The charismatic and dynamic duo of Enzo Amore and Big Cass have take then WWE universe by storm since being called up to the main roster. The tag team dominated the ranks of NXT before finally bursting onto the primetime scene. Amore serves as the scrappier counterpart in terms of in-ring style, while Cass figures as the monstrous muscle standing at 7 feet tall. Much of the duo's appeal stems from their instant connection with the audience with impressive mic skills, crowd engagement and catchphrases that are humorous as they are clever. Their complimentary wrestling styles of agility and brawn also reflect the overall personalities of both budding stars.
Enzo and Cass are already fan favorites, though they have yet to even scratch the surface of their surfaces potential. The tag team is destined for superstardom and anyone who paid close enough attention to their work in NXT would share the same belief. While mainstream audiences are only now beginning to familiarize themselves with the two, their success has been years in the making. With their first shot at tag-team gold this upcoming Sunday at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, we list a few things you need to know about “the realest guys in the room” before they finally become the huge stars they are destined to be. And you can’t teach that!
15 Met Playing Pick Up Basketball In Manhattan
Their chemistry on screen would lead many to believe the duo have been life long friends. Perhaps not life long, though Enzo and Cass originally met during a game of pick-up basketball at The Cage, a famous park in New York City’s Greenwich Village, 10 years prior to rekindling their camaraderie at NXT in 2013.
Once they arrived at WWE’s developmental territory, the duo ended up working together frequently and their similar backgrounds brought about the formation of the tag team we see today, despite initial plans for both to compete as singles competitors. To both their admissions, Enzo and Cass had to strike a conversation together before remembering where exactly they both recognized each other from once they arrived at WWE’s developmental territory. After figuring it out, the two had enough in common in terms of background and upbringing to come up with the idea for their characters, which faithfully represents who they really based on where they were from.
14 Big Cass And Carmella Are A Real Life Couple
Noticeably absent from their time in NXT once they were called up was the team’s dazzling, energetic and irresistible blonde valet Carmella. Carmella was left behind to find her own identity as a women’s competitor with aspirations of carving out her own path beyond her services as a manager. Off camera, Carmella is openly dating Big Cass, though their on screen work omitted any hints of romance. During episodes of the WWE Network behind the scene’s special Breaking Ground, the two are clearly involved in a romantic relationship and living together. Carmella also hails from the greater New York/Manhattan area, laying the foundations of having many things in common.
The two met during their training at NXT and had not met prior to signing on with WWE. As the two worked more and more together, they developed more than just a working chemistry and managed to fall for once another. Good job, Cass.
13 Enzo Played Division-III NCAA Football
While perhaps being one of the realest guys in the room, Enzo is also far from being the biggest, so a football career comes as a bit of a surprise. Standing at only 5 foot 11 inches and barely breaking the 200-pound barrier, Amore played as a linebacker and safety at Salisbury University from 2007-09 on a full scholarship. Like most superstars in the WWE, wrestling came naturally after a significant time playing highly competitive sports, where Superstars are often introduced to the discipline and work ethic it takes to truly become a prominent figure in sports entertainment.
Before arriving to Salisbury, Amore attended Springfield College like another famous WWE Superstar by the name of John Cena, who also happened to play football as well. Enzo was kicked out of Springfield for reasons he claims as “being too real” and “having the time of his life.” The aforementioned statements remain open for interpretation.
12 Enzo Held Several Odd Jobs Before Joining NXT
Amore had no previous wrestling experience, though he claims he was a huge fan growing up. After graduating university, his dreams of playing professional football never panned out for him. In the meantime, Enzo has told many funny stories of his jobs after college which included moving pianos for a moving company, managing a Hooters franchise restaurant and serving as the official DJ for the New York Jets NFL team. In what capacity his disc jockeying services were used remains unclear, though nonetheless, his resume before arriving at NXT was evidently well decorated.
Amore recounted dropping Alicia Keys piano on an episode of The Steve Austin Show. The piano, to his account, was quite large and also made of glass, which caused an even greater disaster once the accident occurred. According to Amore, his partner’s knees buckled as they attempted to climb a lengthy staircase, which forced the piano to escape his grip just enough to completely shatter on the ground.
11 Amore’s Trainer Gave Triple H A Promo Tape To Earn NXT Tryout
As mentioned, Amore had no previous wrestling experience, though he was an avid, lifelong fan. Enzo trained at a gym in Jersey which was owned by renowned personal trainer Joe DeFranco, who also happens to be Triple H’s personal trainer. Amore recorded a short video of himself shooting promos and attempting to execute a bunch of different athletic movements to mimic wrestling athleticism. It took him a year of training with DeFranco before he mustered up the courage to ask his trainer to hand over the video to the WWE Superstar/Executive.
The video was then passed on byDe Franco himself over to The Game, and from there, just like that, Enzo was given a tryout with NXT a week after Hunter received the tape. Vince’s son-in-law saw enough in the footage to think that Amore at least deserved the opportunity to tryout and as we can see, HHH’s premonition proved right. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
10 Big Cass Was A University Basketball Star
Standing at nearly 7 feet tall, it comes as no surprise that Cass excelled at basketball. The sport has been a life long passion of his, having played organized and competitive hoops since his teenage years. From 2005 to 2009, Big Cass played for New York University’s team riding a full scholarship. Similar to Enzo, the monster hailed from other athletic disciplines before testing the waters of sports entertainment. Big Cass even captained the team in his last year of NCAA eligibility, demonstrating the importance of imposing physical gifts which helped make him the Superstar he is today.
When asked about his basketball career, a modest Cass says he was not so much talented as much as he was just really tall and further along developed than most of his counterparts at the time. As much as he enjoyed playing the sport, he knew deep down that ultimately his future did not reside with this sport.
9 Cass Opened A Ticketing Resale Business Out Of College
Proudly hailing from the Big Apple, New York has no shortage of sports teams, with almost every major sports league boasting two clubs. Add in the big show drawings of the world’s most famous arena in Madison Square Garden, and Cass saw an opportunity to open a ticket brokerage company, reselling admission to New York’s various events and shows. Big Cass concentrated the majority of his efforts at MSG events, as well as Yankee Stadium. To his own admission, he often attended and was exposed to WWE live events while operating his business at Madison Square Garden, a frequent stop for years by the WWE. This operation was undertaken as he was trying to amass funds to pay tuition for wrestling school once he finally decided that he was going to pursue his ultimate dream to the fullest. The hustle was real and he maintained operations up until he sold his shares when it became time to move to Orlando and join the Performance Center full time.
8 Cass Was Enrolled In Pre-Med
Before deciding he wanted to pursue wrestling full time, Cass was actually enrolled in a pre-med program at NYU. He had in fact completed his studies in preparation for the MCAT (medical college admission test), though he soon realized he no longer possessed the drive and desire to pursue this discipline any further. The MCAT can take anywhere from six to 18 months in order to prepare for, so it is safe to assume that his intentions to become a doctor were not just talking to talk. Much to the disappointment of his parents, Big Cass decided that he just was not going to be a doctor after all and decided to forgo those dreams in pursuit of a pro-wrestling career. I guess something about envisioning a 7-foot doctor just does not seem to register properly, and my guess is that Cass found a more adequate career path, making a more suitable use of his physical gifts.
7 The Tag Team Almost Never Happened
During an interview on The Steve Austin Show, Enzo and Cass discussed that many executives behind the scenes wanted to keep the duo apart in NXT. No names were mentioned in detail, though both wrestlers reminisced how the initial idea was to keep pushing both as singles competitors. Both served as jobbers for quite some time while struggling to find a direction within the company. When the two rekindled acquaintances, they knew that they had enough in common to form the right chemistry to create something worthwhile together. Jersey’s finest lobbied for quite some time to work together, and Enzo said that Michael Hayes played an important role in helping cast the two to work together, noticing their evident chemistry and potential as a tag team. Both are very thankful for the Hall of Fame member of The Fabulous Freebird’s group assistance in not only vouching for them, but for mentoring them to harness the best of their ability.
6 Enzo’s Wrestling Hero Was Shawn Michaels
Growing up, Enzo’s parents limited his wrestling consumption to the Saturday morning tapings of WWE Superstars. He would then learn from his schoolyard mates that there was indeed further programming during the week. As he began to watch more and more, Amore became absolutely infatuated with Shawn Michaels, stating that he thought HBK was “the coolest dude in the world” after winning the Royal Rumble and parading around with Pamela Anderson. Amore claimed, during the same Steve Austin interview, to have made a cardboard pin up of The Heartbreak Kid as a school project with a “what do you want to be when you grow up” theme. His parents were less than thrilled at the time, as they were called in to explain to the teacher what the terms “sexy boy” and “boytoy” meant, and how their 8-year-old son was exposed to such slander. The teacher was clearly a little too “S-A-W-F-T” and perhaps a bit sensitive to a subject clearly dear to young Enzo’s heart.
5 How Cass Literally Became Big Cass
Cassidy admitted that he was not always the towering monstrosity that he is today and that, in fact, he went through a rather unusual growth spurt as a teenager. More precisely, Cass claims that he only stood at five feet eight inches until one summer, where he grew up to three quarters of a foot in a three-month span.
Cass vaguely recalls the blitz in height occurring somewhere in between his sophomore and junior years in high school, and how the abnormality baffled his parents who were then forced to buy their son an entirely new wardrobe. With his newfound size, Cass would then begin playing basketball, as he was heavily recruited by the coaches to try his luck on for size, no pun intended. Cass serves as a valued asset in the WWE in the day and age where the true “big man” is a dying breed, with the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and the Big Show clearly past their primes. Look for Cass to be a huge player in the future of the company.
4 The Creation Of Their Finisher
Enzo and Cass claimed they were the biggest students of the game during their time at NXT. During their interview on The Steve Austin Show, the duo explained how they would watch countless hours of film of old tag teams such as The Rockers, Midnight Express and The Fabulous Freebirds and try and revive the art of tag team competition, working as closely together as possible to highlight the actual differences in the competition. The team often builds towards a “hot tag” which erupts audiences, as well as performing a variety of joint manoeuvres, not just their finisher.
Speaking of their finisher, the former NXT tag champs claim that the “Rocket Launcher” came highly recommended by NXT officials as it highlighted Cass unreal raw power and Enzo’s scrappy agility. Cass amplifies a top rope splash performed by Enzo by throwing him with his own strength, which increases the velocity upon impact and proves to be a crowd favorite.
3 Enzo’s Journalism Degree
At face value, it would seem hard to believe that “Smack Talk Skywalker” could have any proficiency with words beyond the heavy slang and slander which makes up his character. But in fact, the man who spells soft as s-a-w-f-t actually has a journalism degree to his credit. Or so he says. Enzo claims to have pages on pages of promo material stashed up, and writes regularly, though he also admits he has never read a book in his entire life. EA insists his degree is indeed “legit” and was earned during his time a Salisbury University where he was also playing Division-III football. There is no denying the Superstars creativity and charisma, as it oozes through our television screens, though I believe many would like to get their hands on the infamous diploma he claims to own without reading a book. On a serious note, Amore says studying journalism was just a way to harness a talent he believed he possessed while in school and was the only real academic subject that he could enjoy and excel in.
2 Cass Trained By Hall Of Famer Johnny Rodz
After deciding that he in fact was not going to pursue his initial dreams of becoming a doctor, Cass enrolled in a wrestling school in Brooklyn ran by WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz. For $3,000, Cass purchased a lifetime membership and tuition at the training ground. The seven foot athlete realized that his trainers saw potential in him when they decided early on to pair him with some of the more veteran performers at the gym. He also claims to have never missed any of the scheduled classes, even though there was no obligation to attend, and that Rodz clearly took notice and paid more attention to his young protégé consequently.
In these humble training grounds is where Cass’ first character was born: Big Bill Young, a cowboy from Texas. A far cry from the more authentic Jersey Boy, the experience proved to be invaluable as he then took everything he learned with him to the NXT Performance Center, a place where he has clearly mastered his craft.
1 Enzo Endorsed By John Cena And Dusty Rhodes
For as talented as Enzo has become in the ring with countless hours of work, progress and improvement, his real talent is without a doubt on the mic and that is a very important factor in today’s sports entertainment climate. Amore often reiterates how Michael Hayes was invaluable to his development in the ring, though Dusty Rhodes and John Cena were the ones who wanted his character to be pushed more. At the time, Enzo was jobbing in NXT and was struggling to gain any significant momentum. During a promo practice session, Cena just so happened to be backstage and expressed how impressed he was with Amore’s takes. This led to Dusty Rhodes arguing how he had been pushing for months to give the “kid” a mic, and let him win over the fans. Needless to say that two voices of the magnitude were not silenced and Enzo’s push and development became inevitable at that very moment.