Former WWE star nZo, best known as Enzo Amore, joined Busted Open Radio to talk about the current state of the wrestling business. nZo brought up talking to Braun Strowman, his former tag team partner, Impact star W. Morrissey and how he wound up wrestling Brian Pillman Jr. on an independent show.
The main topic of discussion however was the shift in the wrestling landscape between the formation of AEW and the slow decline of NXT. While nZo didn’t touch on the recent moves affecting NXT, he did talk about how he felt NXT was the original alternative to the WWE, and how AEW (namely Cody Rhodes in particular) took the same route to become the main alternative now.
“When I saw what happened to Dusty, my mentor, he passes away,” nZo said. “And Cody says ‘f**t it’ and he leaves the WWE and joins the likes of Kenny Omega and Young Bucks. They do All In, I saw it coming a mile away. I think guys like Finn Balor would tell you they saw it coming. We weren’t in the locker room so jaded that we said ‘oh WWE is the only show in town. No one else can rise up through these ranks and do this and blah, blah, blah.’ I always felt like it would just take, in this new day and age in the social media era, it takes a garnering of certain audience. And NXT, people don’t realize that the alternative to WWE before it was these other promotions, was NXT. Before it was AEW, the audience that made me and Cass was the most hungry alternative audience you’ve ever seen in this business.
“The revolution started back then, it didn’t start with what Cody was doing right now. I saw this happen because we created something by poaching Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, El Generico, Kevin Owens (Kevin Steen at the time), Neville. You’re going out and grabbing all the likes of the greatest talent that’s out there and putting it under this alternative brand, under this home in WWE. And you’re having this women’s revolution at the same time because you’ve got Charlotte, Sasha, Bayley, Becky all under that house at one time. And tag team wrestling with Dawson and Dash and me and Cass.
“It was just a unique feel, it was an alternative route to the WWE. So when I saw this angle building from a million miles away, it was the smartest thing Cody could’ve ever done.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription