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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Chris Masters: The Masterpiece At Large
June 9, 2005 by Jesse Lee


Welcome ladies and gentleman, to an article given to you by perhaps the only fan of Chris Masters. Jesse Lee here, ready to give a new look on Chris Master after a long, LONG absence from the computer. I've been watching RAW every week on Tuesday afternoons - after taping it on Monday due to work - and I've noticed something about Chris Masters. Despite the rising hatred for this kid, he has what it takes to get the job done in WWE.

I know what you're saying, "Jesse, he cracked Stevie Richards' cheek bone in his debuting match. How can he have anything that can make him a success in any wrestling organisation"" Let me answer that with this.. the kid's got "it." At only twenty-two years of age, Masters, to me, is a worthy contender for the Intercontinental Championship. By no means do I think he should be a heavyweight championship contender or go in a ten minute battle with Triple H, Batista, or Cena without making the match just as dull as the King's perverted jokes. I don't think he's ready for a main event status, but all he needs is that one thing that every "true" superstar needs... time. This world is so used to seeing new stars get a heavyweight title shot about five months after their debut or two months after making a statement about the champion, today's fans might not be able to comprehend the importance of time. It took Michaels, Austin, and Foley years before they even made it to main event status in their prime days in the WWF. It may take years for Chris Masters to do the same.

Masters started wrestling in 2002, he signed up in WWE in 2003 on 9-11. (Maybe that's the new bad luck number or something). Ever since Chris Masters debuted in 2003 - wrestling dark matches - and debuted on television on February 21st of 2005, he's never lost a match. Now whether it's a real wrestling match or a Masterlock challenge, he's never lost. Even though wins and losses don't really count as match in pro wrestling as they do in amateur wrestling or any other sport, it's impressive to be a newcomer and not lose a single match.

I hear people give a lot of beeg on Chris Masters for his finisher, the MasterLock. Now, I take karate and we've learned the full nelson, it doesn't take a genius to understand how powerful a move like this can be. It cuts off air supply while adding force on the back of the neck, a real legitimate submission. With the strength of Chris Masters, I don't doubt that he doesn't have a problem getting the hold and locking in the submission to win his matches. Yes, I do think the MasterLock challenge is a rip-off of Kurt Angle's Invitation challenges (with the only difference being he was challenging audience members than wrestlers), but it's a way to get this guy on TV. I believe that if he stops challenging audience members and start challenging professional wrestlers or perhaps other sport celebrities, his reputation would get larger. If he can one-up Kurt and challenge WWE professional wrestlers or pro wrestlers of the former ECW/WCW or from TNA, that'd be even better of a real challenge and a real way to get his name out there.

Another thing that leads me to believe that Chris Masters has "it" is that he's got the charisma, he's got the physique, he's getting better on the microphone, and he's learning more and more about his wrestling. He may not have the highflying moonsaults, the knowledge of an Olympic wrestler, or ruthlessness of a Wolverine, but Masters does have his own unique style. If people stop chanting out mindless comments and just watch the guy, listen, and see how he's gotten himself a larger name than Stevie (on Stevies behalf) some people may begin to realize, "hey.. this guy is serious about his work."

It took Maven nearly four years before making himself even noticeable to the fans of wrestling and to develop a finisher that catches everyone's fancy (the double-knee backbreaker.) It took one match for everyone to decide their opinions on Chris Masters, but in four years from today, he just might be challenging someone for the heavyweight championship.

Don't let the match with Stevie Richards cloud your judgment on Chris. It could merely be a bad first impression, but don't you think that he deserves time before people start chanting out that he sucks or he's boring" It took Orton, Cena, Shelton, and Batista major changes before they were even noticed by the fans as someone to lead WWE into a new era.

To leave off... do I believe he can become the next Shawn Michaels" No. Do I believe he's the next Kurt Angle" No. Do I think he's going to become the next Stone Cold Steve Austin. No. I believe that, with time, The Masterpiece will become the first... Chris Masters.

by Jesse Lee ..


