To someone who actually watches 205 Live on a weekly basis, the ending to last Monday’s Raw may have been a bit confusing and unexpected. To see the heels and faces of the Cruiserweight division set aside their differences just for a chance to pummel Enzo Amore seemed out of character for a few of them, but at least it gives them the jolt that they need. Amore wasn’t exaggerating when he said that he got the fans to pay attention to 205 Live. If WWE is willing to air a Cruiserweight segment at the end of Raw, he must be doing something right.
Enzo’s Got That Hot Sauce
Many weeks prior to Enzo Amore debuting on 205 Live, it was reported that he was receiving a lot of heat in the locker room. More or less, the heat was coming from his personality of being a braggart and a loudmouth (two qualities that surely don’t belong in sports entertainment!). Whether or not this was just a rumor designed to turn into a storyline or if the storyline came from these real life events is unknown. But whether or not the chicken came before the egg, it’s always entertaining when wrestling brings legitimate animosity to the show.
The success of any great WWE Superstar is typically due to cranking up their own personality out of the ring to 11. According to what has been expressed, Enzo is always at 11. And it’s understandable that some other wrestlers might get a little annoyed with him from time to time. But, to Enzo’s ears, that means that the locker room is just jealous. And bitter. Frankly, who wouldn’t be? His success is due almost entirely to his mic work. Enzo’s in-ring work is soft and sloppy, and he works like a beat up jalopy. Wrestlers who have trained and worked hard to improve their skills in the ring for decades can’t touch the fame that Enzo Amore has reached just by being all talk. It just goes to show you, character is everything in WWE.
The Man That Brevity Forgot
One of those guys who never got over with in-ring work alone is Neville. Ever since he’s become the “King of the Cruiserweights” character, his career has taken off to new heights and his promos with Enzo create a perfectly balanced dynamic. And bumping down the Certified G to 205 finally gave the Cruiserweight division a heartbeat. If wrestlers are sincerely angry with Enzo for not shutting up backstage, maybe they should take a hint and ask for advice. Great wrestling can get you noticed, but good hype is a whole other animal. For example, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather wasn’t the greatest boxing match of all time, but the hype made it one of the most memorable. Neville knew he had to evolve to become what he is today. His maniacally slow manner of speaking and baggy eyes combined with his obsession with the Cruiserweight Championship creates the Tolkien-esque persona and a fantastic contrast to Enzo’s high energy and flamboyant nature. What I didn’t expect was for the fans to turn on Enzo; and whether it was calculated or not, he and Neville may have pulled off a rare double-turn.
Famously, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin changed each other from face to heel and heel to face in their match at WrestleMania 13. Austin gained sympathy and respect from the audience by not giving up while passing out in a puddle of his own blood in Bret Hart’s relentless sharpshooter. The crowd began booing Hart and cheering for Austin. Of course, I would never compare Neville and Enzo to Hart and Austin. But the psychology is there. Even though formerly Enzo’s cheap tactics were what got him over as a face, now the fans are seeing how this is just a means of him hanging onto the title against the clearly more athletic Neville (and the entire roster for that matter). The problem is, it may not be intentional. It seemed like Enzo was still trying to get over as a face until last week, but the crowd had already made up their minds. When the 205 Live roster attacked Enzo, it made it clear that he was the enemy, sullying the skills of the cruiserweights with his full blooded charisma. And Neville, as the embodiment of pure technique and competition, may turn him into a fan favorite. But if these two are heels or faces, the characters don’t even have to change. But it will be a fun transition to watch in coming weeks as they adapt to new roles. So, yes, my apologies, but you might ACTUALLY have to start watching 205 Live.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke