Chris Masters has recounted the story of early in his WWE days he was perceived to have disrespected a locker room veteran who did not take it well.
Masters, who now wrestles as Chris Adonis in the NWA began his WWE career in 2003, joining the company’s developmental territory of OVW. Two years late he debuted on Raw as ‘The Masterpiece’ Chris Masters where he began his Masterlock challenge.
One man that Masters inadvertently rubbed the wrong way in his early days with the company was grizzled veteran Bob Holly. Holly’s reputation precedes him in the case of young talent as run-ins with Matt Cappotelli and Daniel Puder show. For a young Masters, it was a perceived slight of locker room etiquette that set Holly off on him, as he explained in an interview with Metro.co.uk.
“Bob Holly just had a bad impression of me from the start, and that’s a whole other story. But I ended up missing my first TV taping in Ohio Valley Wrestling, and Bob Holly happened to be there. So, he knew that I’d missed it – again, that’s a whole other story, but he already had a bad impression of me. So, I go with the OVW crew to visit SmackDown so they can see the talent before the show and whatnot.”
“I’m making way around backstage, I greeted mostly everyone I’ve come in contact with. But I walk through the locker room and I’m just walking straight to my bag and I don’t see out of the corner of my eye, but Bob Holly’s there and he’s having a conversation with a couple of other vets. I went straight to my bag, and Bob already had a bad taste in his mouth about me but he took that like I was shunning him or not showing him respect. When really, I wouldn’t say it was that at all.”
Despite Holly being scheduled to face Carlito that night, Masters recalls that Holly was desperate to get the match trained so he could share the ring with Masters:
“He got really angry, man. He’s cutting promos on me. He was trying to get that [match] switched to me, essentially so he could rough me up, probably chop the s**t out of me and all of that.”
The night’s events played heavily on Masters’ mind but ultimately the rookie superstar used it as an opportunity to learn, and not to repeat the mistake.
Chris Masters concluded:
“I was just really worried, like, ‘Oh man, will I be able to withstand this?’ It was just really a mindf**k. But on the drive home I realized, ‘This is what you wanted to do, this is your dream. This is what you’ve wanted to do your whole life, so you don’t have any other option, you gotta push forward and you gotta learn from this.’”
“You eventually learn all these lessons as you go. You learn to make sure you shake people’s hands. And if you don’t, you take a mental note and whenever you’re within the region of them or lock eyes with them, you make sure you get that in. It’s just a way of showing respect, but there’s a lot of little things like that I did when I was breaking in that got me a little heat!”
Masters has found success in the rebooted National Wrestling Alliance as Chris Adonis. He recently recaptured the NWA National Championship by defeating JTG in a tournament final.