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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - Enzo Amore: The Anti-Hero That 205 Live Needed All Along
By Super Chrisss
Oct 1, 2017 - 2:39:41 PM

Tom Jenner rocks!

"Ohhhhhh, Enzo Amoreeee!"

Countless members of the Internet Wrestling Community were outraged when you, sir, defeated the King of The Cruiserweights, Neville, to become the new Cruiserweight Champion at No Mercy last Sunday. Many fans saw this as WWE taking a massive dump on Neville, who had carried 205 Live on his back since his surprise return at last year’s RoadBlock Pay-Per-View and wrestled one amazing match after another. Ironically enough, Neville’s second reign with ‘his’ title ended after arguably the worst Cruiserweight match since last summer, and some would say Neville’s worst match of his entire WWE career. While the quality of Neville vs. Enzo can be debated, it cannot be argued that Neville dropped the title in the most high-profile match of his CW career to date, and to one of the biggest stars on the Raw roster.

I’m a Neville fan, but I’m also an Enzo fan. In fact, I was a fan of Enzo & Big Cass since their days in NXT (random, not-so-interesting fact: their baby blue “How Ya Doin?” shirt is the only NXT shirt I’ve ever purchased in my life). Even though their act had become rather stale after doing virtually the same thing week after week for over a year on Raw, Enzo & Cass were still one of the most over acts in the entire business. In my opinion, had The Hardyz not made their surprise return to the company at WrestleMania 33, I fully believe Enzo & Cass would have left Orlando as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Alas, it was not meant to be, as WWE chose to make Matt & Jeff the focal point of Raw’s tag team scene and rather than keep The Realest Guys in the Room as a strong number two duo, they decided to break them up instead.

It was around this time that the IWC began to turn their backs on The Certified G. Much like they had done in the past with Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, CM Punk, and others, seemingly overnight it was no longer considered ‘cool’ to cheer for Enzo. Mind you, a series of events happened to unfold which led to this turnover, including:

1. Enzo getting kicked off a tour bus by Roman Reigns and having backstage heat
2. Allegedly cheating on his girlfriend, NXT’s Liv Morgan
3. Being exposed as a singles wrestler who isn’t quite ready for the push he’s getting

Now, this is the part where I call some people out on their hypocrisy. If you suddenly dislike Enzo for reason number one, then I think there’s something wrong with you. Just because the man isn’t well-liked by his peers backstage, that doesn’t mean you should suddenly despise the character he plays on television. I mentioned CM Punk a few seconds ago. 95% of people will tell you that Phil Brooks is an asshole in real-life, but I can virtually guarantee most of those people either Punk’s work and/or would love to see Punk make a surprise return to the ring. Hell, I don’t think highly of Brooks as a human being, but I still consider him one of my all-time favourites.

Onto reason number two for turning your back on Enzo: rumours that Enzo cheated on his girlfriend, Liv. I love how some people are so triggered by this. Didn’t Bray Wyatt OFFICIALLY cheat on his WIFE a few months ago with Raw ring announcer, JoJo? I don’t remember hearing an outcry for Bray to lose his push or get reprimanded. You know why? That’s because what these wrestlers do in their personal lives is PRIVATE. Obviously, Liv Morgan is much more familiar with wrestling fans than Bray Wyatt’s ex-wife, but that doesn’t give said fans an excuse to hold Enzo accountable for – again, allegedly – cheating on his girlfriend while Bray gets a free pass. That’s bullshit. I’m not defending or justifying Enzo’s infidelity; I’m just telling you that holding Enzo accountable for what he does off-camera should be a reason to campaign to WWE to end his push. Besides, wrestling fans don’t seem to hold a grudge against Stone Cold Steve Austin for doing way worse things to his former lover outside the ring…

That being said, if you dislike Enzo because of reason number three, then I can’t blame you for that at all, UNLESS you’re a fan of Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship reign. Enzo isn’t a very good wrestler, but neither is Jinder. At least Enzo is a) over with the fans b) moves merchandise and c) is amazing on the mic (Jinder is none of those of things). In fact, even less than a week into his official reign as Cruiserweight Champion, I’d argue that Enzo is the best champion of all three brands. Sure, Brock is a legitimate star who is a massive draw and can have great matches when he wants to – but he’s never around. In fact, rumours are that The Beast won’t be back until January to set up a feud for the Royal Rumble. In that case, we’ll be left with a M.I.A Universal Champion, a terrible, business-killing WWE Champion, and a charismatic, entertaining Cruiserweight Champion. If those are the options, I’ll take Enzo, thank you very much.

The Cuppa (thousands of) Haters may not like it, but Enzo has already made a significant impact on 205 Live. Ever since he arrived on the Tuesday night show last month, numbers for 205 Live have reportedly gone up. Not only that, but as reported here on LOP, Enzo’s championship celebration from Raw was the third most-viewed segment from the entire show on YouTube, and his opening promo on 205 Live did much higher-than-usual numbers than the show usually produces. Love him or hate him, Enzo is getting people to tune into 205 Live and give a damn about the Cruiserweights, which is why he’s 100% deserving of the spot he’s in.

It needs to be restated: I love Neville, especially since his return. But Enzo was 100% correct in everything he said since winning the title: during Neville’s entire reign, he never main-evented Raw. Enzo accomplished that feat his very night as champ! Despite Neville having great feuds with the likes of Jack Gallagher, Austin Aries and Akira Tozawa – fans simply weren’t tuning into 205 Live. Had Neville retained his title at No Mercy, nowhere as many fans would have tuned into 205 Live this week, and that’s a fact. I’m not blaming Neville, mind you. I blame WWE for not giving casual fans a reason to tune into 205 Live every Tuesday night. We all know Neville is awesome, but when he’s an afterthought on Raw, wrestling in throwaway tag team matches or working the pre-show on every other Pay-Per-View, how can you blame fans for not giving Neville’s title reign a chance?

One thing I think is fairly certain about Enzo’s title reign, no matter how long it lasts, is that he can feud with pretty much any member of the Cruiserweight division and fans will be into it. The same, sadly, could not be said about Neville. WWE had the opportunity to make the Neville/Austin Aries program feel like a big deal, but they blew it, and I don’t think Neville ever truly recovered from it. As seen on Raw last week, putting the title on Enzo and having him feud with the ENTIRE CW division is akin to hitting the reset button. All of a sudden, both casual and die-hard fans have a reason to be invested in the Cruiserweights: not to see Enzo wrestle, but to find out what happens next. If you watched 205 Live this week (and numbers suggest you probably did), then you know Enzo basically cemented himself as an anti-hero. He cut a promo defending his actions, and even attacked Neville with a crutch, but still pandered to the crowd and celebrated with them. He established himself as an anti-hero or a tweener: a babyface who does and says heelish things.

Honestly, that’s the perfect direction for Enzo’s character and for 205 Live. He can now feud with anyone because he can act more heelish if feuding with a Rich Swann or he can play up the underdog role if he’s inserted into a program with Tony Nese. It also ensures that no Cruiserweight will get lost in the shuffle because the current champion is a clearly defined villain or protagonist. Like I said, it doesn’t even matter how well-booked all future challengers to Amore’s title is when they are announced as his next opponent; Enzo is so over that his rival will instantly be relevant. Casuals will probably root for Enzo while the hardcore fans will plead for anyone not named TJP to dethrone Enzo. It’s brilliant and I love it.

I admittedly tuned into 205 Live this week all because of Enzo and I stuck around until the main-event to see Neville, and I know I wasn’t the only one to do so. Enzo has made 205 Live relevant again and I cannot wait to see what he does next. No matter how many members of the locker room Enzo pisses off backstage, or who he spends his dimes on, or how awful his matches are, as long as he’s drawing, don’t count on Enzo’s push ending anytime soon. If you can’t come to terms with that, then there’s only one word to describe you...


YOUR Two Centsss: One week later, how are you feeling about Enzo as Cruiserweight Champion?

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