Enzo and Cass are back.
This year’s WrestleMania weekend was spectacular on a number of different levels, and one of the most notable moments occurred when the former WWE tag team appeared in the crowd during the G1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden.
Now known as nZo and CazXL, the two played a role in the aftermath of the Ring of Honor/New Japan winner-take-all tag title match, interrupting the Guerrillas of Destiny’s victory celebration and brawling with the Briscoe Brothers and Bully Ray.
“It’s a dream come true to do what we did, and that’s have a fist fight in Madison Square Garden,” said Eric Arndt, who is the artist formerly known as Enzo Amore. “We walked out of there on our own terms, with our middle fingers in the air, on the first card not by a McMahon in over 60 years.”
In an era of five-star matches and work rate, Enzo and Cass are looking to make their own success in wrestling by following the number one rule in all of sports entertainment: be a draw.
“This isn’t about proving how good we are in-ring,” said William Morrissey, who skyrocketed to stardom in WWE as Big Cass. “We know how good we are. This isn’t about having great matches, it’s about raising hell and entertaining the fans.”
The pair of 32-year-olds have reunited to form Free AgentZ, a tag team willing to travel anywhere for a fight.
“We’re going where we want, when we want, and nobody can put a filter on us now,” said Enzo. “Our goal is to be the top act in the entire world of pro wrestling. In the social media era, we’re the f---ing Road Warriors. We’ve got nothing else to lose, so we’re going to take it all.
“We’re still certified, we’re still bona fide, and we’re still the realest guys in the world.”
Catchphrases aside, there is also a human element to the story. Arndt and Morrissey were each let go from WWE—Morrissey due to personal conduct issues and Arndt after a rape accusation (authorities later announced Arndt would not be charged). In their time apart, both have been in difficult situations, with Cass suffering a seizure at a House of Hardcore show and Enzo’s sexual assault allegation playing out in very public fashion.
Arndt and Morrissey both have struggled to build momentum without the other. Their falling out from the company also included a fractured friendship, as the two separated from one another before the end of their run with WWE (which was also used in a storyline).
But, over the past year apart, they have been struck with the epiphany that they are far stronger together.
“We’ve had our personal differences and we’ve had our professional differences, and it’s no secret that we had a falling out,” admitted Cass. “We’re both fighters, we’ve been fighting our whole lives, and we’ve especially been fighting these past two years.”
“It’s been well-publicized that Cass had a health scare and suffered a seizure at a House of Hardcore wrestling event,” added Enzo. “Once I saw that footage, I thought about my friend—a guy I traveled the world with and had experiences that I can’t share with any other human—and I couldn’t risk losing that forever. Pride aside, I reached out.”
Whether they can draw on a large-scale level is yet to be determined, but there is little argument that the two bring a unique ring presence and presentation honed in Vince McMahon’s WWE.
The possibility also exists that Enzo and Cass are more talented than people recall.
Cass worked a tremendous series of matches with Daniel Bryan before his dismissal from the company.
“Working with Daniel Bryan, that was fun for me,” said Cass. “People don’t know I was working 30-minute main events with him every night leading up to Money in the Bank. That was my last match in WWE, and I proved to myself and everyone else how good I was.”
Cass is filled with ambition, looking to show the wrestling world that he can put together a tag team match like few others. And Enzo is at his peak when running his mouth with the big man standing beside him.
“We had the opportunity of a lifetime with the WWE to see the world and build our brand, and now we are Free AgentZ,” said Enzo. “Nobody in WWE, AEW, New Japan, Ring of Honor, or Impact has been given the opportunity we’ve had. We have a social media following, a presence, and a voice despite not working for a company right now. In order to take advantage of that, we plan on doing it in ways that have never been done before.
“We are now business owners of our brand with creative control over our work. We own our own music, artwork, and merchandise. We have a television show in the works, and I can’t wait for the world to see it.”
The immediate question for Free AgentZ is where they will work. Ring of Honor is clearly interested, having booked Enzo and Cass for an appearance at their Madison Square Garden show. A run with ROH would also provide the opportunity to prove their worth against tag teams like the Guerrillas of Destiny, PCO and Brody King, and the Briscoe Brothers.
“This is the real-life NWO,” said Enzo. “We are not signing any exclusivity contracts, we are not signing a non-compete. We have all the right in the world to promote ourselves shamelessly and have as much fun as we want. If fans want to see us in a ring, then let their voices be heard.”
G.O.D.’s Tama Tonga, who is a Bullet Club mainstay and one-half of the ROH tag team champs, was openly critical of the company’s decision to book Enzo and Cass.
“Talk all you want on social media,” said Cass. “If you have a problem with me and Enzo, we’ll fight it out in the ring.”
“For the haters, just know hate is nothing but love disguised as jealousy,” added Enzo. “Me and Big Cass don’t have any hate in our heart. We have nothing but positivity in our brand, as best friends, and seeing the world together once again. If you got love for us, then we got love for you. But if it’s f--- us, then it’s f--- you too.”
Controversy has followed Enzo and Cass, but they remain a relevant piece of wrestling’s fabric—with a future worth watching.
“We plan on exploiting our creativity with no leash holding us back,” said Enzo. “We know who we are and where we’re going. We’re going to be the biggest draw in the world, which we once were and we plan on being again.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.