Enzo Amore – Will he take a dive, survive or thrive on 205 Live?
Enzo Amore….charisma, sarcasm, a quick wit and a talent for talk made Enzo Amore a fan favorite in NXT and on Monday Night RAW alongside his tag team partner Big Cass beginning in 2012.
Eric Arndt, aka Eric Anthony, aka Enzo Amore is a Hackensack, New Jersey native born December 8, 1986. After graduating from Waldwick High School where he also played football, Arndt attended Salisbury University (NCAA, Division III) in Maryland and continued his football career playing linebacker and safety for the football team in 2007-2009 and graduated with a degree in journalism.
He began his training at DeFranco’s Training Systems gym in Wyckoff, New Jersey under the tutelage of Joe DeFranco, the owner of the gym, at age 16. Arndt and Triple H just so happened to be training at the same location in New Jersey by the same man, Joe DeFranco, when DeFranco put together a compilation tape of “Enzo” working out, doing exercises and cutting a promo and gave it to Triple H to review. He was picked up by the WWE and started his training at the WWE Development Center in Orlando, Florida.
Enzo first started as a singles competitor, then formed an alliance and tag team with Collin Cassidy (Big Cass) while in NXT and turned into one of the hottest stars in NXT. Competing in the tag team division, Enzo and Cass would become the # 1 contender and compete for the NXT Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions, coming up short in each effort. This, however, did not diminish their popularity with the NXT Universe (fan base).
Enzo and Cass were soon elevated to the main roster and made their debut immediately after Wrestlemania 32 on Monday Night RAW where Enzo and Cass would cut a great promo on the Dudley Boyz and become an instant main roster hit. Competing on Smackdown Live and capturing the #1 contender’s position, Enzo and Cass would compete for the WWE Tag Team titles on numerous occasions, but once again the championship belt continued to elude them. Enzo and Cass would eventually break up as a tag team and feud for a number of weeks involving The Big Show in the mix which ended in August 2017 when Big Cass was injured in a Street Fight match with Amore.
Amore then made his 205 Live debut on the August 22nd episode where Enzo confronted current Cruiser Weight Champion Neville, which appears to have begun a feud with him in the process. On the August 28th episode of Monday Night RAW, Amore scored his first victory in the cruiser weight division against Noam Dar, who later said he may have taken Amore a bit too lightly. The day after on 205 Live, Enzo teamed with Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik in a 6 man tag match to defeat the team of Noam Dar, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in 205 Live’s main event match.
Amore is now 2-0 in the cruiser weight division….As a big Enzo Amore fan, I must be honest; he does not possess the ring skills of a Neville, Cedric Alexander, TJ Perkins, Rich Swan, Tony Nese, Sincara or Gran Metalik. What he does have is a great presence, outstanding mic skills, and a loyal following. I feel this is one of only two options available to the talented Amore. Only time will tell how he will fare on 205 live….He is off to a nice start.
I would love to see him develop his ring skills to match his skills on the mic to be able to thrive in the cruiser weight division. Because of his popularity with the WWE Universe, he seems poised to get an opportunity…and I hope he makes the best of it. I could never envision him winning the cruiser weight championship from Neville (who is, in my opinion, not only the BEST cruiser weight in the division but the BEST heel character the WWE has today) as he does not have the skill to match up with the current champion, however, with development of his ring work can come success.
If Amore’s run in the cruiser weight division hits the skids, WWE would be wise to utilize his skills on the mic as a manager for the wrestling talent, like Paul Hayman, current manager/handler for the Universal Champion Brock Lesner. In this capacity, he could thrive and excel at what he does best…TALK. Love him or hate him, you have to respect the fact that the man is a talent and an asset for the WWE because of his fan following.
I hope he does well at 205 Live….I really do, but he is not the caliber wrestler of most of those men in the division. Fortunately for Enzo, he is a brawler and can win ugly and entertain the fans with great promos while getting more eyes on a struggling 205 Live show. Good luck, Enzo…I hope you can give 205 Live the spark they deserve….They have a great champion and exceptional technical talent in the division…I hope your charisma pulls more eyes to 205 Live!