Hello, and welcome to Planet Kayfabe. Bada-bing bada-boom fresh off his second loss to Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank Big Cass has been wished well in his future endeavors... Wait... He didn't even get that?!
"WWE has come to terms on the release of William Morrissey (Big Cass)."
That's all, folks. F-I-R-E-D. Big Cass was just released yesterday afternoon which came as a shocker to most fans in a simple swift statement with their typical "we wish [insert name] well in his future endeavors" line noticeably absent which could mean something or it could mean nothing. Either way all we really know right now is before Smackdown yesterday in Toledo, Ohio Vince McMahon called a meeting and Cass was fired, not granted a requested release.
Since he returned from injury it has been rumored that Cass had heat with management specifically last month on the Mat 1 episode of Smackdown Live, a segment where he was going to bring out a midget actor to parody Daniel Bryan and was told not to beat him down to close the segment, then he went as high to ask Vince if he could extend a beat-down to "Little Daniel Bryan", was told 'no' and as we all saw on TV he did it anyway going against direct orders from Vince McMahon. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reported after the release that Big Cass' release also came as a result of personal conduct issues such as getting drunk on the European tour and being an asshole. I doubt that was the whole reason or even most of the reason, but it probably doesn't help matters when you already have heat with management including heat with the owner himself.
Big Cass is 31 year old. Due to his height, guys like him are granted more opportunities than most in WWE. He's 7 feet tall (actually he is 6'8" but whatever, let's kayfabe it since it's his catchphrase) and you can't teach that. Apparently you can't teach him how to wrestle either and that probably also factored into his release. He's 31 and has been in the WWE system, going back to the FCW days, since 2011 when he was 25 years old. Since then the most over he ever got was as the largely silent big guy who backed up the charismatic, fast talking, loud mouthed Enzo Amore. Despite either not being great once the bell rang, they were a good pairing who became stars largely due to Enzo Amore cutting some of the best promos in WWE at the time. WWE decided to split them up (way too soon, in my opinion) because they saw a ton of star potential in Big Cass, because of course they did, BECAUSE HE'S BIG even though he still wasn't quite ready to fly on his own. Shortly after his singles run started, it was put on hold with a serious knee injury tearing his ACL that kept him out of action for eight months while Enzo went on to have a fairly successful heel turn before the circumstances around his release which... yeah you know that story.
Upon returning from injury Big Cass came back, this time to the Smackdown brand and initially showed some promise. He cut what is undeniably the best promo of his career and in my opinion, the only truly good promo he ever did. Many fans have been saying "Big Cass has become a great promo since he came back from injury" but I think it's more of a case of him making a good first impression. Since then his promos have been more of the same dull, monotone, one dimensional "I'm big and you're not, that's why 'Big' is in my name and not yours because I'm big" promos that you'll typically forget about 5 minutes after they happen. Granted the material sucks, but he wasn't really delivering it with the same fire that he had after sitting on the shelf for 8 months. Like I said before, its no secret, in WWE guys like Big Cass will be given many more opportunities than say a guy like Enzo Amore, but when you're 31 and you've been in the WWE system for seven years and Daniel Bryan can't even pull a 3 star match out of you and you're still not developing as a promo what the hell are they supposed to do with you? Given his reported attitude issues, I guess WWE just said f*** it and decided to cut bait and see if he can make a name on the indy scene because in reality guys like Cass really just have to sit there and behave because at one time he was a personal favorite of Vince McMahon due to his look, which can get you far but only so far if you're a brick in the ring and a bore on the mic.
It's still fairly early and more news could come out. The things most interesting to me beyond Cass not being wished well in his future endeavors was just the fact that he was released. WWE used to release talent in waves once known as "spring cleaning". Now, they just let contracts run out. Remember Neville? He's still under contract with WWE, but hasn't been on TV since early last fall because he's unhappy with his spot and still hasn't been granted his release or had a new deal made. So, when I hear a talent was released, especially without requesting it, I think it had to be something more serious than having heat with management and being drunk on the European tour (which I hear is a fairly common coinsurance) when stuff like that usually puts you in the dog house on TV as punishment. Not an out right release from your contract. Then again it is the walk-on-eggshells era and this release could also be a message sent to the rest of the roster that if you try and get cute with Vince, it doesn't matter if you're one of his pet projects, he will release you out in the wild...
...actually for some of the guys that want their release and aren't granted it they know what to do now!
There's my thoughts on the new of Big Cass getting released. I remember a couple years back he and Enzo sat down with Steve Austin on his podcast and it was a fun interview. Cass came off as a decent enough guy. I don't know him personally, like you, I only know the character on TV and its pretty clear that he wasn't developing on his own and the worst thing to happen to Cass was the split from Enzo and then losing all hope of a reunion when Enzo was fired from the company while being investigated for sexual assault, charges he would later be cleared.
As for his fans, could he return? Sure. Look at Drew McIntyre. He (although younger than Cass at the time) had reported maturity and conduct issues and was diminished to glorified jobber status as a member of 3MB prior to his release. He went on the indies, started rebuilding his reputation and was brought back, this time to NXT just as the indy scene was heating up again and is now seemingly a favorite in management in line to be a future top star in the company. So, anything could happen. Like I said, guys like Cass will be offered more opportunities than most guys as long as Vince McMahon is in charge, so they will be watching him if Cass suddenly lights it up on the indies. However unlike McIntyre, the WWE system is all Cass knows and with the indy scene as hot as it is now, the days of simply being a former WWE guy and asking for $5,000 to make an appearance just because you were on Vince McMahon's TV are long gone for now. The indy scene has done just fine without the Rybacks and Jack Swaggers of the world commanding ridiculous prices just for their faces to be on a poster and even those guys were much further up the card than Big Cass, so he's got a lot of work to do if his dream is to really make it as a professional wrestler and not just be a WWE Superstar assuming everything will be handed to him because he's taller than 95% of the guys there.
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For NoDQ, I'm "KC", this is Planet Kayfabe and I'll see you here next time. Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone.