Chris Masters Talks Almost Fighting Former Tag Partner On A Plane, Rescuing His Mom, More
Getting into wrestling: "I loved pro wrestling my whole life. Probably from the age of 8 or 9 years old. Ultimate Warrior actually caught my attention. Guilty as charged. Looking back at the character, the music, you can see why as a kid you'd love a guy like that.
"[At] 16-years-old, wrestling was the only thing I loved. It was career day for me and I thought to myself, 'What can I do with my life? What do I love?' I was like, 'Shoot! Pro wrestling.' I decided on that day I was going to do it and I started working out. The rest is history."
UPW and getting injured: "I started [at UPW] when I was about 17-years-old. The same day as John Cena...He was the prototype back then. I was only there a couple months and suffered a fractured ankle injury from a leapfrog over Andrew Bryniarski, who you'd know from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So I got injured, but I also realized I was too young. I was 17 and all the guys they were looking at were real built.
"It was back to the drawing board [after my injury]. I had surgery for my ankle. Concentrated and took body building up as a hobby in pursuit to professional wrestling. I knew I was going to come back, but I wasn't in a rush. I was going to come back when I was ready to make noise and possibly get a job.
"[The injury] was the best thing for me actually. It gave me a taste of [pro wrestling]. I saw what they were looking for...I realized, 'I'm 17. Why would I pay for wrestling school at this point. I don't have the option to become a wrestler yet. I'm not physically there and I'm so young.
"I go back to UPW at 19 and I got signed by the time I was 20 to WWE, because UPW was constantly getting looks every time [the WWE] would come to California. Once I got to OVW in Louisville, this was my first time leaving home, mind you. You know, 19-year-old kid moving from Los Angeles, California where I was born and raised to Louisville, Kentucky, I didn't know what to expect there. But it turned out to be like my college. Looking back is was some of my most fun years. We had a tight knit group."
Getting the Name Chris "The Masterpiece" Masters: "I got to OVW and it wasn't maybe a week or two when they changed my name from Mordetzky to Masters. Dr. Tom Prichard told me, 'Your new name is Masters.' Maybe a few months down the line I was sitting with Mickie James, Matt Morgan, Johnny Jeter...and Matt Morgan of TNA specifically dropped the name 'Masterpiece.' As soon as he said it a light went off, 'The Masterpiece' Chris Masters. I brought it to Jim Cornet the next day and the rest is history. Vince kind of identified me with a young Paul Orndorff."
The MasterLock: "The full nelson is an effective hold... I used it as a bouncer here in LA when I was still working and going to wrestling school. Because they don't want you to hit anybody obviously. They want you to restrain them and get them out [of the bar]. I always thought it was funny that I used that as a finishing hold. But [the MasterLock] will really make you pass out if you tort the neck. Just ask Shelton Benjamin.