A lot can change in just a few short months. Throughout most of their time in developmental, and their first year on the main roster, Enzo Amore and Big Cass were a package deal, most often as a tag team, and occasionally with Enzo backing Big Cass in his singles bids. Together, they emerged as one of WWE’s most popular tag teams, built mostly on Enzo’s gift for gab as a combination of sing-along routine shtick and relatively raw individual promos against their opponents made them an attraction that felt something like a modern day New Age Outlaws. Between Enzo’s talking and Big Cass’s height, it seemed as though they were bound for eventual tag title glory.
Before the pair got their hands on gold, however, a new storyline emerged that saw Enzo beaten unconscious by a mystery assailant week after week. In the end, the attacker turned out to be Cass himself as he turned heel on his partner. With rumors of Enzo having backstage heat, WWE’s penchant for big men, and Cass largely dominating most of their encounters, it appeared Cass might move up the card while Enzo withered in the lower ranks.
In another turn of events, Cass suffered a shoot injury that put him out of action, and WWE took sharp turn for Enzo, introducing him to the Cruiserweight ranks. As a Cruiserweight, Enzo quickly won his first championship in WWE, and quickly turned heel to put his talking skills to work as the division’s chief antagonist.
Given how the started, it would seem that Enzo and Cass will always be intertwined, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if WWE were to work a reunion angle between the pair a few years down the road. For now, this article looks at the relationship between the two, and fifteen things most fans didn’t know about it.
15 Cass Says Enzo Is The Same Person On Screen And Off
As rumors swirled that Enzo had backstage heat, it was inevitable that Cass would be asked about when he gave interviews. Cass was cagey about it, not denouncing the claims, not really defending his tag team partner, but also not really coming to his defense.
Instead, Cass’s default response was to explain that the loud mouthed, over confident, flamboyant character we saw on TV was actually the same person you got backstage. The implication that Enzo didn’t shy away from opportunities to put himself over or deliver a zinger, without a lot of care as to whom he might be annoying in the process. The character—particularly when he was a face—Is simultaneously lovable and irritating for never knowing when to stop talking. It would seem that the way the man conducts himself in real life isn’t so far off from that dynamic.
14 Enzo And Cass Played Basketball Together Before Either Wrestled
While working the podcast circuit, Enzo and Cass revealed that, long before they were WWE stars, they actually crossed paths as teenagers in New York City. It’s sensible enough given they were both student athletes and would have been within a year of each other in the city school system. Apparently they first met up playing basketball and remembered one another from that time. They crossed paths in “The Cage” (oddly prophetic of Enzo later being stuck in a shark cage for Cass’s match with The Big Show?) a famous set of courts in New York’s Greenwich Village best known for streetball tournaments.
While Enzo has joked about posting up on Cass at the time, their height differential makes that seem improbable. Unsurprisingly, Cass’s official records as a basketball player are a lot more impressive than Enzo’s.
13 Carmella’s Original Gimmick Was A Hairdresser Enzo And Cass Got Fired
As the tag team of Enzo Amore and Big Cass began to find their footing in NXT, they appeared in a off site pre-taped promo segment that saw them visit a hair salon. They were up to their standard outlandish antics and the upshot of the segment was that the young woman who appeared on the video ended up losing her job because of them. That woman was Carmella.
Of course, Carmella wasn’t actually working as a hairdresser in real life and had already been signed to a WWE developmental contract, but the storyline offered a bridge to introduce her to the audience, and immediately connect her to Enzo and Cass. In kayfabe, she complained about them getting her fired and demanded they help her get a job with NXT. While the logic of this career transition wasn’t entirely clear, Carmella was quickly positioned as the team’s manager before she started wrestling in her own right.
12 They Were Both College Athletes
The biggest knock that fans tend to have against Enzo and Cass is that they aren’t actually very skilled wrestlers relative to their WWE contemporaries. This is particularly true of Enzo who generally doesn’t look all that well coordinated or all that skilled as a technician, to the point that WWE actually made these attributes a key part of his 205 Live character, and a reason for his colleagues and fans to hate him.
It may be surprising, then, to learn that both of these men were legitimate athletes who took their talents to the collegiate level. Cass played basketball for New York University and was even the team captain. Meanwhile, Enzo was a real life football player who took his talents to Division III Salisbury University where he played at linebacker and at safety for three seasons.
