By now, every WWE fan is intimately familiar with Enzo Amore. (See above.) He and Big Cass are two of the most popular wrestlers on the main roster (possibly the most popular act, behind The New Day), and sell a crap-ton of merchandise. They’re also in a ladder match for the tag titles at WrestleMania on Sunday, and might emerge victorious in the biggest match of their careers.
But while Enzo is living the good life now (and eating all the KFC chicken he can f*ck), things weren’t always so rosy for him. Originally signed to NXT by sending a tape to Triple H via a mutual friend, nearly no one behind the scenes saw any money or potential in him, for a very long time.
In fact, as Triple H recently told ESPN, Enzo’s name was perpetually on the cut list, and only through repeated intervention by himself and Dusty Rhodes did Enzo stick around long enough to become a cult hero in NXT, and eventually the most valuable hype man on the WWE roster.
“There’s been guys that have made it that over the course of a couple of years that were constantly on the cut list,” Levesque said. “Enzo Amore, when I brought him in, everyone at the tryout was saying, ‘Get rid of this kid!’ I was like, ‘He’s got a huge personality. If he can annoy us all this bad here, imagine what he can do on TV.’ … Every time he’d get his review, they’d be like, ‘I’d cut him.’ Dusty [Rhodes] and I would be like, ‘Keep him.’ Look at him now. … Is he ever going to make you money from an in-ring performer standpoint? Probably not. But he’s money on the mic.
“That’s what we’re looking for, and it’s finding that in a guy or girl that can do what we do. The Rock was the same guy that they were chanting ‘Die Rocky Die!’ until he got a personality, and then all of a sudden, he was The Rock.”
It’s always great how spectacularly blunt Triple H is in interviews. “Yeah, he stinks on ice in the ring, but just look at him” is maybe the most honest appraisal of a wrestler I’ve ever seen, but is also 100 percent a compliment. Enzo’s going to stick around for a long time, because apparently you literally can’t teach charisma.