I think it was after about a year of being in there and seeing that they had no incentive to do anything with me. Then Hunter did this big speech after the WrestleMania where he had wrestled Shamus about who is going to step up and you know, just gave this big speech and I just thought to myself, why can't it be me? I also knew myself personally and it was a personal mission of mine to shake the body-guy image and show people that I could be a great in-ring worker, because that's what I looked up too so much with the guys that I grew up watching. So that became my mission over the next year.
I remember one of the first things that stood out was when I had a good match with Dolph Ziggler. I really just started going out there and tried to get emotionally involved in every match and watch every match I had every week numerous times. You know? Just to be super critical. I remember Michael Hayes criticized my selling in this one specific match and I remember that was like, that was it for me, back to the drawing board. I re-evaluated my whole game, I stopped thinking about all of the wrestling that I had watched over the last 20 years and what not and I just started going out there and reacting to what guys would do to me and how I would really feel.
Eventually I feel like I became one of the best sellers in the company, and then it all became a puzzle for me at that point, like my selling became my strong point. If you watch any of my matches in my last year, I don't think anybody would disagree… and then the next thing was my babyface fired up because it didn't feel organic, it felt like I was forcing it. So the next piece of the puzzle was getting emotionally invested and taking the heat the heel would give me and bringing it back with emotion, bringing a real fire up. So that was eventually the next thing that came along.
I just really started to feel like I was starting to understand the business a lot better. I was starting to mentally, you know? I was past the point of this spot and that spot and more thinking of what's the story? How am I going to really get these people to believe I'm hurt? What camera can I work to do this? Where are we gonna' be at this play and it became an outlet every week. Even though I was on Superstars, there is nothing more I enjoyed, having some of the matches that I had. It's like the last match I had with Drew McIntyre back in April last year was probably one of my best.
WrestlingINC.com: How did your return to WWE happen? Did they contact you, or did you contact them?
Masters: Well, it was the Denver Debacle, where they were supposed to go to Denver and ended up coming to Staples Center. My mom called me on the phone that week... I had gotten clean about 6 months prior to that I think. I remember I had I was on tour in Spain and had finally had my revelation and I looked in the mirror and it was, like, wow! I have a problem! I looked back at the past, everything I had lost, you know... lost my job with WWE and I had spent tons of money. I really just took an honest look at myself and got myself straight.
I used a lot of tools I learned in rehab, but it was ultimately me and then I guess I had in the back of my mind that I knew I would come around. And when I got that phone call from her, saying they were coming to town, I was just like, "oh, this is it, I am going to come down there and charm Johnny [Laurinaitis] and I'll charm Vince and I'll show 'em I got my head on straight and just see what happens." And that's what I did. I went over there, took a chance, talked to Johnny for about an hour and everything went real well. Everybody could see a big difference in me so a couple of weeks later I got the phone call.
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