The tale of Chris Masters is not an uncommon one in professional wrestling.
Puffed up wrestler signs with the WWE mostly because of his comically inflated muscles and receives somewhat of a push based solely on his physique. Of course, this fails spectacularly because his in-ring abilities are not his strong suit. In fact, they are his weakest.
Eventually, he fails a drug test (big surprise) and is sent packing. When he comes back to television he's so much smaller it's difficult to even recognize him. To make matters worse, he's buried completely when Triple H (of course) makes a dig at him about his massive weight loss.
But Masters takes it on the chin and keeps pushing forward, despite the fact that he was getting booked as a mid-carder with little potential of breaking the glass ceiling. And through it all, he came out on the other side much better for it.
Sure, he was on shows like Superstars week in and week out, seemingly doomed to B-show purgatory, but he was having fantastic matches. He effectively used his time on the bottom rung to learn his craft and become an incredible in-ring performer.
This should have led to a push on the bigger shows and in a recent interview with the Voice of Wrestling, Masters revealed that he was told it was going to:
"You know, the reports on the internet were actually a surprise to me because I hadn't really told anybody. I don't know if that came from one of the writers to the dirt sheets, but the extent of what I was told was..back around January of this year after Hunter [and Vince] had seen some of my matches, Hunter pulled me aside and was telling me, 'Hey, we've noticed you've gotten really good and we're just trying now to figure out exactly what to do with you. Maybe we need to take you off tv for a few months and give you a fresh coat of paint or a repackaging', so we kind of left it at that. He had definitely come up and given me props a couple of times. You know, I was kind of under the impression that they were going to figure something out for me and I was also trying to think of some suggestions for myself and you know, that's probably why it was a surprise because of the fact I did feel like I had good things coming. I felt like this was going to be my year."
Indeed, Masters had gained somewhat of a cult following on the Internet by those who had realized his marked improvement over the past year. The fact that his star, small as it may be, had grown organically should have been a good thing. Of course, in the WWE, if credit isn't going to the right people, it's not.
Then, on Aug. 5, he was "future endeavored." It made absolutely zero sense then and it still makes no sense now. For his part, Masters is "pissed."
"Yeah, I'm pissed. I'm not going to deny that at all. This is the thing...the first time I got released, I brought it upon myself, so I accepted it. There's a lot of things I didn't do right the first time. I was also motivated coming back to the company and for it to turn out this way is upsetting because it's not like I failed a drug test. I did things right and I was getting really good in the ring, so it is a lot more upsetting the second time around than it is the first time around."
One cannot help but feel a bit bad for Masters, who had done nothing but work his ass off to get back to mid-card status after his initial problems had him doomed to failure. Even in a cutthroat business like professional wrestling, it's difficult to see a potential star get cut loose for reasons that are still unclear.
In a somewhat surprising revelation, though, the former "Masterpiece" revealed that he had already been contemplating a jump to TNA.
"Well, it's funny because I sat in my car about two weeks ago and really thinking to myself, 'they need babyfaces now and if they're not going to do something with me or invest in me right now, they're never gonna do it. So I was already thinking to myself, maybe I need to start reaching out and seeing what else is out there - let's just be frank. But I didn't do it. And it's funny because then you fast forward to weeks later and then this happened. Obviously, I'm taking bookings, but yeah, I've reached out to some people over at TNA and we'll just see what happens with that. There's of course the 90 day thing with WWE, but I'm not really going to rule out anything this time around"
Anyone think the powers that be at TNA will scoop him up as fast as they can get their hands on him? Or will he float around the indy scene before potentially making his way back to WWE?