It's been a year-and-a-half since Enzo Amore appeared on WWE programming, crashing Survivor Series not withstanding. He was formerly one half of one of WWE's most popular tag teams with Big Cass, but they split in mid-2017 despite many fans not liking the decision.
Enzo talked about the split when he joined the Keeping it 100 with Konnan podcast.
"If you think about it, me and Big Cass at one point were the No. 1 merchandise selling people in the company. In the height of our run we were split up in the No. 1 ratings draw in the company," revealed Enzo. "If you had kept me and Cass together, or given us the tag titles, or given one of us a push towards the title and the other one pushed towards the title, there was some major super-star potential there, which was a scary thought to those in the higher-ups, or they creatively had a different take."
Enzo says that wrestling politics played a part in the decision and some backstage in WWE tried to stifle his success. He says his instant popularity when getting called up from NXT had others feeling jealous.
"When I debuted in an arena on television and everyone in the arena introduced me and Cass, from there on up I never went down. I peaked and went out with a title on my waist. So, from the NXT days I was charismatic and over the top with a character, but was very approachable at a mall, or in a store; I never said no to a picture, and the love for me was different than with some other people. So, when I did things, I embraced all of that and I never let, as I make light on a character phrase, I never let a cup of haters dictate my life because I never had to politic," stated Enzo.
"The first day I was in WWE with Big Cass I debuted in a television segment that I was meant to lose to Mason Ryan and get him over on the microphone. John Cena was backstage by chance, just by chance, and I went with my phrase 'Realest Guy in the Room, How You Doin?' Cena invited me in a dark segment with him because at the time the NXT brand was being birthed; we needed John Cena to keep the fans in attendance until the dark segment of the show to keep Cena out."
Many fans who remember Cena's Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick can draw parallels between that character and Enzo's character. Most people could never imagine Enzo becoming the face of WWE, but he explains how a hip hop-versed Cena became the face of the promotion.
"I think if you look back to John Cena, this was my outlook when I got into the business. I don't think you can sit here and tell me that hip hop, which is the No. 1 trending music in the world and is the cultural shock and wave of all social media, it is all those things and John Cena encompassed that and got it over," said Enzo. "Then he transcended that gimmick into becoming the face of a company and encouraging people to never give up, but without that he wouldn't have gotten where he was at. I encompassed those things because I saw that from a distance."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Keeping it 100 with Konnan with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.