Yesterday (April 1), Wrestling Observer reported that MLW had released Real1, aka NZO, fka Enzo Amore. This was surprising, seeing as the Court Bauer-owned promotion just recently announced Real1 would challenge World champion Alex Hammerstone this upcoming Saturday (April 8) at their Battle Riot show in Philadelphia.
What happened? Sources told Fightful Select Real1 turned down “much of the upcoming creative” that had been pitched to him, and “wasn’t interested in working with some top talent in the company.” That site’s sources also told them about “issues with him putting over other talent at upcoming shows.”
Real1 quickly responded to that, tweeting he didn’t even have a contract with MLW and hinting at legal action:
HILARIOUS. I never signed a deal.— REAL1 (FKA Enzo Amore) (@real1) April 1, 2023
I had a hand shake. Do we want screen shots? I can just take ya to court
Shortly after that, he indicated he was ready to move on. But a few hours later, he tweeted several videos further explaining his side of the story:
Thank you to @MLW ‘s fans. I had fun!— REAL1 (FKA Enzo Amore) (@real1) April 2, 2023
Sorry if you saw an advertisement I would be wrestling for the title. That was never something I was aware of or agreed to.
I have never been under contract with MLW but enjoyed my experience and am grateful for the opportunity. pic.twitter.com/AEQWK3UwMF
“There was an advertisement for me wrestling for the MLW Title. That was false advertising. I told the owner there [Court Bauer] that I never wanted to fight for the title, and on my way out the door, an advertisement came out that I was fighting for the title. That’s a false advertisement because I never agreed to that and I’m not under contract. Everything I’ve ever done there, I had to agree upon because I’m not under contract. If I’m under contract and you’re my boss, I’m doing whatever you tell me to do. Everything I’ve done was in good faith. That’s bad business trying to say that you fired me WrestleMania weekend trying to squeeze a headline.”
Out front —- THANK YOU!!!!! pic.twitter.com/nbFNW1Kf5t— REAL1 (FKA Enzo Amore) (@real1) April 2, 2023
“I’m not fighting for the title, but you played those fans when you put that advertisement out there for something I never agreed upon. I’m not under contract with you. And so when you send me creative direction to bury a guy who just beat cancer [Richard Holliday] — look, I do a lot of things on a microphone and talk a lot of shit, that ain’t one of them. Cancer is a sensitive subject and I didn’t want to bury a guy who just beat cancer. There was nothing left for me to do at MLW, I put over Microman on the way out the door like a Certified G that I am and I laid down 1-2-3 and they wrote me off TV. But don’t try to catch me with a headline saying you fired me when I’ve never been under contract with you, I’ve just been a man of my word.”
In a final video, he clarified that he wasn’t talking about suing in his initial tweet (“If I got to Court, I’m not going to take legal action, I assure you of that”). Real1 reiterated that he thinks MLW leaked the story this weekend to get ‘Mania weekend headlines, but thanked the promotion and the fans for his time there.
Allow me to beat the hell out the Dead horse. Enjoy wrestlemania, cause this is the last thing anybody should give af about pic.twitter.com/0Ux6sKSMDE— REAL1 (FKA Enzo Amore) (@real1) April 2, 2023
It’s not the first time Real1 exiting a company’s made headlines, as his 2018 WWE release came after a report came out he was under investigation for sexual assault. He was later cleared of the allegations by law enforcement, but Real1’s rap song directed at his accuser didn’t gain him many new fans — nor did his attempt to “invade” Survivor Series 2019.
He’s largely stayed out of headlines since then, and still has some name value in wrestling or MLW wouldn’t have been working with him in the first place. We’ll see where Real1’s career heads from here, and how MLW reworks the card for Battle Riot without him.