Former WWE Superstar Enzo Amore has revealed the advice he would impart to young talent competing on the independent scene.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Amore stressed that talent shouldn’t make assumptions. “[…] the number one thing that I have to say here is, if you’re a young pro wrestler that’s in this world, don’t assume that everybody knows you every time you walk into an arena.”
He continued, “Don’t assume you’re over. Don’t pretend that you’re over. Go out there like it’s the first time they’re ever gonna see you. And, you know, I did that the same way Paul Heyman did, introduce yourself.”
Amore credited John Cena as being one of the first people to provide him with a real opportunity in WWE. He recalled how Cena was in attendance for an NXT show long before the black-and-gold brand was on USA Network. Cena was there to feature in a dark segment in an effort to get people to attend the event.
“The day I debuted, Dusty Rhodes gave me the microphone and put me out there, gave me my first opportunity. And then John Cena gave me my second opportunity that very night when in the dark segment, when the show was over, John Cena was meant to come out because we keep the crowd there. At that time, we couldn’t keep NXT fans in the house. We needed John Cena to be in the dark segment so that people would stick around for four hours of tape. Right. Well, John Cena came up to me and he said, ‘hey, listen, I’ve been here for four hours, at tapings, and you’re the only thing that has caught my attention today. Good job.’ And I walked away and I was like, what just happened? Wow.”
Turns out that this interaction would lead to Amore creating one of the popular catchphrases he had in WWE. He recalled sharing the ring with Cena and Damien Sandow during that dark segment. Amore would eventually turn to insulting Sandow, calling him “sawft,” much to the delight of Cena and the NXT crowd.
“John Cena and the crowd are like what the hell? So John Cena said out loud, what did you call him? And I went, ‘sawft.’ And then John Cena went, ‘sawft’, and the whole crowd goes, ‘sawft.'”
Amore would eventually leverage his skills on the mic into a successful run in NXT with his tag team partner, Big Cass. They made their main roster debut in April 2016 following WrestleMania 32 before both eventually leaving the company.
H/T to Fightful for the transcription.