The Realest Guy In the Room
Enzo Amore is a former WWE pro wrestler. He is now a rapper and performs under the name, nZo, in the independent wrestling circuit. nZo kindly took the time to answer a few questions about his career in wrestling and music.
1. You have different personas for each proficiency. You are real1 for music and Enzo Amore for wrestling. How did you come up with your different names?
Being the "realest guy in the room" was something I said in my WWE tryout Youtube video that went viral on Barstool Sports. I then got to tryout for the WWE, so I pitched and submitted a lot of names that had the "EA" acronym for my reel. The persona I put on in Pro Wrestling was "EA all day" before they gave me a name. I submitted names like "Eestaban Apples", and I ended up with the name Enzo Amore. Enzo meant like leader, #1, or head of the home. Amore means love. So I looked at it like "one love".
After having used it in my Youtube video and becoming the realest guy in the room, I then changed my Instagram handle while I was in the WWE and trademarked the name, Real1, when I had the money to do so. I was planning a life for myself outside of pro wrestling knowing that I was the "realest guy in the room". It was a popular name being used by Drake and influencers at the time, and I thought it was hip and cool and I stuck with it. I wanted to be able to put out music, so owning and trademarking that name I just figured, shit why not. Use that monicker. And then in wrestling people know me as Enzo Amore. I can't trademark that because the WWE owns it, so if I am doing anything in wrestling we decided to go with nZo. Amore don't live here anymore!
2. You have a big following on all your social channels. Your promo videos have been a big part of that success. How important do you think it is to market yourself over social, and how do you come up with ideas for each campaign?
Pro wrestling is much similar to the personas that are exemplified best on social media. Most importantly the platform of Instagram being a marketing tool that allows you to get paid as well as being able to use the opportunities for swipe ups, ads, and advertisements. In the early stages, I was one of the first people in the WWE to market themselves through those platforms and gain a cult following of fans that stuck with me even after my departure with pro wrestling.
It has been a pivotal tool and I believe that any opportunity that you can get to showcase yourself to as many eyes as I do is a great opportunity. It is all you can ask for from these platforms. You might get a lot of hate or people talking crap. You are never going to keep everyone happy. I recommend to anyone that is involved in these forefronts to not be discouraged. Do not let someone who is behind a computer keep you from posting something. Let your voice be heard.
3. You told me once that wrestling is almost like a fashion show. Why do you think that?
It is a multitude of things, but it is the stage. Much like Arnold Schwarzenegger who took the stages around the world without having to speak works, and also like many stars that were made on runways through fashion, there is a lot of opportunity with a lot of eyes on you when you to walk up through the aisle to a wrestling wring. In the WWE you have a chance to get out there and showcase what it is that you look like and what you want the world to perceive about that character.
Just like on a runway, in wrestling there are a lot of eyes on you while you are in your tiny tights. Well I didn't wan't to wear tiny tights. I am a body builder. But there were many opportunities to wear some cool fucking clothes, and I took advantage of it. And I thought if I wore a different type of Jordan's every single week, that sneakers brands would jump on the opportunity to work with me since it was a big influencer market. And surely I was right. At the time I had the chance to work with Champ sports and the Jordan brand. I feel like I initiated a wave in pro wrestling that you see today with a lot wrestlers wearing sneakers. I am not the first guy to ever do it, but I am best guy to ever do it.
4. You also have a rapping and music career. How long have you been in the music industry and have you released any new music recently?
Yes, I just came out with an album called "Born in the NJ". Like Born In the USA. Growing up, my dad was a DJ. He would do wedding's, Bar Mitzvah's, Bat Mitzvah's, and corporate events. I was really lucky to have a dad that handed me a microphone and teach me a trade. Much like a dad who teaches you how to fix a car, which my dad also did, this trade is also a skill. The sooner you get a head start on it, the better off you are going to be. So I was blessed to have a family that brought me into the business so to speak. We were always working for people, and I knew in those backyard's at sweet sixteen's that this was the last place I was going to do this.
I wanted to make it out of there and the opportunity to do so was sprung upon me in pro wrestling. I was making music as a rapper in college playing football. The guys on the football team new that I rapped and everyone knew that I wrapped. By the time I got out, I was working in a boxing and workout gym. Tripple H, the wrestler, called me and asked me to train him. After that I went and put all my eggs in a basket trying to become a pro wrestler with this major opportunity and connection I had. Being a pro wrestler was a dream I had before Triple H called. I went to the same college as John Cena my freshman year, and I would ask him how to become a pro wrestler.
5. You have talked about this a little, but how do all your skills (rapping and wrestling) feed off of each other? In the entertainment industry, you need to be multi-talented .
I have to give an ode and so much of my success to a few people that I listened to growing up who literally and figuratively wrote a blue print. Those people are Jay-Z, Nazz, and Lil' Wayne. It may sound ridiculous but I would take a lyric and turn it into an entire promo. For me, if you listen to Lil Wayne, he provides more metaphors in one song than any rapper in the history of music. It provides you with an opportunity to either think for yourself or critically analyze what he says to implement it.
Now what is wrestling? It's storytelling. And now we get to Nas. I used to listen to a lot of Nas, Wu-tang, and NY rap. Growing up in the 90's so much of that was storytelling, and wrestling was storytelling. Okay now we integrate Jay-Z. He provides a blueprint for business. He tells you what to do and what not to do. He talks about being smart and not hanging out with people who are not making the right business decisions. If you listen to listen to all three of those people, great music can inspire you to do great things.
Thank you, nZo! Follow him on Instagram at @realone.