Enzo Amore is no stranger to people speaking their mind — he is the Smacktalker Skywalker, of course. The former NXT cult hero is currently one of the most popular people on the main WWE roster, but he spent years in developmental constantly on the bubble in danger of being cut. Part of that is because he’s closer to being a classic manager than a modern-day wrestler, but there may be more to it than that.
Matt Wichlinski is the former Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the WWE Performance Center, and was around for the tail end of the FCW days all the way up through the modern PC as a legitimate wrestler factory. Wichlinski was recently on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, and talked about a variety of topics regarding the ins and outs of day-to-day business at the Performance Center.
One of his most interesting tidbits, however, was when he was asked about which wrestlers didn’t pay much heed to his teachings. He had no problem thinking of a couple of people immediately.
“An obvious one would be Enzo Amore. He trained with Joe DeFranco for several years before he came into the PC. Joe DeFranco is Triple H’s personal trainer. Joe is an amazing guy and a brilliant strength coach and Enzo trained with him for a couple of years but he is a guy that just doesn’t listen very well. He has some decent athletic ability (he played college football) but he is very hard to coach. Not just in the gym but in the ring as well. In talking with his other coaches and he worked with all of the coaches (since he was there) for three or four years and Norman Smiley, Bill Demott and all of them thought he could be a real pain in the ass. Sometimes he can be awesome and other times he could be a pain in the ass. He’s one of those guys that thought he trained at DeFranco’s so he knows everything.
“I do a lot of things very similar and somewhat the same as what DeFranco does but certain things may be different and just because you did it one way, I’m asking you to do it different right now and if am asking you for a certain reason it’s because I want to see you do it this way because I am building to something else. Everyone that knows Enzo knows he is a hell of a character and a good guy but he can be a pain in the ass to work with sometimes, not all the time. I know this for a fact. If you try and coach somebody and you tell them what to do 10 or 12 times and they don’t listen and they don’t fix it or they only fix it while you are right in front of their face. Even it is absolutely terrible technique, they just feel comfortable in what they are doing.
“Charlotte was another one. Charlotte wasn’t necessarily a pain in the ass, but because she is such a good athlete, Charlotte was not just the best female athlete but one of the best athletes there. She can do her flips and all that stuff, but sometimes you’d want something specific from her and she would just not be in the mood and just do her own thing. What was I going to do with Charlotte? She was already an athlete as good as she needs to be. She’s very lean, very talented and sometimes you just have to know what battles to pick. The biggest issue was if you let one person slide (no matter how good) then other people start to slide.”
Enzo Amore? A pain in the ass? Well, I never! I can imagine someone who was born with the gift of gab would tend to butt heads with people trying to teach him certain ways to do things. Sometimes there are drawbacks to being the realest guy in the room, it seems.