Chris Hero made his surprising WWE return last week at the NXT TV tapings when he sauntered to the ring and faced off with NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Hero, who is once again using the WWE name Kassius Ohno, tapped the NXT title with an elbow and showed why he made his WWE return.
In a recent interview on The Kevin Gill Show, Chris Hero discussed the change in direction in the WWE since he left the company last. Those changes include Kevin Owens winning the WWE Universal Championship, Finn Balor becoming a superstar, and guys like Enzo and Big Cass getting over huge.
“I was happy for wrestling. I was happy because it’s different and it’s a new direction. I think everybody’s sick of the same old. Sometime you’ve just got to go in a different direction and they did.”
Many fans who discredit the Kevin Owens title reign point out that he is not a typical looking WWE superstar. He is not muscular, and he does not have the physique of a body builder. However, Kevin Owens, much like Chris Hero, puts on great matches every time he steps into the ring.
Chris Hero and Cesaro (under the name Claudio Castagnoli) were one of the biggest tag teams on the independent scene as The Kings of Wrestling. The WWE signed both men and sent them to developmental. Cesaro ended up getting called up and became a huge fan favorite over time.
However, while Cesaro is one of the best-conditioned wrestlers in the WWE, Chris Hero started to fall out of shape. As Kassius Ohno, he packed on some pounds and rumblings from backstage was that Triple H gave him an ultimatum to get into better shape or else.
Kassius Ohno had a number of fantastic matches in NXT but kept packing on more weight. As a result of not having a WWE superstar’s body, the WWE and Chris Hero chose to part ways.
After leaving the WWE, Chris Hero returned to the indies and thanks to his WWE pedigree and the fact that he was still an indie favorite, he was able to wrestle everywhere without signing an exclusive contract with any company. He then went on to have one of the best years of any wrestler in 2016 when it came to in-ring wrestling.
Despite his body transforming from out of shape to huge and fat, Chris Hero was putting on the best matches of his entire career. In Evolve, he had amazing matches with current 205 Live superstar Drew Gulak, Tracy Williams, Dick Togo, Matt Riddle, and Zack Sabre Jr.
Chris Hero also formed a new tag team called Heroes Eventually Die with Tommy End. Interestingly, the WWE also just signed Tommy End to a contract and renamed him as Aleister Black. One might wonder if another feud between Kassius Ohno and Aleister Black might lead to them teaming up in NXT, replaying the story that saw them as partners in the indies.
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Regardless, signing large wrestlers like Chris Hero, Tommy End, and Big Dano proves that the WWE might not just want body builders anymore. There is also a desire to sign smaller guys like Austin Aries to show that the WWE mode of thinking might be changing, something that Chris Hero sees as a very good thing for the business.
[Featured Image by WWE]