11 They Both Have Heat In the Locker Room, But For Different Reasons
In the summer of 2017, rumors exploded about Enzo having backstage heat. Most of it related to him making inappropriate comments bragging about how much money he made or how much success he had enjoyed in WWE. While it’s unclear how much heat Enzo actually had, and likely still has, news did break of Roman Reigns kicking him off of a tour bus. Whether management actually had a problem with Enzo or not, it seemed as they at least made it look like they did by having him kayfabe dominated by Cass, and put into an uncomfortable spot in a shark cage suspended over the ring.
Meanwhile, rumor had it that Cass was unpopular, too, but for different reasons. While these claims are even less substantiated, it would seem that other wrestlers took exception to Cass’s outspoken support of Donald Trump, particularly at points when the president was at his least popular.
10 Their Characters Had A Connection Based On Mason Ryan
Enzo Amore’s very first appearance for NXT came in match opposite Mason Ryan in spring 2013. Ryan was best remembered for a run as the heater for CM Punk’s version of the Nexus—a guy with a sensational look who didn’t demonstrate a ton of in ring skill. In any event, Ryan got the better of Enzo in this match, just as he’d beaten Big Cass in an earlier match.
Based in this common bond of losing to the same opponent, Enzo’s character reached out to Cass’s to suggest that they form an alliance. Few could have guessed that the pair would enjoy greater longevity notoriety in not only NXT, but ultimately on the main roster as well. Ryan would wind up being released from his WWE contract within a year’s time of having pinned Enzo.
9 They Both Worked In Sports Ticket Sales Before Starting With WWE
In an interesting, if coincidental overlap between Enzo and Cass’s past, both men made money in sports ticket sales before they found stardom with WWE. Enzo’s efforts were a bit more modest, working a fairly standard job as a ticket salesperson for the New York Jets NFL team. Meanwhile, Cass was more entrepreneurial as he started a second-hand ticket sales company fresh out of college, which focused on reselling tickets to events at prominent New York City venues like Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden in a style not so different from StubHub.
While there may not have been any intentionality around this point connecting the eventual tag team partners, it does speak to the two of them having a legitimate background as sports fans, and particularly so in the New York Metropolitan area. Their New York roots were central to the team’s gimmick and getting them over, even if each man is starting to move away from that defining character trait now.
8 John Cena Supported Their Team
In interviews, Enzo Amore has discussed various parties who helped out him and Big Cass along their way to WWE stardom. In particular, he’s often singled out John Cena. The story goes that Cena was in attendance for a show where Enzo did an early version of his shtick on the microphone that would ultimately get the team over. Cena was apparently such a fan of their antics on the mic that he put the pair over huge to management.
Cena’s support of Enzo and Cass ultimately led him to team up with them when they made it to the main roster, giving them the rub by working a series of six man tag team matches with them, most notably opposite AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows as The Club.
7 Carmella Loved The Enzo-Cass Break Up
Carmella was an instrumental part of helping the Enzo and Big Cass tag team get over in NXT as their manager and a signature part of Enzo’s mic routine at the time (“she’s hotter than hell, and you can’t teach that”). When it came time for Enzo and Cass to move up to the main roster, however, Carmella did not come along with them. As was articulated in an episode of the WWE Network’s Breaking Ground, Triple H felt that Carmella both had more growing to do in developmental, and the potential to make it as a star in her own right, hence the decision to keep her in NXT at the time. She has, of course, gone on now to succeed on her own over on the SmackDown roster.
Carmella remains linked to her old team, though, not only through nostalgia but by actively dating Cass in real life. So, it’s not surprising that she had an opinion when the tag team broke up on Raw, proclaiming that she loved the split. While there’s an element of walking the company line and of celebrating what looked to be a big push for her boyfriend, as someone with unique insight into the team, her opinion can’t be dismissed out of hand.
6 Enzo And Cass Weren’t Friends At The Start
Stories of Enzo and Cass having played basketball on the same New York City courts have led to the misconception for some fans that the two have been friends for most of their lives—sort of a modern day Edge and Christian who grew up watching wrestling together and eventually realized a dream working for WWE as tag team partners. While the two knew each other in passing, though, each man attests that they didn’t keep in touch and weren’t really friends. Instead they were acquaintances who knew each other, remembered each other, and may have been paired up by WWE based on their shared New York roots, but were nonetheless getting acquainted as the team got going.
