Well, I’ve decided to do shoot interview recaps again and what better way to return than the former Enzo Amore of WWE fame.
This was filmed on January 3oth, 2019
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and fifty-one minutes long.
After talking about his fur coat and babbling on about other nonsense (the only stuff that wasn’t nonsense was his talk about doing charity with kids in WWE) we finally start the interview.
nZo talks about growing up in New Jersey and going to shows at Madison Square Garden and the Continental Airlines Arena then talking about a Shawn Michaels action figure that he claims defined his childhood. Talks about being there with to see Diesel defeat Bob Backlund for the WWF World Heavyweight Title and the Kliq “curtain call” as he also claimed his grandmother was a huge fan of Dusty Rhodes.
He went to Springfield College and played running back but said he always wanted to be a pro wrestler as a kid plus wanted a degree first. He ended up getting kicked out of Springfield for what he said was “beating up a kid who raped a girl” as he said the girl came crying to his door and said a member of the lacrosse team raped her then nZo went to Salisbury College in Maryland. nZo then talked about getting a degree in journalism and writing the school paper while still playing football.
He worked other jobs including being a DJ, mover, and a manager at Hooters. nZo also said he got more money as a manager by cutting staff and working in the kitchen himself.
On how he got a WWE tryout, nZo said that he went to Joe DeFranco’s gym in New Jersey(nZo tattooed the gym logo on his thigh in order to get a free lifetime membership) as nZo said DeFranco trained Triple H. So, nZo felt this was a chance to get into WWE so he quit his job at Hooters then filmed a video of himself cutting promos from his mother’s basement and it got him a look.
We now see nZo open up a book with his promos that he wrote, which is a scrapbook that shows stuff written on paper and napkins, and that said he its all stuff from 2012-2015 as everything since is now on the computer. He did say his promo on the entire Cruiserweight Division was ad-libbed and how it happened because they were running short because of a woman’s match that took place prior went home early. nZo then said after every roast he expected Kurt Angle to run out to interrupt because he did not know how much time they had at that moment.
On his actual tryout, nZo said it was in late 2011 when Tom Prichard was still the head trainer. He talks about not knowing anything about pro wrestling and how guys who had years of experience hated him and now understands why those guys are not that welcoming due to all they had to sacrifice. nZo said he shaked hands with everyone and worked with Norman Smiley, who he knew from watching on WCW. He talks about working a match against CJ Parker (Juice Robinson) then cut some promo and proceeds to give us some of it before saying he met Big Cass afterwards, who recognized nZo from a Barstool Sports of nZo tackling Victor Cruz while they were in high school and you can view it below:
He got signed and roomed with Mojo Rawley and said he was a great guy with Mojo ended up moving in with Rob Gronkowski when Gronk bought a house in Tampa so his other roommate was Ozzy Cherry, who nZo said was a wild guy. nZo talks about Big Cass seeing potential in him and owing Cass for letting him into his circle on friends in NXT.
Now, he talks about watching Billy Idol and Michael Jackson music videos and how his dad was a DJ and would always listen to top 40 music for his events. He also watched pro wrestling and talks about Shawn Michaels going to the Royal Rumble and if he wins, Pam Anderson will accompany him to WrestleMania. nZo said he loved Shawn’s look and thought he was cool then talks about losing it when he won while holding his Shawn Michaels figure and after that felt like he had to be the coolest kid in school and get the hottest girls. nZo said he got kicked out of multiple elementary schools then finally found football in high school that straightened him out. He now talks about doing stuff for kids that were like himself growing up and how college is not for everyone but made it work.
nZo said Cass and himself constantly talked with fans at and after the shows and that got them over as he shows us a scrapbook given to him by a fan that has “Smacktalker Skywalker” written on the cover.
In FCW/NXT, nZo said he first drove with Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley but after a couple of weeks realized he should ride with wrestlers that he could learn from so he went with Cass, Juice Robinson, and Jesse White (son of Vader.) After that, Neville rode with him and nZo claimed to research Neville and learned that he loved reggae music.
