Former TNA Wrestling star, Chris Harris joined The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for a revealing and in depth interview covering his career highlights in TNA as well as his tumultuous tenure in the WWE as the infamous Braden Walker. In this deep look into both Harris discusses breaking away from James Storm and the tag team of America’s Most Wanted and beginning his singles career and his very candid thoughts on his WWE tenure.
Full Episode Download Link:
The Ballad Of Braden Walker As Told By Wildcat Chris Harris:
Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling #202 Episode Preview:Wildcat Chris Harris:
Breaking up the tag team America’s Most Wanted and becoming a singles star in TNA:
“I think it could have gone either way. At that time they could have always found more life with AMW. I never felt like that would go away. But with the idea of splitting us up, again we go back to it is another step in the business where we have to prove ourselves and that is really the natural progression. The team had been together for so long and we had a great run and when that was all going on it was one of those things where we knew we were going to feud so it was like the opportunity that had been offered to us back in the day where we were willing to go to any extreme to prove we could both hang and thank God that we knew each other so well we could get away with doing anything to each other and we knew that whatever it took we were going to take the next steps.”
Did he like turning up the dial and going so extreme with the blood feud with James Storm:
“I have to admit to you that I did. We knew and I think everybody knew we could get in there and have some classic matches. When you split a team up and you have to take it to the next level and you have to take it extreme and that is what we did. But the thing is about doing that is we still were focused on adding psychology into the match and make it such a free-for-all with the weapons and whatever else we could do and putting the psychology into those matches and the way people talk about them it kept people glued to it.”
Moving on from his Storm feud and into TNA’s World Title picture:
“In my opinion (Kurt Angle) is one of the greatest ever and I mean that and I have always thought that. Once Storm and I was done they immediately put me into a World Title "King of the Mountain" match at Slammiversary and I was in the ring and starting to hang with guys like Kurt, Samoa Joe, AJ (Styles) was always in there, Christian was there at the time and it was a whole different level for me and I needed to step it up and step up my game and hang with those guys and we (again) we had some great matches.”
Continuing his thoughts on his WWE run and seeing how former TNA stars are succeeding now in WWE:
“It's hard to believe a company would be like that but that was my experience that I went through and I always told myself that no matter what happened and no matter where I went and still say this today and since I am not full time in the business I would never put myself through that. I am so glad that guys like AJ, Ron Killings broke the mold and now guys like Samoa Joe has a great spot and Eric (Young), Bobby (Roode) are there now and glad that the WWE has completely acknowledged the fact there is life before WWE because these guys were stars at other places in the world and if you acknowledge that it just gets over so much better.”
Initially signing with WWE after departing TNA and making the reverse jump:
"I didn't really know what to expect. Granted it was a time where you kind of had to test the waters and what was worse than that was the people that had made the jump never fared to well. It was a risky thing to do because I didn't know what to expect and the guys that had been there didn't fair well and that was not by any fault of their own it was just the way it worked out."
First impressions of WWE:
"They made a big deal about it when I first came in and now to know that it was all crap. I remember talking to Hunter and I talked to Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker and it seemed like my early days there, it felt like it was going to go somewhere."
The portrayal of Braden Walker by the company:
"When they debuted me, nobody knew who Braden Walker was and I think some people would know who I was or with a name change, I could deal with that. I knew that there was a good chance that they weren't going to use "Wildcat" but the way they presented me was like a bag of crap. There was nothing for the people to care. Some of these bad one liners they were giving me and vignettes were ridiculous, it was just a bad combination. It is hard to find the words. What I saw there, I wasn't impressed. It was a billion dollar company and they didn't know what the hell they were doing from one minute to the next."
The subpar dialogue fed to Braden Walker and not liking the lines being fed to him by the writers:
“I would have been so much more comfortable if they just let me do my own thing. They are trying to put a vignette together and they are like here say this or say that. I want to be a team player. This is there company and I have to do what I am told so they were the ones feeding me those lines and I just said it. I knew when I was saying it that it was garbage and they take a look at it and accept it and sure enough it is almost laughable and ridiculous that people put in these positions can't come up with something better than that. Either come up with something better or leave it to me. I had some experience doing interviews and promos so let me do something like that but I couldn't go in with that attitude and I didn't want them thinking I was better than them because that is the wrong way to go about it. So I did what they told me to do and it was a disaster from the start.”
Does he get frustrated at the fan response to the Braden Walker persona since it was WWE's lack of efforts that killed the character:
“I tried to not let it get to me. They did such a great job in..and anybody who knows me knows how passionate I am about the business but at that time with everything that was going on and for what I was dealing with at TV and I was dealing with a lot down in Florida at the training center down there. They are master manipulators and they made me hate the business that I was passionate about going about it so bad that I couldn't even do indies after that and it is just being in that whole bowl. People are going to say what they want to say and that we thought Chris Harris was talented but he proved that he wasn't and you guys know a little bit more about the business that most of it falls on creative and we are just kind of pawns in the business and that is what I did. I went in with the mindset of doing what I was told and no matter what they give me I will be able to make it work and it proved to me that is not necessarily true. If they are not on board with giving you a little something it is not going to work out. It has been a long time now and enough people have heard me talk and maybe they will understand coming from my view how different it was than just walking in and crapping all over the fans but I've rebounded and I feel better about it and it is what it is, I gave it a shot and it didn't work out and I've got to move on to the next part of my career.”
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