WWE Hall of Famer and SWE General Manager Teddy Long was on today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. He and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about Caz XL’s (fka Big Cass) debut in SWE and Long expressed his excitement.
“We’re just so proud to have Caz XL,” Long expressed. “Everybody knows him from Enzo and Cass. They came from WWE. Great stars there and we’re just happy now that Caz signed with us, and he wanted to be a part of us. And he thanked me and thanked the promotion for giving him the opportunity, and brother, I don’t think we could have done anything better than bringing in Caz XL.
“That’s a great thing, and he got a great reception when he came out. At first, we brought him in under the hood as a surprise, and then when we revealed him, then the place went nuts. We’re just happy to have him, and he’ll also be with us next month in Irving, Texas on April 20.”
Caz XL made his SWE debut alongside former WWE Women’s Champion Melina. Long discussed the thought process of pairing the two together.
“Well, I thought it was real good. It was certainly something brand-new, and basically, that’s what we want to do in SWE,” Long noted. “We want to bring stuff that’s brand-new. I hate the word ‘repackage’ and trying to bring back something old that’s really just been done with. You can’t just keep rehashing stuff.
“So I thought that doing something new, something that the people haven’t seen before, I think that’s best for us and for the audience. So being with Melina, nobody would have ever dreamed that or nobody would have never thought Melina would be with this guy Caz. I think it’s all brand new, and I think it’s gonna work real good.”
Many fans remember Caz XL as a tag team wrestler along with the former Enzo Amore. Hausman asked Long if he prefers to see Caz in a singles capacity or in a tag team.
“I think it’s better because, like I said, it’s something brand-new. That’s what everybody is expecting him to be, with Enzo, and to be part of that tag,” Long pointed out. “Well, he’s not. He’s by himself now, and Caz, with his ability, he’s certainly able to carry it by himself. Nothing against Enzo. I wish we could put them both together.
“I’d love to have that. I don’t control that part of it, but Caz is happy being a singles [wrestler]. Me and him had a great talk about it. He’s happy that Melina is with him because it’s the first time ever for him, having a woman with him. We talked about it before it even happened, and he was so happy with it. And if he’s happy, then SWE’s happy.”
Caz has opened up in the past about his mental health struggles. Long went into detail about his long sit-down with Caz and revealed where his headspace is at now.
“Well, I did have a long talk with him, and believe me, he is clear-headed,” Long assured. “And what makes me understand Caz very well is because I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. A lot of guys won’t admit it and say it, but we’ve all been there. We all had problems back in the day, but some of us were able to rehabilitate ourselves and to come out of that and to start all over again.
“A lot of people don’t have a chance to do that. A lot of people don’t make it. Some people, they just go all the way out to the end and just destroy themselves, but I’m just happy that Caz was able to catch it. He was able to come back, make a name for himself on his comeback, and that’s what we’re going to start doing for him is helping you make that name and be exactly what he’s supposed to be. And with me being there, done that and been part of his struggle, what he’s been through, I can understand.
“I can sympathize with him. So why not give him an opportunity? Why not give him another chance? I was given an opportunity. I was given another chance. So I just enjoy being able to help guys like that that have fallen along the way. They pick themselves up. Now they need another chance, and if I’m the guy to help him get that other chance, then that’s going to be what I’m gonna do.”
Hausman pointed out that these kinds of discussions were not that common back in the day about addiction and mental health. Long agreed and discussed how things have changed over the past 10 -20 years.
“Well, I think 10 – 20 years ago, a lot of people didn’t know. Guys knew they had a problem, but the promotion and a lot of the upper office people didn’t know what the problem was,” Long pointed out. “So they didn’t know what to do about it, but now with all the technology and this modern-day stuff, if you got a problem, you can get help. Back then, you couldn’t get help, but right now, there are places to go, and I have to say WWE is still offering that if you work for them or even if you aren’t working for them.
“If you got a problem, you can call them up, and they’ll help you. They’ll put you in rehab and take care of you and try to help you with that problem before you destroy yourself. So I’m just happy that Caz was able to get a hold of himself, and for me talking to him, he understands very well what he’s done. And that’s what you have to do. You have to stop being in denial.
“You have to get in reality and say, ‘Hey, I messed up. So let me clean up.’ So it’s just that simple, and I tell people all the time, guys are like, ‘I can’t stop.’ Oh, yes you can because there’s a pile of drugs sitting on the table, if you never pick them up and put them in your hand and put them in your mouth, then they never get there. It’s just that simple, and believe me, I know because I was one of those guys. I don’t believe he’s going to let us down. I think he’s on the right track, and I’d put money on it brother. I think he’s ready to do the right thing.”
You can follow Teddy on Twitter @teddyplayalong. You can find the full audio and video from Teddy’s interview below: