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Chris Masters shares how he got his gimmick, Triple H’s influence on the “Masterlock Challenge”

Chris Masters sat down with “Something to Wrestle With Revisited” to discuss how the “Masterpiece” moniker was created for him, as well as his finisher “The Masterlock.”

Chris Masters said it was Matt Morgan who came up with the name “Masterpiece” for him:

“I showed up at OVW and Dr. Tom told me one day my name is Chris Masters,” he shared. “I’m like, ‘Ok, I guess my name is Chris Masters.’”

“I remember sitting around somebody’s living room. I’m pretty sure it was me, Matt Morgan, Johnny Jeter, and maybe Mickie James, I don’t know. We had a good little group down there. We all used to hang out and it was real tight. It was like college. OVW was like college.”

“Matt dropped ‘Masterpiece’, and it was like the lightbulb went off. You watch wrestling your whole life, and it’s like, ‘Masterpiece’ Chris Masters. It fits so perfectly.”

“I realized fairly quickly in OVW the perception of me was I was a body guy. I was like a Luger, a Warrior, or Rick Rude. Specifically, I guess, I reminded Vince of Paul Orndorff quite a bit. That was a thing I came to know quite early. It fit perfectly. I loved it. I brought it to Jim Cornette. He loved it and he started calling me The Masterpiece Chris Masters on television, so we rolled with it and WWE rolled with it.”

Masters talking about using the Masterlock as a finisher:

When asked about using the Masterlock finisher, Chris began, “I didn’t have the most confidence in it.”

“When it was pitched to me, I was like, ‘Oh my God. Are the fans going to like this? Would I like this as a fan? Is it too basic?’, because you were so conditioned at that point. There was so much cool innovative stuff that was happening that I was worried because I would always try to frame it where I would try and put my fan hat back on and be like, ‘Would I like this?’ Sometimes I wasn’t sure. But, credit to Hunter.”

“We came up with the full nelson. We did the Masterlock challenge. Not everybody was confident at first, but I think it was Hunter who told them to stick it out. We kept rolling it, pushing it on TV, doing the challenges, and building it. It ended up getting over.”

“The funny part is the full nelson is something I used before I even entered professional wrestling. I was a bouncer for a short time. I would use the full nelson because they wouldn’t want us to hit people, obviously, if they were getting out of line, so for me, I would grab them in a full nelson and I could pull them out of the club like that and it worked every time. It was ironic once I got into wrestling that I actually legitimately used this move before this.”

“The whole point in bringing that move was they were trying to reign things back a little bit because they had gone so far the other way and guys were getting hurt. Jeff Hardy was jumping off a 20 foot ladder. They really wanted to recondition the fans. They also wanted to tell the story that these holds are legitimate. Just because it’s not the flashiest bump in the world doesn’t mean these holds aren’t legitimate. So the full nelson, the ankle lock, the submissions will mean something even if they’re basic. It really caught on.”

“I remember around that time, I think Youtube just started becoming a thing and I remember somebody showing me Youtube clips of all these kids doing the Masterlock Challenge. It was brutal because I would pull up these videos on Youtube and these kids would be doing it 110% for real and shaking them. It was weird because I was like in awe that I can’t believe I’m having this kind of influence, but I’m kind of a bad influence. These kids are legitimately doing this hold and ragdolling each other and some of them were brutal to watch. I don’t know. It was an interesting time.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.


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