Back on Tuesday, WWE released performer William Morrissey, known to fans as Big Cass. While his lack of ability and arrogant backstage behaviours are well documented, it came as a surprise to many. Particularly as he was being utilised on TV, and had a PPV match at Money in the Bank two nights prior.
Interestingly, in the statement released by WWE, they didn’t wish Cass “best of luck with your future endeavors”, their usual go-to line for parting talent. This implies an unhappy ending to the working relationship, and hopefully means that we won’t be seeing any more of Big Cass down the road.
I’m sure Cassholes everywhere (all three of them) are mourning the demise of one of the worst professional wrestlers to make it to the big-leagues of sports entertainment in quite some time. But for the rest of us, it’s a time to celebrate. His departure makes for more TV time for deserving members of the Smackdown roster. And I’ll be less trigger-happy with my fast-forward button, now that there’s no danger of a ten minute Cass promo.
I can already tell that this is going to turn into a diss track of sorts. Not the kind that Cass’ former tag team partner, Enzo Amore, releases about mentally unstable young women who he may or may not have sexually assaulted. This will be a (mostly) ethical put-down piece. One that every pro-wrestling fan can agree with. The only repercussions I can expect are from the six-foot-ten-streak-of-piss himself. And no amount of WWE money can pay for the sheer number of plane tickets he’d need to buy, in order to physically chastise every one of his haters individually.
It could be that six or seven years ago, Big Cass would’ve survived the WWE landscape, coasting simply from his size. His awkward in-ring movements and tendencies to botch anything beyond a first-year level, would’ve been fine in an era that’s not defined by work-rate. I know WWE want you to think otherwise, but Seth Rollins and AJ Styles currently feel like the faces of their respective brands. Those two men are the benchmark for singles wrestlers in the modern era, and I can’t think of a performer more removed from their ability than Cass.
Giant Gonzales? Maybe.
Guys like Braun Strowman and NXT’s Lars Sullivan are setting a new benchmark for what it takes to be a big-guy in the WWE. You can still have a power-move set, but your movements must be fluid and purposeful. Even the big-men of yesteryear, like Kane and Big Show, showed more life in their late forties than Cass did in his late twenties. And I’m fairly certain Kane has kayfabe died a couple of times.
Back in NXT, and at the beginning of his main roster run, Cass would get hugely positive reactions from audiences around the world. None of this had anything to do with Cass, it was popularity by association.
For all of Enzo Amore’s controversies, there’s no denying that he was an excellent mic-worker. His in-ring abilities were almost as poor as his “seven foot” partner, but at least he showed a personality.
The only personality we saw from Cass, was that he liked to raise his arm in the air and sway his head from side-to-side. If that’s what qualifies as charisma than I should be WWE champion by now. Back in his tag-team days, he displayed a little more character, as he would incorrectly spell-out five-letter words out into the microphone.
Big Cass was a living, walking mockery of WWE’s partnership with Special Olympics. The way his promos were delivered, I genuinely thought they’d told him to go out and play a character with learning difficulties. Which made me feel incredibly uneasy, until I realised that wasn’t their intention.
One of the rumoured reasons for his release was due to him going off-script a couple of months back. During a typically tasteless segment from WWE, he was supposed to big-boot a little person, who was dressed up as Daniel Bryan. Vince instructed him to deliver one kick and then pose, in order to avoid the controversy of social insensitivity. Instead, Cass delivered the kick and the proceeded to throw fists at the little person. The beat-down moved the segment beyond initial shock-humour heat, to conveying a very negative message and violence towards little people.
I’m not going to defend WWE’s decision to script this segment in the first place, but Cass did push it into the realms of insensitivity. It’d be like if Sami Zayn started bellowing transphobic slurs during the ‘Lashley’s Sisters’ segment last month. It was already bad, but could’ve been made worse. Big Cass managed to push his segment over the boundary of acceptable behaviour, and into the garden of cringe-inducing callousness.
Which is no surprise, because another thing about the giant, rat-faced knacker, is that he’s a vocal Trump supporter. Now, I’m not going to pretend that WWE’s management aren’t dominated by lifelong Republicans. But most of the talent in the back have progressive and liberal mindsets, and it’s well-documented that they like to keep politics out of the locker room. So the image of Cass strolling up one day in a MAGA hat, probably immediately after some national tragedy, conjures up feelings of resentment towards the talentless wanker.
If Impact Wrestling and other promotions are smart, they’ll stay away from Big Cass. Just like his president, he’s a greasy orange waste of oxygen, who’s nothing but a detriment to those around him. Too many men and women are working hard across the entire industry to justify the presence of dear rat-boy.
It’s a bright new day (yes it is) in WWE without Big Cass around. Smackdown started out slow, but finished strong with an excellent gauntlet match. We got to see Daniel Bryan in a segment that didn’t involve our least-favourite insult to human evolution. My bet is that in six months, he’ll be nothing but a piece of trivia that nobody can answer correctly.
“Who was the WWE tag-team partner of famous (alleged) rapist Enzo Amore?”
Also, he was definitely less than seven-feet tall. So apparently it can be taught.
Today is Thursday, June 21st and I’m talking about him like he’s dead. I suppose he may as well be.
Featured image courtesy of WWE, for the purposes of reviewing the career of somebody people used to know.