Former WWE Superstar nZo has detailed the reaction backstage when he told his fellow NXT stars that he had no clue who noted wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer was.
Speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ own Liam Alexander-Stewart, the former Enzo Amore discussed his own fandom of wrestling and says it struck him as odd that when he got into the business he encountered people talking behind each other’s backs rather than addressing their issues the way he was used to:
“I was an avid wrestling fan watching Raw all my whole life, so I was just a casual, everyday fan because, you know, my friends don’t gossip or talk sh*t or worry about other men’s business, like where I grew up, if you talk sh*t, you get hit. Like if you’re talking about another man behind his back, they’re going to stop you and be like, ‘Shut the f*ck up. Call me right now and tell him that sh*t. We don’t give a f*ck’ you know?”
“So man, I got into wrestling and I didn’t know about wrestling. I got in cars with people who were talking sh*t about other men. And imagine a guy like me just being like, ‘Yo, why are you talking about him? Why don’t you go tell it to his face?’ And people kind of got with that. They kind of liked that I was that way.”
nZo then paid tribute to Windham Rotunda – the former Bray Wyatt – for looking out for him in those early days of NXT as well as Dusty Rhodes and Triple H for giving him the chance to shine with a microphone in his hand:
“Windham is my homie shout out. Windham was probably saving my life or job backstage at the beginning stages. But ultimately, you learn how this business works. You cut your teeth, you get in the ring, you learn to eat a sh*t sandwich and like the taste of it and shut the f*ck up and pick the hills you want to die on. But, you know, my road was very different.”
“I had Dusty Rhodes, who was in my corner, who handed me a microphone and allowed me to go out there and do what I do along with Triple H. So Triple H and Dusty just gave me free reign on the microphone. If you get a microphone every night, you know you have an opportunity. I wouldn’t call it anything other than that. And what I did with that microphone alongside with Big Cass and even Carmella at the beginning, that is a testament to the hard work we put in thinking of the stuff and the material.”
“I think that if Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes told you the truth, which I don’t know if they ever would, because they’re always going to work you. They’re always going to work you if you’re if you’re talking to the camera, they wrote down the sh*t.”
“They worked on their character sh*t and they thought of it really hard. And that was what I was honoured to do in the business of pro wrestling, was do it the old school way, think of my own sh*t and get to say it every time I was out there. So I know that a lot of people don’t get that opportunity. Maybe if more people did, they’d have more success.”
“But I took that opportunity and we took it to the moon. But the guy to bring this story back around at the beginning stages, imagine Finn Balor comes in from you know, at the time Prince Devitt/Fergal Devitt from New Japan. And I don’t even know who the f*ck he is. I don’t know.”
Despite being a wrestling fan, nZo admitted that he wasn’t familiar with a certain Prince Devitt when he joined WWE from New Japan Pro Wrestling to become Finn Balor. He also revealed that his fellow NXT stars found great joy in the fact that he didn’t know who the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer was:
“I’m on the NXT TV show that he’s watching from Japan when he’s being enticed to come here and he’s looking at the product and he’s looking at the product and saying, ‘Well, do I want to be a part of this show? Do I want to join NXT?’ And we were a part of the reason, me and Big Cass, Fergal wanted to come be a part of NXT. And when I met him I didn’t even know who the f*ck Dave Meltzer was.”
“So he thought he thought that sh*t was hilarious and so did Neville and Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. I never tried to pretend to be something that I wasn’t, but I got to drive in the cars with those the likes of the people I just named, Samoa Joe and Dax Harwood, Scott Dawson and I was genuinely passionate, wanted to learn, wanted to watch the tape, wanted to see every single match, wanted to know the spots and work with the people that were great.”
“And I picked it up, man, and I played my part, which was basically talk sh*t and sell. So I appreciated learning from those people and getting the opportunity. So when it was heat in the locker room, jealousy was when you make it to the top in any business.”
nZo also discussed during the conversation why he wasn’t keen to go back to what he called WWE’s “go f*ck yourself environment.”
Thank you to nZo for taking the time out to speak with Inside The Ropes, you can support nZo by following him on his Twitter & Instagram as well as checking out his music over on Spotify/YouTube – ‘Real1’ for rap and ‘Real1 & The How You Doin’ Band‘ for Rock.
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