Bingo’s Breakdown – Chris Masters

One of the main reasons I write these columns, focussing attention upon the younger talent trying to breakthrough in this business, is to provide some cheerful tidings for folk like me that are frequently frustrated by the amount of newcomers kicked aside in favour of fading stars.



These stars of yesteryear aren’t gonna be around for much longer (apart from Ric Flair, he’ll still be wrestling in 2025), and the wrestling industry has been rightfully criticised in the last decade or so for failing to create enough new top tier guys to carry the business into the next generation.

Thusly, I always try to be as positive as I can when probing the curtain jerking urchins. As much as anyone else, I enjoy it when WWE mixes things up and experiments with newer guys – even if that does mean putting the WWE title on Sheamus.

So, with that said, it saddens me to admit that today I find it very difficult to find anything positive to say about the subject of this column: The Masterpiece, Chris Masters.

Masters first run in the WWE commenced in February of 2005. Rumours were abound that Vinnie Mac actually regarded the sculpted youth as a future main-eventer – presumably seeing potential in him that nobody else in the entire universe could. Not even his parents I’d wager.

In order to get him over, Masters was saddled as being a one move merchant – that move being the full nelson, only here renamed as ‘The Masterlock’. Brilliant. So a move that even bored the crap out of 80s wrestling audiences was supposed to get a guy over in 2005? What were they thinking?!

Masters and his crowd-killing Masterlock somehow managed to remain on the roster for over two years! Despite PPV bouts against the likes of HBK and even a spot in the elimination chamber at the New Year’s Revolution PPV, perhaps the most noteworthy footnote in Master’s entire two and a half year first stint came in a backstage segment. The infamous segment saw HHH mocking the rapid decrease in his muscle mass of Masters – a result of the newly enforced wellness policy within the WWE.

So, let me get this straight; WWE informs all its employees that they are taking a stance on muscle-enhancing drugs and will thus be randomly drug-testing all talent to ensure the new policy is abided to. Masters, doing what he has been instructed to do, abolishes the muscle enhancers and, as a result, his physique – though still impressive – begins to resemble one far more akin to that of a normal human being. Does he get a pat on the back for abiding to the new regime? No – he gets openly mocked on TV by the son-in-law of the boss for no longer looking like a roided-up freak. It’s impossible to comprehend the logic.

But, regardless of all that, it allegedly transpired that Masters continued to maintain a penchant for sinking an “enhanced” protein shake or two. And once the foolish fool was reported to have failed a Wellness test for the second time, WWE chose to sever all ties with him.

And that, I hoped, was the last we would see of him stinking up WWE rings. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Masters cleaned up his act and reached out to Vince who, sadly for wrestling fans, was willing to play ball with the crowd-killer. Methinks a close friendship with Randy Orton also likely had something to do with his rehiring.

And so Masters returned to WWE TV last Summer as a surprise opponent for MVP, earning him what is known in the business as a “Haas pop” as he made his way to the ring. Actually, that’s probably unfair to Charlie Haas in this context.

So what was new about the returning superstar? Let’s see… Same entrance music. Same ring attire. Same titantron. Same rubbish Masterlock. Same lack of wrestling talent. Same atmosphere sucking ability. Oh, and a newly enhanced hairline – that was mocked, once again, by HHH,

His feud with MVP was over within in a couple of weeks (with Masters being the one who stared at the lights) and The Masterpiece was instantly reduced to glorified jobber status and Superstars appearances. Then, a revival of sorts, came courtesy from the unlikely source of Sharon Osbourne.

During a yawn-inducing American’s Got Talent segment on RAW, instigated by Osbourne’s guest appearance on the show, Masters flexed his pectorial muscles along to some music, and, majestically, a new gimmick was born. In all likelihood, WWE had Masters perform the act as a way to belittle him (belittling employees being one of Vince’s most treasured pastimes) and I’m certain they were as gob-smacked as the rest of us by the bizarrely positive crowd reaction to the routine.

So as a result of tensing his tits and pleasing the kids, Masters was turned face, then partnered with the equally bland Eve, and now has something equally worthless to accompany the Masterlock on his list of abilities, that being dancing nipples.

It’s easy to say that I’m being overly mean to Masters, and that it’s not entirely his fault that he’s lumbered with such awful gimmicks… but understand that the guy possesses zero talent as a wrestler. He has no discernible mic skills, he lacks any sort of charisma, he has no agility or flare within the squared circle, he has no connection with the fans and his arsenal of wrestling moves might possibly have been just about passable in 1985. He wasn’t saddled with the Masterlock as a joke courtesy of the creative team – he was saddled with the Masterlock because his ability is so incredibly limited.

Just watch his match against his pal Orton on RAW this week. His entire offence consisted of three Irish-whips, a power slam and two attempts at applying the Masterlock (one of which was successful). And this was a match where Masters largely had the upper hand! I’m pretty sure even my little sister could have worked that bout after a couple of hours training (okay – I’ll admit she might have struggled with the power slam).

There’s an old saying pertaining to Ric Flair that goes “put him in the ring with a broom stick and he’ll get an entertaining match out of it”. I believe the exact opposite applies to Masters – put him in the ring with the greatest wrestler in the business and he’ll get a bad match out of them.

As I write this, WWE is in the midst of its annual clear-out, seeing all the deadwood being tossed overboard (90% of which washes up on the shores of TNA incidentally), and I would not be surprised in the slightest if Masters becomes a victim of the cuts. Sure, his aforementioned friendship with Orton might prove otherwise – but with Orton in the news for the wrong reasons again recently, maybe Masters will be the one who’s punished as a result of Orton’s ungentlemanly conduct. Ya know – a bit like how Matt Hardy is constantly buried due to his little brother being a jackass.

Masters is the pure epitome of what’s wrong with the modern business. Gone are the days when aspiring talent would travel the circuit for years on end, learning their trade and mastering a manner of wrestling styles from around the globe, and only then would they knock on WWE’s door to enquire about a job. Today, too many young guys are getting hired purely because of their impressive physiques, and then thrown into the ring to see if they can wrestle in front of a crowd after a few months of basic training. And this, as much as any other reason, is why the veterans continue to dominate the business.

So I guess this isn’t just a just a rant at Chris Masters. It’s a rant at the industry as a whole. As I said at the beginning of this column, I’m all for giving new talent a chance and I always will be. But it certainly helps if that talent also has the ability to actually wrestle before they’re thrown into the deep end – the “deep end” being my weekly dose of TV wrestling.

But hey, I don’t want to end this without saying a single positive thing about Chris Masters, so here goes…. He has good teeth.

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