It's actually a funny story. I used to wear wrestling boots when I first got signed to the WWE. It was mandatory that each and every single superstar under contract buy and wear boots, or wear amateur wrestling shoes, which are thin cut. It wasn't a stipulation in our contract or anything, but when you showed up to wrestling school, the head coach would say "Hey do you got your wrestling boots?" So I had to go out and buy wrestling boots, which I had never worn before in my life. I did not feel comfortable in them.
What ended up happening was I had a freak incident where I broke my leg in training in the performance center while wearing wrestling boots. It wasn't so much "Oh, he was wearing wrestling boots," but in my mind I was like "It's the wrestling boot."
If you ever looked at the spectrum of people in the company wearing sneakers for a long period of time, it's only John Cena. When I broke my leg I came to our head coach with a doctor's note that said "Enzo needs to be wearing sneakers when he wrestles because he broke his leg and that's what he feels comfortable in." Breaking my leg was the be-all, end-all of wrestling boots [for me], and I turned it into an opportunity to capitalize on a market that I am infatuated with. When I came back, the first pair of shoes I wore when I got in the ring was the Ferrari 14 Jordans.
Talk about how you go about setting up your ring attire. You're coordinated from head to toe—does that come from your love of sneakers or is it more based on your ring persona?
No, 100 percent I am all in on color coordinating my outfits and most of the time they are color coordinated based upon the Js on my feet. The outfit I wore at Battleground was made entirely out of cement print and I wore the Neymar 5s in the ring. Sneaker culture, hoop culture, and the athlete culture–is in me. I played sports my whole life, so it's been one of those things that are second nature to me without even realizing it. I don't even walk out of the house unless my sneakers match my shirt and match my hat.
Obviously Shane McMahon is doing his thing with sneakers and Kofi is also a big sneakerhead—do you guys talk kicks in the locker room?
For sure. I've had discussions with Shane. Every single week when Shane was around before the Smackdown and Raw brand extension, I would see Shane walking down the hallway and stop him to see what's on his feet and vice versa. You saw the episode of Raw where Kofi came out wearing the new Steph Currys? That was a collaborative effort of The New Day understanding what they had at hand, and the Twitter universe, ESPN, and everybody was talking about these shoes. On the way to the venue, Kofi stopped at the mall and said "I'm buying these today." It was just so funny for me to see a huge sneakerhead walk in the locker room that day, open up that box and die laughing.
Check out the full interview with Enzo at this link.