Ok I had a look and it turns out the shifter cables were actually still attached, I just didn't notice them at first because they were hidden inside the housing where it was cut. After removing both shifter cables the front shifter still clicks nice and crisp but the rear won't click at all (either lever). After that I tried reinserting the cable but wasn't able to do it correctly because the shifter was stuck in low gear and for proper cable insertion it has to be in high gear.
I then decided to take a closer look at the inner mechanism so I rolled up the hood and unscrewed and removed the plastic plate covering the cable guide. After some fiddling around I discovered that if I push on the cable guide with my finger and THEN press the small lever it will start to shift. Once it gets past the first 2 gears I can stop pushing on the cable guide and it will click through the last 7 gears by only pressing the lever. Its just those first 2 gears that are the problem, they simply will not engage without putting manual pressure on that cable guide.
Hope that made enough sense. I'll see about recording another video later but not sure if I can since I need both hands on the shifter to do this. In the meantime if anyone has a theory on why this is happening I'd love to hear it.
Last edited by Gearslinger; 12-24-12 at 11:20 PM.