Chris Masters Recalls Breaking ECW Original's Nose In Debut WWE Match

"This guy looks like he's carved out of stone" were the words of Jerry "The King" Lawler on commentary during the "WWE Raw" debut of "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters on February 21, 2005. That night, the 22-year old rookie faced veteran Stevie Richards in a bout designed to showcase Masters' strength. Unfortunately, what most remember were Richards' ensuing injuries. Towards the end of the match, Masters delivered a devastating Polish Hammer to Richards that not only shattered the veteran's nose, but also broke his orbital bone.

"It just sucked," Masters said in an interview on the "Ten Count" for NBC Sports Boston. "You know, Stevie was very upset, and rightfully so. And you know, he's yelling and stuff. There was some heat on me. When you break somebody's face like that, their nose and orbital bone, it's hard to just come back and be like, 'Oh, accidents happen,' especially when you go watch it back, there's no good explanation for it."

Masters knew he had made a huge mistake that night, and was worried about what his reputation would be in the company going forward. "You kind of learn early on, the last thing you want to be is one of those big, reckless guys with two left feet, because those are the guys that nobody wants to work at all," he said.

Following the Richards match, Masters was relegated to "Sunday Night Heat" for about a month. When the company felt assured he wasn't going to injure anyone else, they brought him back to "Raw." 

"I can at least say this to my credit," said Masters, who remains remorseful years later. "It's the only time in my whole career, that now spans 20 years, that I've ever injured somebody."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Ten Count" on NBC Sports Boston YouTube with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.