Bobby Van Sickle Jr. wrote:
Chris Masters is a ripoff of Lex Luger and Ken Patera. He is no more than a muscle bound prelim wrestler. The Masterlock Challenge is nothing new. Patera used it when he was in the WWF as his finishing hold.
Jesse Lee wrote:
I do not believe Masters is ripping off of anyone. He is doing what he is coming up with in the ring. If you have an impressive physique, show it off. If you carry the body of a roman/creek statue, brag about it. If you want to talk about people using a move as a finisher that a past wrestler has used before, go through the entire list of WWE superstars and nearly each one can tell you where they came up with their finishers. I've never seen Ken Patera, because I simply wasn't watching wrestling during his time. I have seen Lex Luger and yes, he was originally a narcissist, but keep in mind that Luger eventually became some fans' favorite wrestler for a time being. I believe that if people stop being jealous of Masters' body (I know a few who are) and stop judging him because of one green move he's made, they can really see where Chris is coming from.

Everyone makes mistakes and in a wrestling match, it's bound to happen. In anything that involves physical contact, a mistake is bound to happen. It's not Chris' fault that he probably got nervous (bound to happen on a debuting televised match on a live edition of RAW) and blotched the polish hammer. It's not Stevie's fault for taking the shot without trying to lessen the impact. To error is human, no one ever said he was a God.
Mike W. wrote:
I do agree with you about it taking time for Chris Masters to get better, because if you saw the match between him and Val Venis on Raw, you would see that he is starting to get better. The fans were completely behind Venis the whole match, and when Masters put the Masterlock on, the crowd was really pulling for Venis to get out. And when he didn't, a smattering of boos filled the arena. Masters did his job of making his brute force offense convincing, and Venis did his job of pulling out all his moveset, and making Masters look good. Time is the greatest benefit for Masters, and possibly a secondary finisher or set-up move.
Sami Salonen wrote:
Ok now. I am one of those people who just love to stomp on Chris Masters, but now i'm going to take a neutral perspective. First of all i got to say that "The Masterpiece" isn't a hopeless case when it comes to wrestling ability. Of course he's too big to do anything that requires agility and speed, but he might become one of those suplex machines that i love to watch. If Masters is serious about wrestling he really needs to learn a lot more moves than he currently knows, mat based wrestling and suplex's are really the way to go. When it comes to mic skills it's a different story. I don't think the man should ever touch the microphone anymore. I just can't stand it when he tries to sound tough, mispronouncing many simple words in the process, thank god for the mute button. I see do a future for Chris Masters in the WWE but what i'm seeing is not a main eventer but a eternal midcarder. He might capture the intercontinental title a few times, but unless a miracle happens Masters will never make it big.
LanceCrucifix wrote:
OK, let's put it like this, I respect Chris Masters, but then again I respect Goldberg. What I'm getting at, when you step into a wrestling ring, to entertain us fans, you get a certain amount of respect. That's all I'm giving Masters, While the gimmick is good, and he does have the superstar look, Masters is nothing more, then what some would consider a Transitioner. Masters will be built up as an unstoppable...Masterpiece, to boost others, like a smaller Big Show, if you will. Masters, has little to no skill, but people have said the same about John Bradshaw Layfield, and until he reached his WWE Title status, it was true, but after winning a credible championship, JBL went on to do great matches. Back to Masters, Masters character, should be killed amidieatly, in my eyes. He wrestles stiff, far to cocky (And it shows! ), and he probably couldn't tell the difference between a Texas Cloverleaf and a Sharpshooter. Masters is one of WWE's failed experiments, but hell only time will tell, eh"
Tim McKee wrote:
I just wanted to note that I attended a house show in Albuquerque, NM on May 20 where Masters faced Stevie Richards again and injured Richards' knee, which will likely cause him to compete with a leg brace at ECW One Night Stand.
Stevetherambler wrote:
My name is Stephen Ground. My opinion on Chris Masters is this: The way WWE is currently booking him will NOT work. We have seen this so many times in the past, with them wasting great talent in bad situations. I believe that if Masters finds his wrestling style, such as being a suplex master, I believe he could make it to the top. Whatever happened to a male manager" I believe a manager like a Bobby Hennan or a Jim Cornette would be great for Masters. They could do all the mike work and take away that element of Masters, which is what the fans hate most.
