Riding solo: Can Colin Cassady go it alone?
At 6-foot-10 and more than 250 pounds, Colin Cassady is hardly average. If you placed the NXT Superstar in a crowded room, his presence would arguably grab the most attention. When it comes to NXT, however, Cassady’s identity has been linked exclusively to his tag team partner and good friend, Enzo Amore. With their clever catchphrases and unique delivery, the duo quickly became one of NXT’s most popular tandems. Last November, though, the career trajectory for both men changed when Amore suffered a broken leg during a training session.
“At first, I thought, ‘This is going to be real difficult for us,’” Cassady told WWE.com. “Then I thought, 'This is just another obstacle to overcome.’ In order to succeed, we all have to fight through adversity, and this was no different.”
If one thing has separated WWE’s greatest Superstars from those who couldn’t reach the next level, it has been their ability to adjust to challenging circumstances. For the first time in his NXT career, Cassady has found himself without a partner, and he has no choice but to adjust or get left behind.
“You look to the corner, realize nobody’s there, and you recognize you’re out there on your own,” he said. “You’re in the trenches by yourself, and you have to fight tooth and nail to climb back up that mountain.”
Climbing the mountain is one thing. Does Cassady truly have what it takes to reach the peak as a singles competitor? Some critics have claimed he was living in the shadow of Amore all along. But if you ask Big Cass, nothing could be further from the truth.
“Wherever you go in life, there are going to be people who doubt you. ‘Haters gonna hate’ is the best way that I can put it. That kind of stuff motivates me,” Cassady said.
“Enzo’s charisma is unmatched, and being with a guy like that forces you to elevate your game to a whole other level. I feel that’s exactly what I did, but I don’t live in anybody’s shadow. I never have and never will.”
Certainly, Cassady will have to back up his words with significant results, yet his fallen partner believes that he’s more than up to the task.
“Colin has what it takes to make it on his own; he doesn’t need me,” Amore told WWE.com. “We’re like the hip-hop duo Outkast — Big Boi and Andre 3000. They were a great duo. Then Big Boi went off with [his solo single] ‘The Way You Move,’ and Andre had ‘Hey Ya.’ When they got back together, they were ‘Sorry Miss Jackson.’ Only difference is, we won’t be apologizing when we get back together.”
In the meantime, the next few months could go a long way in determining what the future holds for Big Cass, and along that way there could be a few surprises. Let’s not forget, Cassady is a graduate of the prestigious New York University, where he obtained a full scholarship to study pre-medicine. He later went on to start his own ticket brokerage company specializing in events at Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Most recently, Big Cass surprised the NXT Universe by defeating “The Artiste” Aiden English in a sing-off.
“I pride myself on being the realest of them all. In Aiden English, I saw somebody that wasn’t being real to himself or the fans. I hadn’t sung in many years, but I remember when I was street performing in the subways of New York City, I was acclaimed as one of the best in the game. Plain and simple … I embarrassed him.”
Will the nearly 7-footer be able to do the same against the likes of NXT’s toughest Superstars? More importantly, is there another level to Cassady that we are only just beginning to see? According to the Queens, N.Y., native, there’s plenty still to come.
“The NXT Universe has seen me with gold around my neck, but none around my waist,” he noted. “That’s going to have to change.”