NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 114: Enzo Amore Ain’t SAWFT!

Upon his debut in 2013, NXT Superstar, “The Certified G” Enzo Amore, made a big impression on me not only because he exploits his Jerseyness, but also because he’s a natural showman. He’s so savvy on the mic that he sounds like he’s been in the business longer than a lot of the guys on the main WWE roster. After recovering from a broken leg, Amore returned to the NXT ring in late June 2014.

At first, it’s easy to think that he’s simply a caricature of an obnoxious jersey shore loudmouth, but Amore does it with a lot more style and pizzazz. His knack for comedy, gift of gab, and on-screen antics lead to many amusing bits with his friend and tag team partner Colin Cassady. Referring to themselves as the realest guys in the room, this duo makes me laugh and they’ve definitely won over the NXT crowd as well.

Amore a.k.a Eric Arndt, was born in Hackensack and attended Waldwick High School while Cassady hails from Queens, New York. These guys have known each other since high school and it translates to their presence on NXT. Their impact on the NXT universe has warranted their first official t-shirt which is a sure sign that Amore and Cassady have already scored a pretty decent degree of success in the wrestling business.

Although, one thing makes me scratch my head a bit about this tee. Since I do own this shirt, as a fan I’ll be wearing it and essentially calling myself SAWFT. That’s a derogatory term that Amore often calls his opponents. I’m going to stop questioning it and just be thankful that Amore and his shtick is making it in the business. Forget headed for the main roster, that’s a no-brainer, this guy could eventually become a WWE legend.

Straight from the WWE Shop Zone T-shirt description:
Dubbing himself “Jersey’s finest,” Enzo Amore reps the Garden State “like 225 on a barbell, 10 pounds of hair gel, steadily working on his swell.” The realest guy in the room everywhere he goes, Enzo Amore is a straight shooter. He speaks his mind at all times and at an incredible rate.

Enzo Amore’s official WWE.com Bio:

First Openly Gay WWE Star Hails From New Jersey

Darren Young coming out seemed like a shock to the wrestling world, but it really wasn’t. Many of the WWE Superstars were well aware that one half of the Prime Time Players was gay and it didn’t change his position in the company either way. In fact, it may even give his career a big boost.

The story broke recently via TMZ, as all these tabloid stories usually do. Even though Young has been with WWE since signing with NXT in 2009, he’s still a relative newcomer to the big time. And now, for reasons beyond his in-ring ability, people are becoming familiar with his name. Just last night on Monday Night Raw, Young was prominently featured in a tag-team match.

Although billed from Miami, Florida, Young, whose real name is Fred Rosser, was born in Union, NJ and began his wrestling career at IWF in West Paterson, New Jersey. After several years of wrestling on the indy circuit, Rosser signed with WWE developmental. The NXT rookie was mentored by CM Punk and soon after Darren Young appeared on WWE TV as part of the brash Nexus faction.

Young was even referred to as the black John Cena by some fans. He had the right look and physique and would’ve gotten a push, but I’d wager to say that Young wouldn’t have announced he was gay if he felt it would be detrimental to his success within WWE. If anything, revealing his personal sexual preference has only brought him more notoriety. In some ways this seemed like a strategic business move – one that was probably passed through the corporate hierarchy in WWE before Young broke the news to TMZ.

Can’t you just see Vince McMahon’s reaction if he was opposed to Young coming out while still on the active roster? It probably wouldn’t be long before Young heard that famous growl:”You’re FIIRRRREEED.”

If Young did in fact make the announcement on his own, without WWE’s knowledge, I give him credit for being brave. Either way, WWE would be accused of sexism and discrimination if they retaliated against him in any way, or worse, let him go for making the announcement without their knowledge. As supporters of their Be a Star bullying campaign, WWE would look like super hypocrites.

Never put it passed WWE to see dollar signs in Young’s courageous admission. In our diverse culture, sexual preferences shouldn’t make a difference, but in the wrestling world there’s been several gay wrestlers through the years who kept it to themselves. For some of those WWE Superstars their decision for it to remain a secret had a lot to do with personal reasons, the views on sexuality in the country, or for others, it was the fear of losing their highly sought after position in the company.

If WWE approves of Cameron from the Funkadactyls discussing her option to get breast implants on Total Divas to show that not all women need to have them, WWE may have even encouraged Young to come out to exploit the fact that they are a non-discriminatory company to work for. After hearing of all the wrestlers dying WWE needs as much ammunition to tout as they can get.