you have before you go up to the main roster where there’s so much money involved and there’s politics and all that stuff, so you can always look back at that as a time of innocence: bright eyed and bushy tailed.
On His Move Up To WWE:
There wasn’t any definitive moment, I don’t think, where anybody told me, ‘OK, this is the deal.’ The next thing I knew I was on the road. I was working the OVW TVs and the next thing I know Tommy Dreamer was calling me and he was like, ‘Hey Masters, you’re on the road this weekend.’ I’d do the “Masterpiece” Chris Masters thing. I’d work the house shows and go back to Louisville every weekend. I did that for over a half a year. I worked dark matches at television and the next thing I knew they were shipping me off to shoot pre-tapes in Connecticut and the next thing I know they’re rolling the pre-tapes every week and flash forward, I debut about a couple months later. Everything was real incremental, as far as each step. It wasn’t one day I was out of Louisville and on television.
On Enduring Food Poisoning For His WWE Debut:
It was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve never had food poisoning to that degree and how inconvenient of a day to have it too. I tell people this all the time – our fellow peers when they travel – watch out for any of those sandwiches you get at a truck stop or a gas station. We had a long drive the night before, like a five hour drive. I was starving, so I picked up a turkey wrap at gas station or a truck stop. It was our only option to eat and I ate it and the next thing I know, the next morning my stomach is rumbling. I went down to the lobby to the restaurant to eat breakfast like I normally do and I couldn’t take two bites. I took maybe two bites and I was done. I was just tapped out. It was after that we went to go tanning. That’s when I started throwing up and the whole day I couldn’t hold down anything. I was throwing up. Honestly, I was crapping [laughter]. I was a mess. I couldn’t believe it and I think I lost 10 pounds by the time I debuted honestly, just because of dehydration and not being able to eat and being sick. I make my debut and it was the match where I break Stevie Richards’ nose and his orbital bone, so all in all it was not a great start.
On Who Was Directing Him Early On:
The day of my debut it was Shawn [Michaels] and Hunter [Triple H] that were working with me on my entrance specifically. Remember I was sick as a dog, but I was up there and I was working with them and they were walking me through different routines to do up on the top of the ramp. From that aspect, they helped out a lot. There were many people that helped out on the wrestling aspect: “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson and Fit Finlay. It feels like a lot of people had their hand on my development there.
On What His Initial Thoughts Were After Receiving A Push:
It was all so surreal. It’s one of those things where you can only look back after and reflect on it and be like, Wow that really happened. It seemed like the sky was the limit honestly. I know they were trying to push me towards that direction, in terms of working with [John] Cena and all that, but one thing I’ve learned about pro wrestling is that they may tell you one thing one day and that could change within the next week, let alone the next day or even the next hour. There was a lot of touch and go and it started right from the start. When I injured Stevie Richards, I was on Heat for the next month and a half – their B show at the time – to make sure I didn’t hurt anybody, I think.
On A Vince McMahon ‘Going Crazy’ & Miscommunication W/ John Laurinaitis:
A lot of interesting things happened. During the times we had Taboo Tuesday….I was teaming up with Gene Snitsky against whoever the fans picked and they picked, I think, Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy. Vince [McMahon] was real adamant about me not being pinned, but nobody told us, so we put the match together in a fashion where I ended up taking the pinfall. We did the match and the match turned out great, but when we got to the back, Vince was going crazy because he didn’t want me to get pinned. The whole plan was to keep me strong to work with Cena in that next month or towards Survivor Series, but nobody had told us. John Laurinaitis had sworn that he had told me.
On What Led To His First Release:
Because I already popped on the wellness policy and basically I was a second time offender. All this stuff happened at one time; I was in Europe and ended up dislocating my elbow and I was sent home at the end of the tour because I couldn’t finish it. Then by the time I got home I was told that I had popped on the test and at first they were just gonna overlook it. Basically that’s what they told me, ‘It’s no big deal. Take your 60 days and come back.’ Around that time….that was around the time of Eddie [Guerrero] and Chris Benoit and there was a lot of heat on the company and it went from basically taking your 60 day suspension to, ‘Hey, we got to let you go.’ That’s what basically happened around that time frame.
(Transcription: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)