"The Bullet" Jake Raynor wrote:
I don't like Chris Masters these are the reasons. 1) Big muscly guy in tight pants - OK I'm a wrestling fan, I should be used to these guys by now but since 2004 the majority of the wrestlers just bought in by WWE have been muscly in tight pants, ick! 2) clumsiness - he injured Stevie richards in his debut and apparently injured him in a recent live event too. 3) lack of intrest - how many times do you need to go to the toilet in two hours" About two I'd say. As you're watching Raw you decide to go when the Diva Search rejects come on the screen in a lingerie contest and of course the masterlock challenge where Masters beats someone like a woman (tough man), Val Venis (useless), Stevie Richards (needs to be pushed), a jobber who is non-WWE (shouldn't be anywhere but dark matches until they debut or Seargent Slaughter (a true legend who deserves more respect). The crowd don't care and neither do people at home. Also a non-WWE jobber losing to Masters or another person is another way of saying you're not going to make it successfully into the WWE ----- WWE please send him to OVW or US (Unemployed Status)
Eric D. wrote:
I agree with this article. At first, I wasn't sold on Chris Masters, but week after week, he shows me something new that shows me this guy is destined for super stardom. The Masterlock in particular adds something to RAW that is rarely seen these days: realism. I think alot when I watch WWE, would that really hurt someone in a real fight" Finishers like the F-U and Angle Slam might startle you, but when the adrenaline is pumping, you could bounce right back up from those, but the Masterlock would take you down, especially with a guy the size of Masters applying it. I just hope the WWE puts a long time investment in this kid and gives him a chance to develep into a major player.
ian morrison wrote:
Sure Chris Masters is not a great worker and he may be just one of the usual crop of muscle-bound punchers and stompers that WWE has been bringing in these days but he is still a potential star with a bright future in wrestling. While it is universally agreed that Masters is no Dean Malenko in the talent department he does put on some entertaining television from time to time. The Masterlock Challenge may have started out boring but when they shortened its timeslot and added wrestlers as challengers it has actually become entertaining. People are talking about how he is a very stiff wrestler and that that should be held against him. Why" Is being a stiff worker that bad" The only reason Goldberg got over was because he was a stiff worker, Lesnar actually busted open Big Show twice in one attack with the ring steps. JBL, Wahoo McDaniel, Johnny and Greg Valentine, all of these men were stiff workers and that is the reason they became famous. I would rather see one realistic looking spear or clothesline from hell that another RKO or Styles Clash, moves that either wouldn't hurt or are just too unrealistic. "But Masters broke Richards' eye in his first match" I can hear you saying, big deal. It was exactly that, his FIRST match. It doesn't mean his career is over. Edge broke Jose Estrada's neck in his first match and he has had a lengthy career annoying fans with his attempts at perfect diction during interviews. Bank on It.

The one best thing that Chris Masters has going for him is that he is willing to get better. I would much rather see a fresh new Chris Masters match, than the typical 4 move matches from the internet readers' favorites (ie: Booker T, Chris Benoit, and for some reason Val Venis and Stevie Richards, face it guys after 7 or so years they're not gonna get over.) Masters can improve and has yet to hit his plateau where all he will do is chops and swandive headbutts. It's too bad that Evolution has broken up because Masters would have been a perfect fit.
Melissa Wright wrote:
Alrighty people, am I the only one who thinks that Chris Masters is hot" He's got looks and he is starting to get more air time. Since as of late he's been having to deal with the Big Show I would have to say that Chris Masters' career is definately going up as opposed to down like a "typical muscle headed Lex Luger rip off". Honestly I think everyone is just upset at the recent absence of Triple H, however I am quite happy to see the WWE making up for this absence with Chris Masters. I personally am sick and tired of Triple H and his whining and Chris Masters is a very nice change from the typical "me big, me kick your butt becuase I'm big" statements of Triple H. Plus as I mentioned already, Chris Masters is hot. Anywho that's my two cents.
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