WWE has released cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore from his contract, following a sexual assault allegation against the wrestler. The 31-year-old New Jersey native – real name Eric Arndt – had no prior experience within the wrestling business before being signed to WWE’s developmental brand NXT in 2012, but quickly became a fan favorite after making his TV debut in 2013. In NXT, Amore made his name as part of a tag team with Colin Cassady, more commonly referred to as Big Cass.
While Amore was never known for being the most skilled between the ropes, he was blessed with the gift of gab, getting himself over with the crowd via energetic promos, exaggerated mannerisms, and an array of catchphrases. He and Cass graduated to WWE’s main roster in 2016, mostly retaining their crowd popularity. By 2017 though, WWE decided to split the team up, turning Cass heel, only to see the 7-footer go down with an injury. Scrambling to change plans, Amore was then himself turned heel, joining the 205 Live cruiserweight division.
Amore quickly unseated formerly dominant cruiserweight champion Neville from the top of the division, and has since reigned as 205 Live’s lead antagonist. He was set to defend his title against challenger Cedric Alexander at this Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but that all changed when an allegation of rape surfaced against Amore yesterday. WWE wasted little time in suspending Amore, but apparently decided today that they hadn’t gone far enough, and have now officially fired him.
With Amore’s abrupt departure, WWE has now declared the cruiserweight championship vacant. It’s unclear at this juncture how the company intends to crown a new champion, or if that will end up taking place at the Royal Rumble. Perhaps another cruiserweight heel – such as Amore’s former lackeys Drew Gulak and Tony Nese – will be appointed to face Alexander for the vacant title, or perhaps WWE will hold a tournament for the belt such as what was recently done with the U.S. title.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, it’s not hard to see why WWE has opted to separate themselves from Enzo Amore so quickly. The details of the allegation against him are also pretty harrowing, and paint the now former “Certified G” in quite the terrible light. That said, one wonders if WWE would eventually reverse course on his dismissal should the currently underway police investigation into the matter end up exonerating Amore. For now though, he remains in hot water.
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