INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS: Big Cass talks about his passion for pro wrestling as a fan, his fast rise to stardom in the last year (w/Keller’s Analysis)

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor



Big Cass (Bill Morrissey) talked with in an article published today about his background, being a huge fan of pro wrestling growing up, and his rapid ride in WWE.

-On his days playing basketball in high school: “Balancing schoolwork and basketball was very, very hard, but a lot of benefits came along with it. The camaraderie was something I always enjoyed, spending time with your teammates and growing that strong bond together. Because you always need someone on your team, whether it’s in life, or in work. You always need someone who’s a part of your squad, and I felt that college basketball really helped with that — traveling together, studying together and fighting the same battles together.”

-On when he decided to switch his career aspirations to pro wrestling: “I was always very passionate about [pro wrestling], always watching tapes, and when I was in college, studying for the MCAT the summer of 2008, I realized, ‘Man, this just isn’t my true passion.’ So I decided to finish my final year at NYU, and the second it ended, I started pursuing the opportunity to get to the WWE.”

-On what he tries to project on camera as Big Cass: “When you walk in the room, you’ve got to know, deep-down, that you’re the realest guy in there. [Big Cass is] me just amplified a little bit. It brings a whole lot of confidence in there and a swagger that I feel like people need. When a guy walks in the room and everyone looks and says, ‘Who’s that guy?’ — that’s who you want to be.”

-On his rapid rise to stardom in WWE over the last year: “At times it can be overwhelming. It’s crazy to think that five years ago I was performing in Tampa, Florida, in front of ten people every week. Ten. Process that. And then we came to NXT and started performing in front of more people, then thousands of people, and then 16,000 people at the Barclays Center.”

-On being part of the rise of NXT before going to the main roster: “So I personally, as a wrestler, got to see the rise of NXT, and me and Enzo feel like we were a very big part of that rise. All those people knew Enzo and I already (when we debuted on Raw), and they knew all of our catchphrases, so right off the bat we started hot, and the rise just keeps going. It’s crazy to think how quickly things can happen.”

-On teaming with Enzo, whom Cass first met as a teenager at a pick-up game in New York’s Greenwich Village: “It’s just wild how everything came full circle. We were 13 (when we met) and now we’re here and we’re going to be at our first WrestleMania in front of 75,000 people when we used to play basketball in front of nobody at The Cage. So it’s crazy to think about. Sometimes you’ve just got to sit down, whether you’re in the hotel room or on your couch at home, and really just appreciate what’s going on around you. You know, ‘Look at what I’m experiencing and look at where Enzo and I came from.”

-On his ultimate goal in WWE: “I want to be Universal Champion. I want to be a top guy in this company. That’s my goal and it’s always been my goal — to be a go-to guy. And I think I can be somebody this company can rely on for many, many years.”
Keller’s Analysis:  Why is WWE not telling this story on Raw? Wouldn’t it make sense to make sure every fan knows that Enzo and Cass crossed paths years ago on a basketball court, and that Cass was such a huge fan of pro wrestling he couldn’t concentrate on his college aspirations or other sports because he was determined to become a star in WWE? This interview is another example of how WWE fails to capitalize on the real personalities of the wrestlers that would create a more authentic connection with fans than just scripted lines week after week. I’m not sure you want WWE encouraging viewers to skip a college exam to travel to WrestleMania, as Cass says he did back in 2008, but it’s a hell of an endorsement of his passion for pro wrestling that he did it to see Ric Flair’s “final match.” I loved the line that he says Cass is just his authentic self amplified. The more WWE can convey that to their fanbase, the more fans are going to be willing to bond with their “Superstars” as something other than actors pretending to care about what they say on Raw and Smackdown each week, as Stephanie McMahon makes clear she is doing every chance she gets on Twitter.

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