By Bayani Domingo, Associate Editor
Last week I highlighted the “Smack talker Skywalker” and “Realest Guy in the Room” Enzo Amore as the best heel in the business currently. Then something happened on RAW this week that sort of made me pause. It was something that Mustafa Ali said after he pulled Enzo out of the ring on a pin attempt against Kalisto, “You’re not our Champion, you don’t represent us!” immediately I thought, “well there goes Enzo’s next feud”, then I thought, wait a sec…ummm…this sounds familiar. Could it be that art is imitating life a little TOO well? #NotMyChampion
I couldn’t have been the only one to realize that the “Cruiserweight Rebellion” should have really been dubbed #Resist205, could I? You’ve got an orange tinged, fake blonde wild haired, fast talking New Yorker who doesn’t give a crap what the majority of the audience cares about and doesn’t seem to care about pissing off the rest of his coworkers, in fact, picking fights with them and belittling them even though he knows he can’t possibly succeed without their help. The man is woefully under-qualified for his job, his actual skills are subpar, and he seems to even due more injury to himself than he accomplishes most days. He measures his success by ratings and merchandise sales. If he can sell another hat with his catchphrase on it, he could care less about what the pundits and analysts think of his actual abilities. His coworkers are constantly calling his own fitness to remain in his lofty position into question, he isn’t much liked behind the scenes and has legitimate heat, he sometimes abuses Twitter in attempts to “counterpunch”, and Mike Pence once gave him a big boot and gorilla press slam to the entrance ramp.
Ok, that last thing never happened, but everything else did. Look at the crowd reaction to him now that he’s basically said he’s only in it for the fame and money, he’s getting maybe 30-40% of the crowd behind him. There are going to be hardcore fans that will love Enzo for who he is, they’ll say things like, “Well I don’t like him because of A, B, or C, but I like that he’s different, he’s really shaking things up”. He makes a ton of promises and claims, but rarely is able to legitimately back them up. He didn’t care how he got to where he is, even if it involves cheating, deception, and bending the rules, he only cares that he’s in a position of power. A position he has used to keep others down in an attempt to keep himself in power. But…he swears it’s all for the good of 205 Live, he’s not doing it for himself *wink wink* it’s all through altruism, and if he just happens to profit himself, well so what? Everyone else before him has.
Enzo had a modicum of success in the Tag Team division, though clearly not reaching the pinnacle and never considered an unquestioned success as he has had as many failures as successes. The transition from the Tag Division to the Cruiserweight division was harder than he realized, but he assured the audience he had it well in hand. Judging by his in-ring performance I think he was wrong, but it’s clear that the man gets face time, for him and his administration…I mean, his division. No need to change his shtick or catchphrases because they still play to his base and they are rabid fans. His first feud is with a guy named “Mustafa”, then he disparages and feuds with a Mexican, it’s not a surprise that he’s being aided by a rich Middle Eastern, I’m just surprised the kind of wrestling these two teamed up for doesn’t involve…oil. You look at the division and the Cruiserweights are the MOST diverse division in the entire company and who sat at the head of it…at least for a while. Amazing, I’m just waiting for Enzo to declare his rematch will be in a “1 Side of Steel” match, but Kalisto has to pay for it to be built. I kind of wonder if this is just a yuge coincidence or this is just where the average Enzo and Trump fan intersects in some odd Venn diagram.
I don’t even have an opinion on this because I generally like what they did with Enzo and used his real life backstage Heat to frame him as the perfect Heel. But, make no mistake about it, he IS the Heel in this equation. Now you can suspend our belief a bit and try to look at ways he could be relate-able, even sympathetic. After all he’s being portrayed as a bad guy by the liberal announcers and media. He is trying to make 205Live successful, but his coworkers aren’t working with him to succeed in his vision that he just KNOWS would result in success. In fact, his interjection into the division is what made people even CARE about polit…I mean, cruiserweights. When were cruiserweights big news or main event worthy before him? He DESERVES the accolades and fame, besides, it’s ALL about personality, who cares about credentials, right? His style is popular with the traditionalists that don’t like all the flippity flop guys coming in, changing the way good old wrestling has always been, these foreigners from Japan and Mexico stealing hardworking decent American wrestler’s jobs. It’s all about fists and working the “stick”.
I’m amazed really, how I hadn’t seen the parallels before. In fact, you keep hearing about Enzo being on the outs at any moment. His erratic behavior and lack of support from the “establishment” being a ticking time bomb. There’s no way you can put such an important position in the hands of an unstable maniac who is just as likely to go into business for himself at a drop of the dime as he is to actually be the savior of the division. But it’s been working. It really has, and for those who were saying 205Live was in danger of sun setting then I guess you’ll have to wait a little while longer. Enzo is the kind of wrestler that is best when he can be himself, but we all know he has limitations, I just hope he knows it too. Because nothing is worse than a wrestler who can’t accept the role he’s best cut out for, except maybe a wrestler who doesn’t keep his fellow wrestler’s health and well being at the top of his priority list. Besides…if Kalisto or Cedric get hurt, it ain’t like they’ll have ObamaCare to rely on.
- Will Ospreay became the NJPW Jr Heavyweight Champion, making him one of only 10 Gaijins to win the prestigious title. Making him the 9th to Last Samurai?
- Kairi Sane’s elbow looks like it would hurt a shit ton. I mean, she is dropping her ENTIRE weight on those poor girls. The only time I want a Japanese woman putting her full weight on me is if I’m face down and I have a really tight knot in my back. Surprised I didn’t go sexual with that joke? Yeah, me too.
- Jimmy Jacobs appears to have been let go by the WWE due to taking a picture with Bullet Club at their RAW “Invasion”. It seems the WWE might’ve overreacted and they and Jacobs had an….age of the falling out…over it. Let’s be honest, if you can come up with a more relevant Jimmy Jacobs joke in 2017, you’re welcome to write in.
- Baron Corbin retaining his title clean was a surprise. He hopes to run away with the division the way his hair is running away from his forehead.
- Ricochet is rumored to be on his way to the WWE. I dunno, feels like Ricochet rumors tend to miss their mark(s).
- Kalisto winning the CW Title is about as 180 degree of a turn as you can make. If Enzo has the “Gift of Gab and the Gift of Jab”, then Kalisto has the “Curse of vocal impingement and the Curse of gimmick infringement”. It’s like he bought Drago’s look at a swap meet, that had already purchased it from a worse swap meet.
- Velveteen Dream made short work of Lio Rush. Although, Lio Rush was already a short worker.
- A coworker of mine told me that Black folk that are considered super dark are often called “purple”. As in, “Velveteen Dream is so dark, he’s damn near purple”. And I was wondering if that was kind of a tongue in cheek reference to his gimmick and name. But then….wouldn’t that make his finishing move, the Purple Rainmaker, a euphemism for “The 1st of the Month”?
- Question: Now that he’s Pentagon Dark, does that mean he now has a higher percentage of cacao than when he was merely Pentagon Jr?
- If it wasn’t already trademarked, I’d worry that Lucha Underground would try to rechristen the new Trios Champions: The New Midnight Express.
- Rumors have it that Neville walked out of RAW this week, which changed the plans for Kalisto winning the CW title. Just waiting to see if the NJPW rumors are also true, I’m waiting for the Elite to come recruiting as well, I can just see the Jackson 2 sporting t-shirts at the next show sayin, “I Want You, Pac”.
- The Shield reunited on RAW this week. I think my idea of what “Reunion Shows” are about have been skewed. I kept waiting for guys to sit down, dish on who was sleeping with who, who was the biggest disaster on set, and who was really there for love and not the fame.
- Sami Zayn saved Kevin Owens at HitC and then proceeded to explain why he did so on SDL Which kind of made no sense. Usually after someone gets deceived, berated, and abused, the only reason to return to their tormentor is…they had a really shitty pre-nup. I’m wondering if Sami didn’t even get the car or house? Maybe he got FULL custody of the kids. There’s no way I’m raising those brats on MY own, I’ll tell you that.
- Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore has joined up with Twitch to create their own channel for a weekly on-line show. In other news Tammy Sytch’s House of Hardcore has joined up with Youporn for their own channel as well.
- Bray Wyatt has been promoting the debut of Sister Abigail for several weeks now. Nobody has teased their Sister Abigail coming this long since the Montgomery High School Prom afterparty at Bobby Duggan’s house.