Let's hop in our DeLoreans and go back in time to the early days of NXT in 2013. Two of the breakout stars from WWE's developmental show in those days were Big Cass (Colin Cassady at that point) and Enzo Amore; a seven-foot athletically built prospect that WWE would covet and a smaller quirky character who had an undeniable gift for cutting promos and controlling a crowd, respectively. This was WWE's classic peanut butter and jelly tag-team matchup that they've made money with for ages, as great teams either look like they were cut from the same cloth or complement each other in filling in the other's gaps like puzzle pieces. Big Cass and Enzo were the latter, and it worked! That is until it didn't, and it didn't stop working due to the act, but rather because of the performers bringing it to life. Making their Raw debut in 2016, Enzo and Cass shot to the top of fan's favorites list and merchandise sales lists quickly, but backstage, they shot to the top of the lockerroom's shit list just as quickly due to their attitudes. By 2019, both were gone from WWE and dealing with physical health problems, mental health problems, and even legal problems. They are definitely WWE's biggest recent hit the sun and crash back down to Earth story, but could there now be a redemption story developing as well?
After being released from WWE in 2018 due to injuries, backstage heat with other wrestlers and management, and more importantly, going off-script and assaulting a little-person live on tv, Big Cass (real name William Morrissey) hasn't found much success in the wrestling business. He's made appearances and had matches at different indy shows around the country but could never seem to generate the kind of momentum that has fueled career renaissances for the likes of Drew McIntyre or Bobby Lashley, who, despite being released by WWE, found big success outside the company and made bigger names for themselves, which led to WWE bringing them back and making them big stars on their programming. Now to be fair, the comparisons end with them all having been released by WWE. McIntyre and Lashley each committed themselves to better their abilities and performing around the world to both hone their skills and create a brand for themselves. For Big Cass, though, this hasn't been the case to this point. He's had to work with bad knee problems, and worse, mental health and substance abuse issues, which you can imagine in an industry like pro-wrestling can have pretty big ramifications. These issues appeared to come to a head in September of 2019 at a WrestlePro event in New Jersey, where Cass was described as belligerent and picked separate fights backstage with Joey Janela and Pat Buck, whom the whole show was centered around as it was billed as his final match. The incident led to the police being involved and Big Cass being hospitalized. This was the last time the wrestling world and the world, in general, would hear from him. Until this past weekend.
I'm sorry. I'm going to keep fighting. Promise me you'll do the same. We are all in this together.👊🏻👊🏻👊🏻
— ZXL (@TheCaZXL) September 17, 2019
After a long journey filled with an enormous amount of self-reflection, I now start my journey towards redemption. Thank you @The_BigLG for the opportunity, and thank you to everyone for continuing to believe in me 🙏🏼 #StraightOuttaStep12 pic.twitter.com/WqRnaa1jQj
— ZXL (@TheCaZXL) February 28, 2021
This past Saturday night at a Lariato Pro Wrestling show, Big Cass made his surprise return to the ring. Not only was his appearance at the show a surprise to fans, but his physical appearance had people talking as well. Cass looks noticeably bigger and more muscular, filling out his seven-foot frame with bulk to make him a truly imposing figure. When I first saw how he looks now, I had a double-take and thought I was seeing the late WWE star Test, as he now physically resembles that type of powerhouse. Big Cass also returned to Twitter, sending his first tweet since after the WrestlePro incident in 2019. He has clearly taken time away from the business to try and better himself, and you have to respect that.
Now the big question: what's next? Well, that's up to Big Cass. He looks great, and we all hope he's feeling great as well. But WWE (and I assume AEW) is a "prove it to me!" company, and he now has to rebuild and establish his brand, as I mentioned with the examples earlier. Cass has the look, and if it were 1985-1995, Vince McMahon would sign him without thinking twice and probably point and laugh at Bret and Owen Hart while doing it. But we're in a different time now, and looks ain't it. Cass needs to have the skills in the ring, and if we're being honest, that was never his strongest asset. If he's serious about making a strong return and getting noticed by the big companies, he should probably travel around the country (and maybe even to Japan) to learn his craft and match his big size with some big skill.
If Big Cass were to accomplish all that, would WWE be willing to give him another shot? He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way during his time there, especially towards the end, but WWE is in the storytelling business, and there's nothing they love more than a redemption story. They've made millions off of numerous names by using the story of their real-life struggles and comebacks and blending that with the off-reality of wrestling programming. So I'd have to imagine that if Cass were to clean his life up and clean his wrestling skills up, he'd be primed for that kind of story.
Just seeing now that Enzo & Big Cass showed up on a live event last night. Good for them. I know for a 100% FACT they still have supporters within WWE. No idea if that means anything tho.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) March 1, 2021
Now would Enzo be welcomed back with Big Cass? That's a harder sell, I think. Enzo was released from WWE in 2018 for a sexual assault accusation that he didn't alert WWE management to. And that was on top of his also being very disliked by his fellow performers in the lockerroom. Since his release, Enzo has been nonstop critical of the WWE product and frequently mocks them on his different social media platforms. Now I will say, Enzo's mic skills are very rare (especially these days), and it seems as if some of the old guard really like him (Mick Foley and Steve Austin were big fans), but this isn't 1998, and WWE doesn't seem willing to accept any bad behavior backstage or where they can have their reputation sullied. At least as far as their wrestlers go; they're totally happy to be associated with the Saudi Arabian government and all those issues. But back to the topic at hand, would they accept Enzo back with Big Cass? I honestly don't know, though I'd lean towards no right now.
In a perfect world, Enzo and Big Cass would have been able to handle the fame that their act quickly earned them, and we'd be talking about their in-ring exploits right now. But it is what it is, and here we are. I remember being in the audience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the NXT Takeover show in 2015 and the massive pop these two got. I remember thinking I was seeing two huge new stars for WWE, and they didn't disappoint when they debuted on Raw in 2016.
These two really had something there for a moment. Now we'll see if they can put the pieces back together and again find what made them overnight sensations. Cause if we're being honest, WWE doesn't have any seven-footers like Big Cass or anyone who can talk and command a crowd like Enzo. And it's true, you can't teach that.