Chris Masters sat down with Something to Wrestle With Revisited to discuss his run with WWE.
During it, he talked about using the Masterlock as a finisher. At first, he got the move over with the Masterlock Challenge as stars would try to simply get out of it. Over time, the names got bigger from jobbers to top stars.
I didnt 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 wasnt 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 wouldnt 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 its not the flashiest bump in the world doesnt mean these holds arent legitimate. So the full nelson, the ankle lock, the submissions will mean something even if theyre 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 cant believe Im having this kind of influence, but Im 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 dont know. It was an interesting time.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription