W Morrissey, formerly Big Cass, has made a massive statement since returning to wrestling after his most challenging battling to date – when he hit the big boot on addiction and hit the pin-fall for the one, two, three. Now in the shape of his life, W Morrissey is in IMPACT Wrestling, and has his sights set on the top.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy, who had reported that Morrissey would debut for IMPACT Wrestling “imminently” on the morning of Rebellion, W Morrissey opened up about his road to recovery, joining IMPACT Wrestling, comparisons to Kevin Nash, and how DDP helped him change his mind-set.
First things first, it’s great to see you back in the ring, it’s great to speak to you. I spoke to a couple of people last year in DDP and Enzo, and they told me, at that time, “Big Cass is in the shape of his life.” My thought was, “Well, I mean, it wasn’t in bad shape before, but I can’t wait to see what they mean by the shape of his life.” And now I know they weren’t lying. So I need to ask you, what’s the mindset of W Morrissey now that you’re back, looking better than ever and absolutely dominating so far in IMPACT? What is going through the mind of W Morrissey when he steps into the ring now?
What’s going through my mind is that I want to make it to the top of the wrestling industry. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
I’ve had some setbacks and I’ve even considered stepping away from wrestling but, at the root of it, deep down, ever since I was a kid, it’s all I want to do, it’s my first love, my first passion. I want to be the best, so I’m going to do everything in my power to get to the top of professional wrestling – and the entire industry.
If I don’t make it there, I’m going to die trying, but my goal is to make it to the absolute top of professional wrestling and I don’t know how long that’s going to take, but every single day I’m grateful to wake up and I’m going to give it my all every day to make it make a name for myself.
I love that – and it’s coming through in the ring anyway, so I can’t wait to see how it goes. Now, this is where I need to address an elephant in the room. This is either something you’re going to be completely unaware of and you’ll think, “Man, this guy is terrible,” or you might be aware of it and I’ll ask your reaction. On the day that you made your IMPACT debut, I actually reported that you were going to be joining IMPACT shortly thereafter…
Oh I’m aware!
Okay, so the first part of that is, “What was your reaction when you see a report like that coming out?”
My first thought was, who’s the stooge? Was it the guy that picked me up from the airport? Was it the person that was in the lobby at the hotel that saw me? Or was it somebody that was here at the building in the production meeting or saw the run sheet? That was honestly my first thought was – ‘who’s the stooge’? Who said something? Because we kept… Me and Scott kept that quiet for weeks. And then the morning that I showed up here, the report came out and I said somebody ‘saw me or someone was at the building and heard, so who’s the stooge?’ So that was my first thought – who’s the stooge?”
I’m just glad you debuted with a name as far away from “Cassidy/Cassady” as possible so you didn’t get the blame for the leak – and I’m equally glad this is virtual so I don’t get hit with a big boot for asking. But the second part of that question would be about the positive reaction. On a smaller scale, all the responses to me were incredibly positive. Then on a larger scale, it happens, and not only am I happy because my report came to fruition – EVERYONE is delighted to see you in IMPACT! What’s the reaction when you see that reaction?
My reaction was, “This is great and I’m glad people are super happy to see me, and I’m going to make them proud and I’m going to make them super excited tonight, and I’m going to really jump off the screen and give them give them a good moment for themselves during this paper here with me coming back and dominating.”
So, I mentioned your name there. Let’s get to that. People know you as Big Cass, we know why that name couldn’t stay, but you did become Caz XL. Now we know you as W Morrissey – which is your real name, or a variant of – so I need to ask, why the major name change? Where did that decision come from?
Because it’s a fresh start in a new company and, you know, this is day one of a new journey for me. It’s day one of me making it to the top of professional wrestling on my own with a healthy mindset, being sober and happy and healthy – and it was a brand new start.
I didn’t want anything associated with what I used to do or who I used to be getting in the way of this new journey, so anything that I used to do went out the window, including gear, the look, everything. I wanted a fresh start, and I thought coming back as a heel… When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash showed up at WCW, I thought that was really cool using their real names but, for a heel, just having me abbreviate my first name instead of saying it – I thought that that was pretty, pretty arrogant.
So the day of is when I decided, or we decided, that we were going to be W Morrissey instead.
I absolutely love that you’ve mentioned a name there that I had written down to bring up a bit later – but what better time than now? Kevin Nash. I’ve seen so many people make that comparison and, man, not a bad comparison to have at all, right? One of the best big men in the history of wrestling, a man DDP called the best businessman in the history of the sport. Is that a comparison you embrace or do you dislike it in any way? Did Kevin Nash influence you at all?
Yeah, that’s someone that I definitely watched a lot of and I’ve talked to and taken a lot of advice from, so Kevin Nash being a comparison is fantastic. I take that as a huge compliment. Yeah, it’s not a coincidence. It’s definitely someone I mould my game after quite a bit. So, for me being compared to Kevin Nash, that’s a huge compliment and it’s kind of what I would have hoped.
I mean, the way you’re wrestling right now – looks aside – it’s obvious to see the comparison and I don’t think anyone would complain if they had half the career that Kevin Nash has had!
So, when you report on something, you like to pretend or think you know absolutely everything about what went on and how it happened. Obviously, I mentioned that you were going to IMPACT but I’ve got to be honest – I have no idea how it actually came to fruition. I know that you’re quite good friends with the Good Brothers, I know you were on an IMPACT Plus taping at Lariato Pro, you mentioned Scott D’Amore – but how did it actually come about?
Yeah, I worked the Lariato show where I came back for Gallows, and then the next time I went to Lariato Pro, Scott D’Amore was doing a training session there and actually scouting talent earlier in the day. So he was hanging around the show and I got a chance to talk to him, and he saw that I was healthy and in a good place mentally, and obviously in really great shape and, you know, I had more of a professional mindset coming back to wrestling, just treating it like, “Let’s do good business, let’s make money together” and I guess after that conversation, we stayed in touch and that’s when we started talking about me actually coming here.
And after that show, you started working with someone else who is a pretty big name, I loved the pairing, Melina! How it was that partnership? Is she’s someone you’d like to see in IMPACT? Is that something you’re campaigning for at all?
Well, right now, in IMPACT, I’m happy being on my own. I want to make a name for myself, I want to show what I can do. I don’t need a mouthpiece. I know people thought, for a long time, that I needed a mouthpiece but if people go back and look at my body of work where I used to be and see some promos that I cut, I don’t need it – I don’t need a freakin’ mouthpiece – so I want to do things on my own here, show the world what I can do and show them how talented I am.
Being an SWE Fury and having Melina by my side, it’s been fantastic. She’s amazing. She’s a great complement to me. I’m a great complement to her. And yeah, she you know, the guys out there, Kevin Sullivan and Teddy Wong and the promoter out there, Tom, they asked me if I would want to do that and they pitched that idea to me before and I said, “Well, yeah, Melina’s dope!” So that’s what we’ve been doing out there in the Dallas area for SWE.
Yeah, absolutely! That balance is good because having someone speak for you can be good, but we know you can cut promos from your time in WWE. So, I want to ask about another person who has been instrumental in your return, although this person wouldn’t like to take the credit as he says it’s you who puts in the work. I want to ask about Diamond Dallas Page. How much credit does DDP take for the W Morrissey we’re seeing now?
I think he he was a big catalyst in me starting to open up about where I was at mentally and my addiction, and that’s something that I hid for a really long time because I was embarrassed and there was a stigma that comes with it, and I didn’t want to people to make fun of me or look down on me because, you know, I was having mental health issues or because of my alcoholism. So I hid that for a while.
He was somebody that told me to just be honest and open about it. That’s kind of how I approach life now is I’m always honest. In any of these interviews, I’m not going to lie. I’m going to be very transparent. You can ask me anything and I’m going to be super honest with you because I’ve got nothing to hide – unlike a lot of other people in the wrestling industry.
I’m not going to hide anything anymore because that’s not good for me mentally to play a part and to act, and to wear a mask, and be somebody that I’m not. So he was the one who told me to be honest and open up, and we put a video out, and that actually lifted a huge weight off of me. So going forward, always being honest, that’s where I started being honest with fans, with other people in the industry, with anybody that knew me. He kind of helped me to open up about that, and that was probably the beginning of me becoming a different person, starting to live a different life, probably, is that honesty and that that’s something that’s preached in recovery is honesty.
So, you know, I could get into the physical aspect of things, I think the mental aspect of things is a lot bigger – so when I started being honest is when things started changing for me. I definitely had some downfalls after, but I vow to just be honest going forward because I don’t want to lie and living a lie is what causes me anxiety and stress, and puts me in a bad mindset.
