The news that WWE had fired Kassius Ohno, better known on the independent circuit as Chris Hero, last November was not at all surprising, but nonetheless still very depressing.
Apparently, Hero had gotten heat for his physique not being up to snuff, which led to him being pulled from NXT television. Despite getting himself in the best shape of his career during his enforced TV absence, upon his return Hero was largely used as enhancement talent, before quickly getting the chop.
What he lacked in looks, Hero more than made up for with his all around talent, grasp of wrestling psychology and passion for the business. Instead of finding him a role on the main WWE roster that hid his only flaw and exposed his strengths, Triple H narrow-mindedly cut him. This despite regularly having high quality matches on NXT including a student vs. teacher bout with William Regal on Apr. 10th, 2013, that was arguably the best battle in the brand's short history up to that point in time.
After his WWE sacking, Hero tried to remain positive and upbeat, vowing to take things to the next level and maybe one day he would be re-hired by the company, like his good friends Cesaro and Daniel Bryan before him.
Later, Hero acknowledged the rumors that his physical conditioning led to him not getting called up to the main WWE roster and ultimately let go, arguing that it shouldn't have been such a major issue, as his appearance didn't affect his in-ring stamina and moreover he had been willing to make the changes those in power wanted him to make anyway:
"I would say that the issue was less conditioning and more of an overall look. Anybody that has ever known me or been in the ring with me knows that I can wrestle all day and all night long. I don't get tired, that's not the issue. It's more of a cosmetic issue and my body type is different. I have different ways of working out and my eating habits are at the time. Anybody that has followed my career has seen a lot of fluctuation. I have gone from no muscle tone whatsoever to plumping up to three hundred pounds to cutting that off and becoming more toned and then cutting as much body fat as possible, so I have had my fluctuations and I've switched things around so I think that was more of a cosmetic look and my coaches or the powers-that-be were all very supportive."
As can be seen from the above recently taken photograph, Hero's body-shape fluctuations have continued, but not in a positive direction. His aesthetic look is now so bad that there's no hope of any renewed WWE interest in him, which were slim to begin with at the age of 34 and with the same trainers in power at NXT.
Having your wrestling dreams crushed is a bitter pill to swallow and thus it's perhaps unsurprising that Hero has lost his motivation to workout hard, especially as he probably realizes that another call from WWE is unlikely to ever come again, no matter what he does to fit their mold better. However, it would be wise for Hero to at least start wrestling in a T-shirt again, if he's either unable or unwilling to keep his body in check, as such pictures gives the false impression that he's undedicated, unprofessional and simply doesn't care.
Ironically, having a bit of a gut is likely a lot healthier in the long term for Hero than taking any shortcuts to obtain a physique that meets WWE's lofty standards of what one of their Superstars has to look like, 24/7, 365 days a year. Hopefully, recent WWE signing Kevin Steen doesn't fall victim to the same "Kassius Ohno" curse.