To begin with, I’ll make this very clear: since the split with Big Cass, I’ve found Amore as useful as a bad case of hives. I find him to be a combination of annoying, irritating, pesky, horrendous, atrocious and any other negative adjectives you can think of. Other than some outstanding charisma, I find nothing worthwhile about him and wouldn’t mind if he was fed into a wood chipper. However, he’s now a champion and that means he’s going to be around for the time being.
This is how things should go for Amore.
So where are the positives in this? Well first of all, he’s brought some attention to “205 Live”. As Amore said in the closing segment of this Monday’s show, no one had ever paid a bit of attention to the cruiserweights until he won the title. As much as this makes me cringe, he’s absolutely right. Until Amore had won the title, WWE had aired 43 episodes of “205 Live” and aside from a small handful, most fans couldn’t tell you a single thing that happened on the majority of them.
Amore is instantly the biggest star on the roster and the biggest star the division has had. While the matches won’t be as good, the only thing close to this level was Neville vs. Austin Aries in their outstanding feud. The title never changed hands, but they had some great matches over several months. Here’s the problem though: while good, how important were they? Their “Wrestlemania XXXIII” match not only didn’t make the main show but also didn’t make the DVD release.
Now I know there were other factors that kept the match off the main card but what does it say about how important the title was? For the better part of a year now, the Cruiserweight Title has felt like the Women’s Title of days past: it would make most of the pay per views but there was rarely more than the bare minimum effort put into getting the match on the show. As annoying as that might be, it’s also the reality of the situation.
That won’t happen with Amore as champion, at least at first. He’s still one of the most over acts in the company and he grabs the fans’ attention. At the moment, the fans want to see what’s going to happen to him, especially now that he’s getting his head handed to him by Neville night in and night out. In other words, the title, the show and the division itself are instantly bigger and more important now that Neville is holding the gold (er, silver in this case) and that’s a good thing.
Now at the same time, what does that say about the rest of the division? Simply put, it means they needed the help. The current crop of cruiserweights, save for one or two names (Neville being the primary one), just doesn’t feel important. They’re really just kind of there for the most part and while they have entertaining matches, they haven’t been drawing people’s attention. How often do you hear that “205 Live” isn’t drawing flies on the Network? It happens almost every single week and, while there are some other reasons behind the show not doing well, a top reason would seem to be that fans aren’t interested.
Here’s what happens after you main event “Raw”.
So, again, this is where Amore can help things up a lot. He’s going to bring eyes to the division and that can help bring up their profiles a good bit. A big story going forward is going to be how much more talented most of the cruiserweights are than Amore, meaning it’s going to be a way to showcase all the other wrestlers. Think back to this week’s “Monday Night Raw”. How many wrestlers got to hit their cool stuff on Amore and how well did he sell it? Everyone is instantly getting more attention and gets to look good in the process. Also we get to see Amore being beaten horribly and that’s just fun for the whole family.
However, on the other hand, we have the negatives. First of all, the in-ring quality is going to go way down in the cruiserweight matches. Neville spoiled the heck out of us for the last eight months as he was one of the most consistent performers on the roster (another potential positive: getting Neville back to the main roster where he belongs). Amore….has he ever had what would be considered a good match? I know he and Big Cass did but how much of that was Big Cass and how much was Amore?
Also, you’re going to see a lot of the following: Amore gets beaten up, Amore gets beaten up again, Amore gets beaten up some more (suddenly I can’t stop smiling), then Amore grabs a rollup or hits a low blow or whatever else he can pull out of the old Honky Tonk Man playbook to retain the title. That’s an interesting idea but I could easily see it getting old in a hurry. That’s fine in a three minute TV match but how many times can you see it happen on pay per view before people are demanding that WWE get on with it already? I’d give it until December at this point and that’s a stretch.
Like I said, he can’t stop talking.
Finally, you’re going to be hearing the same promo a lot. Amore has an amazing delivery and can get the crowd fired up with the best of them but how many times can you hear the exact same promo? The fans know the intro by heart and the stuff after that has been said many times as well. Amore can talk his way in or out of anything but you can only do that so many times before it stops being effective. He’s nowhere near that point, but he’s also never been featured as a champion before either.
The heel turn should help a lot though as he’ll have some new material to cover. If Amore can run with the new character (which he very well could), things should get better in a hurry. Just having him talk about how much better he is than everyone else can give him material for months and if he can avoid sounding as dumb as he has the potential to be, this should be a great success. Again, it’s the Honky Tonk Man formula: he runs his mouth over and over to the point where people are willing to pay to see him get beaten up. Unfortunately in this era it’ll probably get him cheered more than ever, but that’s wrestling.
Overall, as much as I can’t stand to see it, Amore as champion might offer a lot more good as champion than bad. He’s completely changing the direction of the division, but it’s not like what they were doing was a raging success in the first place. If you have Amore driving people crazy to the point where they want to see him get his head taken off (a man can dream), everyone wins. Well save for the headless guy but you get the idea.
I know a lot of people, including myself, aren’t thrilled with this but it really is best for business. The cruiserweights were completely floundering after the better part of a year and if Amore is the answer to their problems, even in the short terms, it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes you need a new direction, and as you can see, you can teach that.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Complete 2002 Monday Night Raw Reviews in either E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: