Enzo Amore is now a full-fledged member of WWE’s cruiserweight division.
Amore defeated Noam Dar during his RAW cruiserweight match on Monday and made a successful debut on 205 Live by defeating Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Dar alongside Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik in a 6-man tag match the following night.
Now he has his sights set on WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville, which has been teased since his first appearance last Tuesday.
Enzo Amore’s 205 Live jump
Amore’s jump to 205 Live has received mixed reviews from wrestling fans. There is some criticism of WWE suddenly placing Amore in a feud with the champion Neville, who has been carrying the division for months.
But let’s be honest, the cruiserweight division needs the “Certified G/Bonafide Stud” just as much as he needs it.
First let’s address the obvious complaint.
Yes, Amore has been booked like trash over the past month in his feud with former best friend/tag-team partner Big Cass. Really, he’s been booked awfully throughout his WWE run as far as being a credible competitor considering the tag-team act was basically “Enzo dies for the majority of the match, Cass cleans house, Cass launches Enzo for the pinfall.”
So yes, in a way Amore jumping to the cruiserweight division and suddenly being a credible threat does discredit his opponents. But this is wrestling. Wrestlers have had uncharacteristic hot streaks during pushes throughout history. Jinder Mahal is currently the WWE Champion after having been a legitimate jobber for the majority of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
Also, Enzo is finally facing guys his own size. When he stood next to Alexander or Metalik during his entrance promo, it was the first time he didn’t look undersized during his main roster run. It’s finally believable for Amore to win a match without having Cass do all the heavy lifting.
But again, it’s not just that Enzo needs this jump to save his own career.
The cruiserweight division lacked star power
No star power prior to his arrival led to disappointing ratings.
When you offer so much programming per week, it’s hard for fans to keep up. Consider this, a fan consumes five hours of WWE programming through RAW and SmackDown Live alone. If WWE wants to keep fans invested in a third show, it needs to offer someone who is as over as Amore to entice the audience.
Look, Alexander, Rich Swann and “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher are all great and deserve to be showcased even more, but none are as popular with the casual WWE audience as Enzo.
Consider what Corey Graves — who has consistently bashed Amore in-character during commentary throughout his career — said during Enzo’s entrance on 205 Live this week:
“He’s loquacious, he’s abrasive, he talks entirely too much but you can’t deny the addition of a star the caliber of Enzo Amore is big for the cruiserweights.”
I’ll be honest, I watched the end of 205 Live last week for the first time since being at the post-WrestleMania taping in April just because I read about Enzo debuting on social media. That’s how you get fans interested.
Enzo provides a spark to the cruiserweight division regardless of whether he’s as technically sound in the ring as his colleagues. Anyone complaining that, “Enzo doesn’t deserve to wrestle Neville” because of his ability needs to understand the entertainment aspect of sports entertainment.
No, he’s not Bret Hart or Byran Danielson, but he’s damn good on the mic, so much so that WWE has brought him up to the main roster with limited wrestling experience.
The fact is, he’s flat out entertaining during segments and still has the crowd on his side, despite atrocious booking. That’s more than Bayley, pre-heel turn Neville or numerous other former NXT standouts can say in the cynical world of pro wrestling.
Like he’s said before, there are some things you “can’t teach” and both mic skills and natural charisma are among them. So while this may be a “last chance” scenario for Enzo on WWE’s main roster, his addition also crucial for the cruiserweight division and 205 Live.