Many Superstars come and go in WWE. Sometimes those Superstars are top guys, other times they’re working hard to one day reach the main event. Pro wrestling is a tough business and it can be even tougher in WWE, where many talents are often vying for the same spot.
But one of the Superstars that had a good run and has since moved on from WWE is Caylen Croft. Croft worked in WWE from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2008 to 2010. It was during his first run that he worked as Chris Cage with The Miz in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory.
Croft, real name Kris Pavone, recently spoke to The Floor Seat’s Senior Editor Chris Featherstone about his time in the company, including his tag team with The Miz. The duo captured the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships and were gelling well as a team, when everything soon fell apart.
“It all kind of came to a head when [I was teaming] with The Miz and me and The Miz were going to debut on SmackDown and literally days before we were supposed to [debut], we were gonna debut that Tuesday… and Sunday, I got fired. That weekend I was partying, getting really crazy and ended up in the hospital, nearly died from everything I was putting in my body.”
The Miz debuted on WWE’s main roster after Croft’s release. Any chance for them to debut as a team on SmackDown Live was over. Miz worked with John Morrison and they became one of the most successful duos in the company.
The Miz later went on to become a main event talent in WWE, while Croft was struggling after his release. But he did find a friend in the late Matt Cappotelli and that friendship was exactly what Croft needed.
Cappotelli was a co-winner in WWE’s Tough Enough III. He went on to become the heavyweight champion in OVW and was a devout Christian. Cappotelli reached out to Croft in his darkest hour.
Croft later returned to WWE in 2008 and formed The Dudebusters with Trent Baretta. The duo worked together over the next two years and feuded with Cryme Tyme, The Hart Dynasty and the team of Goldust and Yoshi Tatsu, among others.