Views From The Turnbuckle: What To Do With Enzo Amore?

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of WrestlingInc or its staff

If you were going to make a list of the most interactive stars in WWE, Enzo Amore would have to be near the top of the list. What I mean by interactive is that when they come out and perform, the crowd is highly engaged in what the wrestler is doing. Even some of the best talent in the company are prone to coming out to dead reactions from time to time, but Amore, more than almost anybody, always seems to get the crowd interested in his performance. Notice how I said performance and not matches, because Amore is not a particularly engaging in-ring performer, but when he comes out and does his hyped-up promos, the crowd reacts. In that fashion he is one of the most valuable guys in the company.

Amore has been one of the most talked about wrestlers in recent months, and not always in a positive manner. Wrestlers and other members of WWE have come out and talked about how Amore has been a bit of an outcast backstage, most notably Corey Graves and JBL on an episode of Bring it to the Table, but also former WWE guys like Simon Gotch, who himself was not very popular backstage. The booking of Amore as a constant loser who has larger friends fight his battles for him, has also been discussed. These points are all part of the conundrum WWE faces; What to do with Enzo Amore?

First, I can't really speak all that much to Amore being ostracized from the roster. I am not backstage and witnessing his attitude and the way other talent treat him , so I can't judge that. Theoretically, if the majority of the roster despises Amore, they wouldn't be invested in making him look good in the ring by not selling for him or cutting him off on the microphone, but I haven't really seen anything to suggest that. If the rest of the roster doesn't like you, it is going to be harder to succeed than if everyone likes you and wants you to do well; I think that is a basic fact of being in a wrestling company.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Amore clearly has an elite skill in WWE. Maybe some fans think he is annoying, but the fact is during his promos he gets more of a reaction than 90 percent of the main roster and he has a certain charisma about him that you just can't really teach. From a talent standpoint, Amore is a valuable commodity to WWE and in theorey should be put into a situation that allows him to flourish. Booking wise that hasn't really happened, although he has been a key figure on RAW in recent weeks and has gotten plenty of time to cut his promos, so you can't really knock it to much.

WWE historically has treated guys with Amore's skills very well. A lot of fans always want WWE to have wrestlers who are "larger than life"; in-ring skills coming a distant second. Amore physically is not that large, but his personality is enormous and he carries himself like a big star. Roddy Piper (note that I am not saying Amore is as talented as Piper or anything like that) was physically not all that different from Amore, but Piper had such an enormous personality that he felt like a "larger than life" superstar. If that kind of charisma and attitude is what WWE values the most in promoting a talent, than Amore should really be a top star in WWE and consistently be put into top matches.

The reality is that Amore has not been booked in that kind of fashion. Yes he has been involved in a feud that has gotten him a lot of promo time, but he hasn't been positioned as a real superstar. When Big Cass turned heel, he blamed Enzo for being an annoying gnat with a big mouth that relied on his larger friend to fight his battles for him. That has turned out to be a very true assessment; since the feud has started the story has been Enzo coming out, cutting a promo about how tough he is, then getting obliterated by other wrestlers. Even if the fans think Enzo is charismatic, they don't want to root for a loser, and Enzo has certainly been booked to look like a loser.

An acquaintance of mine was talking to me last week about how they felt that WWE was really missing the boat with Enzo. His argument was that Enzo was so charismatic and good on the mic that he should be booked like a dominant star that could back up his claims; similar to Conor McGregor, who is of course a box-office sensation. Enzo has such a gift that it would be foolish to not try and capitalize on that. Right now the fans may not be buying that Enzo could be a real threat to win the world title; but that is only because he has been booked to lose all of his fights. If he was beating up Big Cass every week, fans would buy into him.

While I think that Enzo does have talent, I could never see him being a legit singles wrestler and working main event matches. The issue is that Enzo is a bad wrestler. Like REALLY bad. His offense doesn't look good, he frequently screws up spots, all he can basically do is get pounded on by other wrestlers. I'll never forget a match Enzo had against Cesaro on RAW, which only lasted about five minutes and Enzo blew a ton of spots in which had to be the worst match of Cesaro's career. If you can't have a five minute match with Cesaro that doesn't totally suck, that kind of limits what WWE can do with you.

Some wrestlers can get away with being bad workers. Some of the biggest draws in wrestling have been poor workers inside the ring (although I would add that Enzo is among the worst workers WWE has regularly featured in the last 15 years). Amore's issue is that his size is always going to limit the believability of what he does as a wrestler; Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Big Show and other wrestlers have achieved a lot of success despite not being very good in the ring, but Enzo can't rely on his physical size to sell his offense, he has to be an actual good worker.

I don't think it is a coincidence that seemingly every wrestler that was around Enzo's size (under six feet tall or under 220lbs) that has gotten over as a main event talent in WWE also happened to be excellent workers. The reason for that is because when you are small and you are wrestling significantly larger men, you have to be good enough in the ring to tell the story of how you beat a larger man. Rey Mysterio was really fast and athletic and was a master of using high-flying moves; he could wrestle a big guy like JBL and tell the story of using his speed and athleticism to win the match. A guy like Daniel Bryan was a great technical wrestler who could beat a larger wrestler like Kane by telling the story that he was really crafty and his knowledge of unique holds and moves allowed him to get the edge over a physically larger opponent. That just isn't Enzo's game and it never will be. He isn't skilled enough to tell that story.

The logical solution to this is to market Enzo in an important non-wrestler role. He should be a heel manager for a larger wrestler; it would be easy heat for Enzo to run his mouth but always hide behind the wrestler he was managing. He can always get in the ring and take bumps during matches, and if you needed to have him wrestle the occasional one-off you could do that to. Enzo has a skill that WWE craves, but I can't remember WWE ever pushing a guy Enzo's size that was that bad of a wrestler. The lesson with Enzo is that you really can't succeed in WWE as a wrestler if you only have one elite skill and are not even passable in the other facets of wrestling. John Cena may not be the best wrestler inside the ring, but he is passable enough that it can supplement his elite mic skills and look. A guy like Baron Corbin is another Enzo-like example, he has size and a good look; but he is below average in the ring and isn't very good at cutting promos. WWE has given Corbin a big push, and he isn't really over. Enzo has a role to play in WWE, it just isn't as a significant wrestler.

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