On Dusty Rhodes, nZo said that Dusty told him he could be good, bad, or different. nZo brings this up several times during the interview as it really stuck. He also credits Steve Keirn for helping and being nice to him.
At the 44 minute mark Rob decides to actually ask a question about the Enzo Amore name but is immediately cut off. nZo said that he did not have a match is entire first year and set up the ring, even showing up at 530am daily because both Bill DeMott and Canyon Ceman told him daily he was going to get fired. Smiley even showed up at 530am knowing nZo would be there and help out then nZo would help set up the ring.
nZo said that DeMott had it out for him but said he will never talk shit about anyone or the WWE because he was thankful for his opportunities.
Rob brings up the Simon Gotch story about nZo breaking his leg countering a wrist lock then laughs and tells a story about something else. He also refuses to say Gotch’s name and refers to him as “Aiden English’s partner” as nZo said he got signed at the same time as English and loves him as a person. nZo talks about a story during promo class. He said that Wednesday’s were when a lot of producers came down and impressing them could get you booked for the first time or lead to something else. nZo said Cass and himself were paired up and usually went at the end and they were always prepared as he once again picks up his promo book. Now, back to Gotch, nZo said that he came to class and laid a drape over the table and came in wearing a tuxedo then said two puppets came up that he said looked like Muppets of Cass and nZo and it was funny but nZo told Cass they had to change their planned promo as he now mentions Gotch by name and said he told Gotch he had “titties like a 65 year old woman” that popped the room as Gotch put his coat covering his singlet that also popped the room according to nZo. No follow up question about the broken leg.
nZo said that Gotch hates him but he does not have a hateful bone in his body then says he also does not have a “bitch bone” in his body and that he did that spot over a hundred times with English that went fine but the first time with Gotch he got hurt. nZo also said he came through at the hospital with his family crying.
On Carmella joining his act with Cass, nZo said she is a great actress then tells a story about seeing her in promo class with a fur coat doing something resembling a character from “Wolf of Wall Street.” nZo also said he has not watched WWE since leaving but heard she is doing great.
nZo talks about loving the Dudley Boyz and thanks them for putting up with him in the ring. nZo also talks about trying to do things to “pop” their opponents instead of the fans. nZo said that Bubba put over his first promo and said it was like catching lightning in a bottle.
Regarding Triple H, nZo laughs and considers himself Triple H’s red-headed stepchild and how Triple H would rip him apart like no one else. nZo said that he was never supposed to happen then tells a story about eating doughnuts backstage at a FCW taping then he would sell his merchandise himself and walk around introducing himself to the fans instead of the stigma where wrestlers watch everything from behind the curtain. Or half told it because we really did not get an ending and per the course he was all over the place when telling the story. nZo now talks about Bray Wyatt loving his shtick and they became good friends.
A half hour later, nZo finally answers the question of the Enzo Amore name. He said in FCW they gave him the name “Nino Jones” to which nZo objected and fought tooth and nail to keep the Enzo Amore name he came up with and said that got him heat. Then on photo day he came dressed in boxer shorts, eye paint and a mohawk but DeMott told him he had to grow out his hair, grow a mustache, and dye his hair black if he wanted to be Enzo and if he did not wear wrestling gear or boots by next week will be fired. nZo said he wanted to be loud and have his own style and had an idea to brand himself and talks about putting leopard print on everything he wore. So, he found a pair of leopard print women’s tights and bought a pair of boots from Sin Cara.
nZo said Dusty wanted him to go out and put over Mason Ryan but DeMott said he was not ready. nZo had been there for a year and not wrestled his first match. Dusty said he could bump and that meant he was ready so Enzo’s debut was getting heat with a promo then goes on about Dusty Rhodes’ promos and how he sold tickets. Dusty also called him “n-z-o” and nZo goes on to talk about people thinking he was a mark for mentioning names of past stars as nZo said the lifeblood of the business is new stars and not only that the business needs a new Vince McMahon. nZo also puts over Cody for what he is doing with AEW and that Goldust is also one of the nicest guys ever that wants to give back to the business by helping younger talent.
Back to DeMott, nZo said that he would not let him team with Cass and DeMott always told people he (nZo) would be fired but Dusty wanted nZo & Cass together. nZo then said that despite DeMott making his life hell and quotes the line about fight club about never talking about fight club as an explanation for not going into details. Some guy opens the door and leaves off camera as nZo says it was Mark from the moving company who he has based the nZo character around.
We are back to when after nZo got destroyed by Mason Ryan in that match as nZo is all over the place with some story before saying that assistant Rob Naylor came up to him to say that John Cena wanted to see him as Cena was present for the TV taping. nZo & Cass did their bit for him and Cena loved it then had them go out when he was cutting a promo on Damien Sandow. nZo said he kept saying “And you can’t teach that” at Sandow because of Sandow’s gimmick then did the SAWFT bit at the end that got over huge.nZo was all over the place telling this story as he just follows up something he said yet does not timeline anything.
At the next TV tapings, nZo was still not booked as DeMott paired Cass with Mason Ryan. Four weeks later at the next tapings and both nZo & Cass were not booked and the crowd kept going SAWFT. Afterwards, Terry Taylor came up to them and said they were going to do the dark segment with Ryback where they ragged on him with a bit about the Golden Corral due to the “feed me more” gimmick.
nZo says that being aware of the crowds and merchandise works a lot better than being humble then talks about how much money Cass and himself made the WWE, especially since they were on minimum contracts in NXT. nZo also revealed that they each made 2.5% of merchandise sales and his first video game check was $17,000.
He then talks about the WWE having a system in place and how Vince McMahon had insider knowledge about streaming being the forefront of advertising so he bought all the tape libraries and that Vince’s dad ran “fixed fights” at MSG and that the mob fixes fights then mentions Linda McMahon being in Trump’s cabinets. This leads to him talking about PPV payouts when the WWE Network came out being a million times worse. Some vague hints that Vince has mob ties here.
nZo talks about getting more of a reaction from doing his dance than guys who do flips. He also said that he had the merchandise guys in the WWE make his wif and that he wore the wig as a heel and would have his opponent knock it off then put in on and how that got a great reaction.
On whether or not Vince understood his character, nZo said he was booked all the time on the microphone and at one point the number one merchandise sellers so assumes Vince loves that more than anything else.
Rob softly asks a question about having a relationship with Stephanie McMahon as nZo is now talking about the Hardy Boyz surprise return at WrestleMania and how being on that show was the worst thing to happen to Cass and himself as a team then goes on about being a heel while Cruiserweight Champion.
On splitting up with Cass, nZo said he was going to get the plates and screws removed from his leg from when he broke it but declined as he would be losing out on money. He then said the storyline where he kept getting found knocked out backstage gained traction and that Cass was originally going to wrestle as a singles wrestler while he recuperated but it got switched to them splitting up. nZo also was told by Vince to tweet Connor McGregor then laid out his plans for them to face each other. nZo said he wanted it for the Cruiserweight title then told Vince about the music he had made to use and they agreed to drop a single.
Rob now asks the question about his relationship with Stephanie again as nZo says she was nice then talks about wrestling being scripted and the politicking that occurs backstage.
Back about 205 Live, nZo said his goal was to make people turn into stars. nZo then said that when he was on 205 Live they beat NXT in viewership on the network. He also puts over Drew Gulak for being a great character and Mustafa Ali for being a great guy that wanted to rid the negative stigma about Muslims. nZo told the writers he wanted to work with Ali after Neville quit and they worked together in Dallas, TX that he said was a sold out crowd of 20,000 (in reality it was a crowd of 3,400 hundred at the University of Texas Arlington college basketball gym and not the American Airlines Arena like they usuallly run in Dallas) and might have had Lesnar (it didn’t). nZo talks about how he went to every corner to say Ali’s name as Ali was not known to the crowd. Then he used old heel tactics to get heat and in return Ali’s offense got over. nZo said he promises he can do stuff like hurricaranas and flying off of the top rope and basically gives us a play-by-play of the entire match before ending to say it should not be a selfish business
Rob asks about Cass tearing his ACL in their street fight match and how he buried him on Twitter. nZo said in his mind he would finish a match no matter what and at the time was not taking into account the feelings of others. nZo has no regrets as he says you need some “venom in your bite” to be on top in the WWE.
nZo talks about not having any plans to return to WWE or for any promotion then says he has something enticing for wrestling fans then jokes about being up to no good.
He now talks not knowing what a shoot interview until he watched them with Cass, Dean Ambrose, Martin Stone, CJ Parker, and Jody Kristofferson. He talks about thinking Jim Cornette was hilarious but kept burying people. This leads to him talking about how breaking his leg was the best thing that happened to his career because he could wear Jordan’s then talked about bringing a Champs Sports deal to the WWE and got his own Jordan’s made. He then got to wear loose pants.
Rob now asks about what happened at the RAW 25th show as nZo blows it off thinking he meant his appearance at the Survivor Series before saying he already answered that question on the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. nZo then said he responded with “your loss, not mine” to Mark Carano when he got the call he was fired.
nZo talks about how the NXT environment was toxic and admires Juice Robinson for leaving and proving himself elsewhere.
Now on being in the crowd during the Survivor Series, nZo said that WWE called him before the show but he did not answer the call and always planned on going to the PPV. nZo said he did it for advertisement and to trend in the top 5 on social media. He understood the backlash but added there is nothing he cannot conquer then laughs about how during the meetings at RAW the next day they would have to see him trending as they went over that stuff at the production meetings and wanted them to see him trend higher than the company. nZo then added that he spent $2,500 for the ticket as a way to trend on Twitter.
nZo then talks about driving alone on the main roster because he is not going to talk shit about people in a car with a bunch of dudes. And he wanted to spend time writing his music and promos.
This ends with nZo thanking his fans and even his “haters” for helping his career.
Final Thoughts: There are clips of this interview online and I’ve seen a good amount of people on Twitter like this interview. And there were some good stuff here, pretty much what he said about NXT, but this was really close to three hours of nZo rambling. The several questions asked in this entire thing were largely ignored and nZo pretty much refused to acknowledge anything negative about his career (like the failure to acknowledge the 205 Live tour was a dud with a cancelled show). His firing was barely touched upon and nZo did claim that he was never even contacted by the police regarding the rape allegation.
nZo’s main goal in this interview was to talk about how he defied the odds and succeeded by doing things his way. I admired how he did not care about and he did not bury anyone or hold grudge but also refused to talk about certain subjects. The way he just flat out ignored stuff that was asked to talk about something, to me, is an indicator that you are not exactly telling the truth at all times. And the psychology behind what he did made sense even if him constantly repeating it grew tiresome. It was more nZo talking for three hours as Rob did not provide guidance. And nZo did not timeline the events he was talking about and was constantly stopping to give shout outs and more or less acted like his wrestling character.
For me, I found this interview exhausting. I could not listen for more than 30 minutes at a time. Even though Rob’s list of mundane questions can be tiresome I was actually wishing for those here, even if nZo would just blow them off it would give more breaks between his stories. Like everything else in his career, nZo apparently does things by his own rules. And that is admirable but at the same time its not hard to see why he was disliked.
If you love nZo the character then this is for you. If not, you’ll hate it and if you are a fan of structured interviews you will likely hate this too. I guess its fitting this was a polarizing interview for a polarizing individual.