A common connection through an athletic trainer helped give Enzo Amore his initial shot in WWE.
Amore told the story during a recent interview with FOX Sports to promote Summerslam, which takes place next Sunday, August 20, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
According to Amore, his trainer during his days playing high school and college football -- Joe DeFranco -- later became the athletic trainer for Triple H.
" I knew Joe since I was growing up, man, about 14 years old. So when he first came to me and said ‘hey do you know this guy named Paul Levesque?’ My jaw nearly hit the ground," Amore recalled. "I mean, you’re talking about a kid who used to train at DeFranco’s and talk about becoming a WWE superstar his entire life and walked around in this persona. Enzo Amore, the guy you see on TV, existed in a gym in New Jersey long before he ever took to a TV screen."
That common connection led to Amore getting his initial tryout with WWE's NXT developmental territory "and by my saving grace I was given the opportunity to talk to Dusty Rhodes. I was handed a microphone and told ‘go, kid.’ "
Amore also discussed his frightening looking concussion, sustained May 1 live on pay-per-view as part of WWE's Payback event during a tag match pitting him and Big Cass against the Vaudevillains. Amore said he came to his senses sitting in a hospital with no idea how he got there.
"People have their fair share of injuries, but luckily for us in WWE some time off doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be taken care of or you’re not going to be getting paid or you’re not going to see the best doctors," Amore said. "I honestly believe that the WWE is the leader and/or ahead of all the other sports in concussion awareness and understanding what it does to guys. Understanding how serious an injury can be. They go by the right protocol, they set a parameter of what is a healthy brain and what isn’t. And while they’re learning so much more, I believe the WWE is leading the way in gaining that knowledge so that we can better prevent these things from causing ill side-effects in the future and so that our guys remain healthy and taken care.”
Currently, more than 50 former wrestlers are part of a class-action lawsuit against WWE for what they claim was poor diagnosis and treatment of CTE injuries.
At Summerslam, Enzo and Big Cass will face Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.