There may be some people who don’t know who I’m talking about. The sad fact is that the man known as Chris Harris is probably best remembered for his extremely brief run in the WWE’s version of ECW under the name Braden Walker.
The beginning of his career saw Harris compete on WCW Worldwide in 2000 and was often a member of the New Blood security staff. Two years later, Harris got his first big break as one half of America’s Most Wanted with James Storm. During their time teaming from 2002 to late 2006, he won six tag team titles with James Storm.
More importantly, Harris was given a couple of chances to become a singles star for the company. I remember a time when James Storm was hurt in early 2004 and Harris was pushed strongly in the singles rank. Harris was given a title shot against Jeff Jarrett and worked with the likes of AJ Styles and Raven. Harris showed that he capable of working with the big time guys in the company.
I honestly saw Harris as being the next big top babyface. At the time for TNA they needed to develop homegrown talents as they continued to grow. Harris had competitive matches with Jarrett on a few occasions and along with AJ Styles. Harris was also competed in the first King of the Mountain match. The next week after that match, Harris went back to the tag ranks for three years.
Harris was finally given a chance to be a singles star at the start of 2007. James Storm turned on Chris Harris at the end of ’06 and a bloody feud between the two former partners started. The highlight of the feud came at Sacrifice 2007 where they beat the crap out of each and a lot of blood was shed. Harris won the match and all signs pointed to Harris rising up the ranks. He even competed in the King of the Mountain match the following month, which was won by Kurt Angle.
After a brief feud with Christian Cage, Chris Harris’s career would go downwards. A feud started up with Black Reign, which Harris would win after a couple of months. Harris would compete in matches that meant nothing. After his career came to a stop in TNA, he tried his luck with the WWE.
Harris made his ECW debut on July 8th, 2008 as Braden Walker. However, he wasn’t anywhere near the condition he was at while in TNA. Instead, Harris was just plain out of shape. Harris wasn’t able to get any traction in the company, though he was undefeated for the month he was part of the company.
It’s rather sad to think about how Harris was set up to be a top guy in TNA only to have any career progression ended at the snap of a finger. If you were to ask me ten years ago who would be the main event guy or former World Champion between Harris and James Storm, I would have said Chris Harris. Maybe it was the lack of charisma that Harris had, but he was never able to have a long lasting successful career in the singles rank.
Harris will go down as one of the guys that TNA could have built their company around but instead wanted to push former WWE midcarders to world championships. As you can see today, that hasn’t exactly helped them all that well.
— Bob Colling
Check out Bob’s site: http://wrestlingrecaps.com