Never underestimate the power you give someone by believing in them💥 More importantly, never underestimate the power you give yourself by believing in YOU!💥 NEVER GIVE UP!💎
Posted by Diamond Dallas Page on Saturday, April 24, 2021
I have to say, as someone who’s been lucky enough not to battle addiction, but who has reaped the benefits of doing DDPY, I found that video incredibly inspirational and I’m sure it’ll provide that much-needed push for many people in the same situation. So, I want to go back a little bit and ask you about something you witnessed, and something that you apparently said. I remember when two IMPACT legends in Matt and Jeff Hardy returned to WWE at WrestleMania 33. I’ve asked Gallows and Anderson about it, but I remember seeing you say something to Enzo that we couldn’t quite make out on TV. I think I read him saying you mentioned it being the biggest pop in WrestleMania history. Is that true, and what do you recall from that day?
I’m sure I said something along the lines of… “Did you hear that motherf***ing pop? That was crazy!”
But yeah, being in the ring, like, there was speculation but really… The six people in the ring and the few people backstage were the only people that knew what was about to happen. While we were all in the ring, all six of us with the belt above us, circling each other, we all knew it was about to happen and it’s pretty cool feeling because we were excited and anticipating what was about to happen because we knew how the fans were going to react.
So that moment, right before The New Day came out super… It was just, it was really tense, but really exciting, and it was cool to be in there with those five other guys.
And before we go back to W Morrissey for a couple of final questions. I always say the one thing you can’t lose when working in any aspect of wrestling is the ability to access the “fan” side of yourself because we all love wrestling. You have been in rings and locker rooms with a lot of the legends. You’ve wrestled Daniel Bryan, MVP, now the likes of Eric Young, Rhino. What’s the most surreal experience you’ve had in wrestling so far with a legendary name that you been like, “Man, that that blew me away”?
Doing Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast. Three days before Enzo and I debuted on RAW, we did a sit-down in his hotel room in Dallas, at the WrestleMania Hotel. That was surreal because like that’s who I looked up to growing up and you try not to mark out, you want to play it cool – and I did play it cool, I think I did a good job – but inside, I was like, “This is Stone Cold Steve Austin sitting at the same table as me right now, interviewing me for his podcast.” That was surreal. That was absolutely surreal.
I don’t think there’s any arguing with that because I’m not sure if anyone in the planet wouldn’t be in that situation with Stone Cold. So back to W Morrissey, I have two last questions bringing us up to today. I’ve seen reports but I always like to get it from the horse’s mouth. Are you a fully fledged talent in IMPACT? Are you there for the long haul?
I’m here right now. That’s really all I can say.
I’m grateful to wake up every day, I’m grateful to be alive, so I have to live one day at a time and I can’t future-trip, man, because in recovery, if you future-trip, that’s unhealthy so in terms of real long-term and looking too far down the line, where am I going to end up? I can’t worry about that. But for right now, I’m in and I love being in IMPACT – and I’m going to tell you, I’ll be here today, tomorrow and probably a few weeks from now, but as far as super long-term, there’s nothing really long-term set right now.
Excellent. Well, I’m not going to ask too far out in the future for this last question, let’s look at Slammiversary. You’ve made a massive impression thus far in IMPACT. Let’s say Scott D’Amore puts a pen and an empty notepad in front of you and asks you to write down your dream match at Slammiversay. Anything you want. Whose name are you writing down?
Well, it would have been it would have been Kenny Omega, because I want to work with the best and he is one of the best in the world right now, and he’s at the top of the wrestling industry.
I would love to work with Omega. I’d love to wrestle him for the IMPACT World Title, and that’s still something I want to do, but I’d also want to get my hands on Rich Swann because, to be honest with you, I’m very p***ed off at him. There’s a few people here that I really want to face. Moose is another that I really want to wrestle but yeah, I mean, if I had to write one down, it has to be Omega.
I want a match with one of the best in the world, the guy at the top of the industry carrying every freakin’ belt. The guy’s just dripping with gold. Yeah, that’s the guy. That’s the match that I want and if it doesn’t happen this time or year, hopefully it happens somewhere down the line.
Thanks so much to W Morrissey for taking the time, and to IMPACT UK & Ireland for facilitating the interview. Fans in the UK & Ireland can catch W Morrissey on IMPACT! every Wednesday on IMPACT Plus and on Facebook & YouTube, with the show repeated on 5Star on Friday evenings, and catch all IMPACT PPVs via IMPACT Plus and Fite TV worldwide.