Remember going into WrestleMania 33 thinking that FINALLY Big Cass and Enzo Amore were going to win tag team gold? The duo was the most popular tag team in WWE at the time, going back to their NXT days. Despite their insane popularity, the two had never won the tag team titles together in either NXT or on Monday Night Raw. That was going to change, though, on the “Grandest Stage of Them All.”
Fast forward 14 months and both men are out of the company.
How did we get to this point? These guys were supposed to be the top tag team on Raw. And now, both are looking for new jobs. What happened? Why did it happen?
Here is a timeline from April 2, 2017, WrestleMania 33, until June 19, 2018, with Big Cass was released.
Part 1: On Top
April 2, 2017: WrestleMania 33
Enzo and Cass seem poised to become tag team champions for the first time in their WWE careers. They’re in a triple threat ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships against The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) and The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson). This was going to be their moment…until the Hardy Boyz returned. Matt and Jeff Hardy had the biggest surprise return of 2017, showing up at Mania and winning the Raw Tag Team Championships. It was an incredible moment.
May 22, 2017: Amore Falls Victim To A Sneak Attack
One of the many times we would find Enzo Amore knocked out in the backstage area. Rumors were running wild as to who the sneak attackers may be, with Cass pointing the finger at The Revival.
June 5, 2017: Big Cass Falls Victim To A “Sneak Attack”
This time, we find Big Cass knocked out in the backstage area. Cass is deemed unfit to compete, so Enzo tags with the Big Show, who defeat Anderson and Gallows. Cass is found knocked out again next week, claiming that it was Big Show who took him out.
Part 2: The Turn
June 19, 2017: Big Cass Reveals Who Enzo’s Secret Attacker Is
In a turn that few expected, Cass revealed that it was himself that was attacking Enzo Amore all those weeks. Cass said he was frustrated with Enzo holding him down and always having to defend Enzo’s actions. He then kicked Enzo in the face, officially turning heel. It sent shockwaves through the WWE Universe, as the most popular tag team in WWE was split up.
July 9, 2017: Big Cass Beats Enzo Amore
The two faced off at the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, with Cass picking up a decisive victory over Amore. The match went 5:25, the second-shortest match on the card. Cass dismantled Amore, and it appeared that the two were going to head their separate ways.
August 20, 2017: Big Cass Defeats Big Show With Amore In A Shark Cage
The feud didn’t end, though, as Amore found Big Show to help him get revenge on Big Cass. The plan didn’t work, though, as Cass defeated Show at SummerSlam. Amore was suspended above the ring in a shark cage for the match, and although he did escape briefly, he was treated to a big boot from Cass for his troubles. The feud was growing stale between the two fast, as Cass towered over Enzo at every turn.
August 21, 2017: Big Cass Tears His ACL
Cass and Amore faced off in a Brooklyn Street Fight the next night on Raw, where Cass legitimately tore his ACL. The referee had to stop the match as Cass couldn’t put any weight on his right knee. This effectively ended the feud between the two, as Cass had surgery and was forced out of action.
September 24, 2017: Amore Wins The Cruiserweight Championship
After being moved to 205 Live, Amore became #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. At No Mercy, he defeated Neville via a low blow to win the title. The win was seen as a slap in the face to Neville, who had become an excellent champion during his run with the title. The way Neville was booked against Amore forced Neville to leave the company. Neville’s last appearance on WWE programming was October 2.
October 9, 2017: Amore Loses The Title To Kalisto
After Neville left the company, he was replaced by Kalisto. The luchador attacked Amore on the October 2 edition of Raw, leading to a title match on next week’s show. Kalisto defeated the champ in a lumberjack match, winning the title for the first time. Amore invoked his rematch clause for the next pay-per-view, TLC.
October 22, 2017: Amore Wins Back The Cruiserweight Championship
Thirteen days later, Amore re-gains the Cruiserweight Championship, defeating Kalisto after using a thumb to the eye to help win the match. Amore then defended the title against Kalisto at the following month’s Survivor Series show. Amore entered 2018 as the Cruiserweight Champion.
Part 3: The Fall
January 22, 2018: Amore Accused Of Sexual Assault
The Phoenix Police Department confirm that Amore, real-life Eric Arndt, was under investigation for a sexual assault claim that was reported to authorities in October 2017. Amore was immediately suspended by WWE.
January 23, 2018: Amore Is Released From WWE
An interview with the accuser is released the next day, claiming that Amore raped her in a hotel room on October 19, 2017. Amore was fired from WWE later in the day since he failed to inform WWE of the investigation when it initially started. Amore was stripped of the Cruiserweight Championship, and his upcoming match with Cedric Alexander at the Royal Rumble was canceled. Amore explicitly denied these allegations, tweeting out a statement from his lawyer that he “fully and unequivocally denies those accusations.”
April 17, 2018: Big Cass Returns From Injury, Confronts Daniel Bryan
After spending eight months on the shelf, Cass returned in a backstage segment to confront Daniel Bryan. Later in the night, Cass took out Bryan with a big boot in the main event between Bryan and AJ Styles. Cass then eliminated Bryan during the 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble match, setting up a match between the two at Backlash.
May 6, 2018: Big Cass Loses To Daniel Bryan
In his first PPV match back, Cass lost to Bryan after Bryan forced Cass to tap out to the Yes! Lock. The match didn’t even go eight minutes, which was a surprise given how much build was put into the match. It was the shortest match of the night and made Cass look weak.
May 16, 2018: Case Dropped Against Enzo Amore
In a statement from Amore’s attorney, which was tweeted out by Amore, it was announced that the Phoenix Police Department that had found “insufficient evidence in this matter to warrant any criminal charges.” The case was closed and no charges were filed.
May 28, 2018: Amore Releases A Rap Track About The Case
It took Amore less than two weeks to get back into the spotlight, releasing a rap called “Phoenix.” Going by the stage name “Real1,” Amore rapped about the sexual assault accusations brought against him and the effect it had not only on him but true victims of sexual assault as well. The song was received to mixed reviews.
June 17, 2018: Big Cass Loses To Daniel Bryan, Again
In a rematch from their Backlash match, Bryan was able to defeat Cass via a heel hook submission at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view. It was the second-straight PPV loss for Cass, both by submission.
June 19, 2018: Big Cass Released By WWE
Exactly one year after Cass turned on Amore, WWE released the big man. There are reports that Cass was drinking heavily throughout a recent European tour, causing executives to grow frustrated with the seven-footer. He also went off-script in a segment on SmackDown Live, which wasn’t well received either. The release came as a surprise to many, as Cass was expected by many to be a future world champion in WWE.
And that’s how we made it here. From being at the highest of highs walking into WrestleMania 33, to unemployed in a matter of 444 days. It’s a shocking case of how one day you can have everything, and the next day you have nothing.