Jonathan Coachman's weekly WWE feature on the Tuesday night edition of Sportscenter got a dose of real this week, and recent NXT call-ups Enzo Amore & Big Cass got a big opportunity, as the Realest Guys in the Room headed to ESPN.
Their conversation started with the basics, as Zo explained what "Realest Guys" means - and offered his unique perspective on character:
All that we're doing is being ourselves. A lot of people say that when they on screen in the WWE they like to turn the volume up and just be themselves. Well, when I get on screen, I just got to turn the volume down - as Cass can attest to.
Things got serious then, as both men offered their thoughts on the big news of the day - the brand extension:
Cass: The biggest thing is it's gonna create competition between the WWE Superstars on each show, which is gonna create the best sports entertainment product. You got guys on Raw - they're gonna want that to be the best show, so they're gonna step their game up to make sure that is the premier show. And then the guys on SmackDown, and the ladies on SmackDown are gonna try to make sure that SmackDown is the premier show. Everybody wants to be in the place to be, and we're gonna make where we go the place to be.
Amore: Competition breeds success, and the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. We got a lot of people here in the WWE working hard who you don't get to see on our television show on a weekly basis. This is gonna provide opportunity for everybody on the roster. So a brand extension is the best thing that could of happened, especially to either one of us. Hopefully we just end up in the same place, you know what I'm saying?
ESPN was many outlets that ran with Enzo's scary in-ring injury during the opening match of last month's Payback pay-per-view (PPV), so naturally, Coach asked both men to talk about it. Amore started out joking that he didn't remember what the host was talking about, then explained:
Actually, I hit my head on the mat, that's what caused the concussion. What I like to call a "hard sneeze". But what we do? You don't see me wearing slippers. I wear Jordans when I'm in the ring, alright? This isn't ballet. Thing happen, you know? The squared circle's no pretty place to be and there's nothing sweet about it. At the end of the day, I'm blessed to be here and make a comeback and be in this ring and I'm all the way up, you know what I'm sayin?
It wasn't all bravado - Enzo eventually goes on to explain some of the steps he went through to get cleared under WWE's protocol - but Cass' answer is a bit more thoughful:
I knew it was serious, and then when they brought out the oxygen mask and the gurney and they were bringing him out, I knew it was taken to a whole new level, it was way more serious than I expected. It was very scary for me - I got very emotional because there's a lot of uncertainty there. You don't know what's going on, what kind of damage has been done and you don't know what the end result's gonna be. So in that moment, there's a great deal of panic, and a great deal of stress... so it's not something I will ever want to relive, that's for sure.
We also were treated to a monologue from the Smacktalker Skywalker himself on, what else, his gift of gab. Amore is both aware of how important his microphone skills are to his career - and thankful he has a place to use his unique talents:
Luckily for me, I'm talented in the aspect that you just told me that it's hard to come up with catchphrases - well I'm coming up with them right now. You know what I'm saying? All day everyday my mind is going in that direction and it's amazing to me that there's a job out there in the world for someone like myself to go out there and make a penny coming up with these dumb things that I say.
The seven-footer also breaks down SAWFT with several examples from the world of sports that ESPN's core audience will understand:
And, of course, there's the weekly recap feature, which is heavy on the return of John Cena:
I think our boys did good, you know what I'm saying?
How do you think they're doin, Cagesiders?