Former WWE superstar Chris Masters was interviewed by Kayfabe Wrestling Radio on Tuesday Night. He spoke about his first WWE run and whether it was a case of “too much too soon” for him, what it was like working with veteran performers at his first WrestleMania, whether he would wrestle for TNA and more. Here are some highlights of what he said about:
His feelings about the current status on the indies and if he wants to see himself in TNA: “I mean, I really enjoyed working for TNA and the Ring Ka King project because it was a great crew all around; Jeff Jarrett was awesome. It was definitely a different environment from the WWE and I did do a dark match with them and it went very well, but I will say this: I am happy with what I’m doing because I’m able to have the freedom of my schedule in being able to book myself out there for indy shows. For instance, if I was with TNA right now, I wouldn’t be able to do Crossfire, because they don’t let their guys do TV gigs anymore. It’s definitely something I have interest in, I mean it just comes out to my only passion is wrestling and I’ve devoted my whole life to it. So, you just have to look at what your options are on the table and, you know, there’s not many. You pretty much have it laid out; you can do what I’m doing right now where you can aspire for TNA but the only place you’re going to get rich is WWE. So that’s just the comparison I make, throwing off TNA a little bit. I would definitely love to be with WWE again possible but it’s like a trade-off. WWE is a very stressful job that basically devours your life; you’ve got to be married to it and it’s hard to always enjoy it. So, with what I’m doing now, you can’t get rich but you can make a living and you can still perform the art of professional wrestling and just enjoy doing it.
“Not all indy shows are the best, obviously, but there’s pockets here and there that you can go to, like Crossfire for instance, where you have live and passionate fans; if you have a venue that’s built for 2,000 and it’s filled, you get the same adrenaline rush as you would, say, for 19,000 people because you have that condensed energy. So, it’s a lot of fun to me and I just enjoy doing it so I’m going to keep doing it as long as I can whether it be continuing indy wrestling, Whether it be TNA or WWE or Japan, whatever. But I’m also at other revenue streams, of course.”
If being in the ring with veterans like Big Show and Kane at his first Wrestlemania helped: “One thing about, especially that first run in WWE was that I worked with a lot of guys like that. I worked with Big Show and Kane and Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Hunter. I mean, you would think one would be more nervous, probably, going out to work with those guys but, to be honest, I mean there’s just more comfort because they’ve been in every situation in the book and these guys are, they just; things do go wrong and they will fix it, you know? So, I could always at that point in my career, especially if I was with a guy like Big Show or Kane or Shawn Michaels or someone that was better than me, I could have a good match. I couldn’t necessarily lead a guy that at my level or below to a good match. That was something, in my second run that I learned to develop; just through years in the business and it just takes time. I got signed at 19 and was rushed onto the stage within a couple of years so by the time the second run came around it was I had been wrestling for about 8 years and you start to understand what they mean by storytelling more, and not thing of matches in the same terms; not of moves and what not but in being emotionally invested. So, that kind of stuff helped me lead guys in my other run, like I became the guy that could have good matches with guys that had less experience than me and pull good matches out of them, you know?”
Was his first run with the WWE a case of ‘too much too soon’: “It was a number of things, you know what I mean? It was too much too soon in that I was too young and immature that I didn’t really appreciate the opportunity that was handed to me because they really had the machine behind me the first time. But, at the same time, I mean I was on course; I would have done well but I did a lot to sabotage myself, as far as I was supposed to win the IC Title at one point and all kinds of things, but I had my personal issues and I had to go to rehab and that was the halting point of my career. So, I wouldn’t have had my personal problems, I don’t think it would have been ‘too much too soon’, and I think I would have been able to develop and get better and continue progressing; my career wouldn’t have hit such a dramatic halt. And then, after I did hit that halt, it was such a climb from that point thereafter just to get any kind of momentum or faith from the office at the same time. So, I’m not putting the blame onto the WWE for putting me up too quick, I’m just saying it was a combination of me being young, being too immature and being too much too quick (like you said) and then me making bad decisions.”
What he feels his best match was and the use of ring psychology in matches: “You watch, when you get the chance, it was on WWE Superstars but fortunately we got about 15 minutes, watch myself versus Drew McIntyre from 2011. It’s like a 15 minute match and I guarantee you, I’d love to hear your feedback on it. But, if you’re big on psychology and storytelling, I think you will really appreciate that match because I think that s one of my top matches. That’s all stuff I got in my last year, it just takes time to develop and WWE had become such a revolving door that not everyone can be Kurt Angle and get it in a year. But, it does come down to getting past move and spots; thinking in terms of psychology and storytelling; the biggest art in the whole match is just telling, you know what I mean.
“Like. being a babyface, being able to convey pain to an audience, and believing yourself so that they also believe. And it’s not to say, we hit each other hard; so that it’s not hard to believe but that is the art of it. If you’re the babyface and you taking a heap, emotionally invest yourself in it and believe that person is beating you down and then bring that into the comeback and that’s how you have an organic comeback and not have something that is forced or somebody is just running up and down screaming; it’s because they went through that whole heap and they got so emotionally invested that they believed it. And then, when it became time to to give it back to that heel, they give it back, you know what I mean? And that story is told with the face, and I’m sure you guys have heard Vince is big on facials (expressions) and that’s why; that’s the reason why. You’ve got to get those emotions but it’s just little things; the psychology, the story telling. You’ve got stuff you just can’; learn within the first year or necessarily the first few years, it takes time.”