Last year on this very website, I wrote an article chronicling the reasons I believed WWE would be foolish to ever break up the duo of Enzo Amore and Big Cass. I softened that position, but still believed that if it were to happen, the timing would need to be perfect, and both guys would need to be on solid ground.
Monday’s RAW provided the end of the Enzo and Cass team, at least for a while. Big Cass turned heel, leaving his running buddy laying after a big boot. His words were worse than the attack. Those comments stung, and Amore sold his emotion, complete with tears in the ring, quite effectively.
Honestly, the saline was probably at least partially legitimate. Consider how long these two have been together. They cut their teeth together in NXT, found a gimmick that worked, came to the main roster together, competed for Championships, and made each other stars. When something like that comes to an end, it’s impossible for those involved not to feel something.
But past the breakup itself, the question Vince McMahon is left with is how to proceed with both members of a team that never won the WWE Tag Team Championship, likely thanks to the arrival of Matt and Jeff Hardy in April of this year. My points in the aforementioned article are still valid, and they need to be revisited in order to understand the perils that could await both Enzo and Cass as they work to succeed in a shark enclosure up North.
Enzo Amore is a poor in-ring worker, and he’d likely be the first to admit that fact. He rag dolls, which makes him injury prone when he’s selling, but none of his offense comes across remotely believable. He’s a character first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. Eighth he’s an assault on the fashion senses. But he’s valuable because he’s a wonderful promo, a hard worker, and a dedicated performer.
Here’s the thing though, and not enough people have seriously sat down and thought about the following truth. Objectively, Big Cass isn’t any good in the ring either. He’s not even on Baron Corbin’s level (if, unlike me, you don’t care for Baron), and here’s the easiest way to detect his shortcomings. It’s not that what he does looks bad, it’s that everything he does is basic.
If you loathed Lex Luger, you’re going to wretch watching Big Cass in singles competition. Why? Lex had his forearm, he had his powerslam, he had his yelling punches in the corner, and a few other rudimentary moves. But he looked like ten Brinks trucks full of cash and thus he had a long and successful career.
Big Cass is tall, but he doesn’t have what anyone would call a chiseled physique. In the ring, Cass delivers a side slam, a body slam, a corner avalanche splash, a big boot, some strikes, an elbow drop off the ropes, and one swinging sidewalk slam. I’m sure he can do more, but this is what he actually does.
He doesn’t even come off the ropes. At his size, he shouldn’t, but compare Big Cass to someone like Kane, who does employ some aerial maneuvers during his matches. Cass will get every opportunity, because of his look, and we’ll all wish him the best, but he’s not anywhere close to a guy that can hang on his own.
One piece of hope came last night in the form of an outstanding, passionate promo to set up the heel turn. He needed to hit a home run, and he ended up clearing the bases with a grand slam. If that’s what we can expect in the future, that’s fantastic. However, he’s also been 2x4 level wooden when reciting scripted dialogue in backstage situations.
Enzo was the talker. He was “Smack Talker Skywalker,” as a matter of fact. Cass just had to play his role, and eventually they would get to “SAWFT” and the crowd would cheer. I can’t imagine the new Big Cass using that catchphrase, because it’s pure babyface material. Maybe in this version of WWE it can be done, but it wouldn’t be a particularly good decision.
When working each other, the matches will be sloppy and basic, but they’ll be compelling. Cass can be the bully, and Enzo can be Dennis the Menace or Screech Powers. The story they tell in the lead-up is likely to be strong, especially if Cass is ready to bring it like he did last night, and the crowd will buy into this program.
But, what the hell happens when the feud ends? Enzo Amore, best case scenario, either becomes the new Santino Marella, or he finds his way over to SmackDown and gets into it with James Ellsworth. Seriously, in what universe is Vince McMahon going to push a miniature Road Dogg? Enzo is wildly entertaining, but his ceiling is now R-Truth.
As for Big Cass, how does he factor into things? Could he become Intercontinental Champion? Absolutely, although that’s about as far as I see him advancing as a single. When he was in the four-way Universal Championship match last fall on RAW, he wasn’t exposed, but he was treated with kid gloves and cared for before he was eliminated.
The idiot fans that don’t believe Roman Reigns can work, I ask you, how will these people feel about Big Cass? Roman is Shawn Michaels compared to Cass at this point, and to borrow my own phrase from above, Big Cass would be the first one to tell you that. The reason I felt these two needed to be married for a long time is because they covered up for each other’s shortcomings.
Enzo could talk, and Cass would by osmosis pick some of it up and get better in that area. Plus, the charisma could emanate from Amore, with Cass benefiting. Cass would be the muscle in the ring, and as he improved and varied his moves, he would become more and more of a force. Enzo would make sure he was always over, and together, they were the two participants in the perfect wrestling relationship.
If WWE was insistent on Cass going singles, perhaps the answer wasn’t to break the team up, but to “injure” Enzo to an extent he was forced to stop wrestling, at least for a long period of time. During that span, he would be at ringside with Cass, and the two could still cover for each other. Later, Enzo could step back into the squared circle if he and the promotion so chose, and the options would be different.
Here, Vince has taken two guys on the come-up and cut off what made them special. With that said, I pray it works. I like both guys, despite some really bad writing over the past eight months, and I genuinely wish the best for each one of them. The actual breakup was excellent, and both Enzo Amore and Big Cass deserve credit for their work last night.
This wasn’t the time though, particularly considering the thin tag team division on the RAW brand and the company as a whole. WWE outthought themselves and sped up a process unnecessarily in order to create just one angle. If it’s The Revival, there’s another solid tag program. Both teams work well together, as we saw ourselves at Roadblock in the spring of 2015.
Last night, Vince jumped the gun.
I believe in the short term, the television will be great, and people will rave about both men.
But, this time NEXT year, it’s quite possible neither is in anywhere near as good a shape as they were this time LAST year.
And that’s concerning.