While Enzo and Cass are heading in different directions now, with Enzo starring for 205 Live, and Big Cass presumably getting an upper card push when he comes back from injury, their histories are wrestlers are now permanently intertwined.
5 Cass Never Distanced Himself From Enzo
There was a point in the summer when rumors ran rampant about Enzo suffering from heat from his co-workers and from management. The general idea was that Enzo had a big head and wasn’t shy about sharing that, often at inappropriate times. As referenced earlier in this article, Cass didn’t deny that Enzo is always on and that his over the top wrestler persona isn’t far removed from his real personality. By the same token, Cass didn’t throw his partner under the bus, explaining Enzo’s antics less as a complaint than with the “ah shucks” grin of someone trying to explain his idiot buddy.
While it’s unclear what the future will hold for either man, or if their personal friendship will persist now that their professional association has wrapped up for at least the time being, we can nonetheless see that they weren’t bitter rivals as partner, and neither sold out on the other in real life.
4 They Never Won Gold Together—Despite Opportunities
There was a time when Enzo and Big Cass were the most popular tag team on NXT, and they went so far as to have a big tag title opportunity challenging The Revival at TakeOver: London. Despite getting a spotlight and getting a title shot, the team never actually turned chances into gold in developmental.
Fast forward to their time on the main roster, and the tandem quickly challenged The New Day as the most popular tag team on Raw. Despite being in the mix for the tag titles opposite teams like Gallows and Anderson and Sheamus and Cesaro, the team was never able to capture the Raw tag belts either. This dynamic actually became a part of storylines as Cass blamed Enzo for holding him back and being responsible for him never getting his hands on championship gold. It’s ironic, of course, that after break up, Enzo would achieve the unlikely and become a singles champ before Cass did.
3 Triple H Saved Them From An Early Release
As has been discussed in a number of interviews, Vince McMahon mostly gave Triple H the reins for NXT with authority to hire and fire talent, and overwhelming creative control over match outcomes and long-term storytelling. In an episode of WWE 24 for the WWE Network, Triple H reflected on his experience with Enzo and Cass—and particularly Enzo—back in developmental. He reported that Enzo had his share of critics and that, in particular, Hunter had trainers telling him that Enzo couldn’t cut it in the ring at a level where he could ever thrive on the WWE main roster.
Triple H recalled seeing their point, but also reveling in Enzo’s mic skills, and imagining the kind of heat that he could draw via his bombastic personality—whether that was as a face or heel. Through Triple H’s faith, Enzo stayed under his developmental contract long enough to find his footing in his team with Cass and emerge as a star who would make it to the main roster.
2 They Each Looked Up To The Kliq
Enzo and Cass have each spoken in interviews about having grown up as wrestling fans and, as discussed earlier, Triple H championed Enzo’s cause when he looked like he might get cut from developmental. It’s interesting to note that the duo has even more connections to The Kliq than meet the eye.
In reflecting on his youth, Enzo cites Shawn Michaels as his favorite and the guy he aspired to be like. You can see where Enzo, smaller in stature, might relate to HBK, and moreover where Michaels’s overwhelming confidence may have rubbed off on the Certified G. Meanwhile, Cass has cited patterning his big man offense off of watching old tapes of Kevin Nash. While Enzo and Cass can’t really compare to the Two Dudes With Attitudes, at least at this point in their career, it’s an interesting parallel to draw, and one has to wonder of some of their success can be attributed to following along a trail The Kliq blazed ahead of them.
1 They’ve Improvised Promos
Enzo Amore has been widely celebrated on account of his talking skills. On one hand, his infectious narration, particularly introducing him and Cass as a team, created a sing along effect that prompted memories of the New Age Outlaws in their heyday. On the other hand, his more individualized tough talk against his opponents harkened back more to a young John Cena—walking a razor thin line between being inappropriate and being as entertaining as possible within WWE’s PG guidelines.
While WWE is notorious for scripting promos for talents these days, Enzo has talked about often ad-libbing in response to crowd’s reactions and what comes to him in the moment he’s on the microphone. This represents a big part of why WWE retains faith in Enzo. While he’s not as athletically gifted, nor does he have the same kind of imposing look as a number of his colleagues, his personality and ability to think on the fly represents an old school sensibility about being able to operate independently and think on the fly.
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