Enzo Amore

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Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore in May 2017.jpg
Amore in May 2017
Birth name Eric Arndt
Born (1986-12-08) December 8, 1986 (age 31)
Hackensack, New Jersey, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Enzo Amore[1]
Eric Anthony[2]
Real1
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Billed weight 200 lb (91 kg)[1]
Billed from Hackensack, New Jersey[1]
Trained by WWE Performance Center
Debut October 25, 2012[2]

Eric Arndt (born December 8, 1986), known professionally as Real1, is an American rapper and professional wrestler, best known for his work with WWE, where he debuted in October 2012 and performed under the ring name Enzo Amore. In WWE, he was a two-time Cruiserweight Champion. He is also well known for his tag team with Big Cass, whom he teamed with from 2013 to 2017. Together, they won the NXT Year-End Award for Tag Team of the Year in 2015.

Early life[edit]

Arndt was born in Hackensack, New Jersey[3] on December 8, 1986.[2] He grew up in Waldwick, New Jersey, where he attended Julia A. Traphagen School and Crescent School and Waldwick High School. He played football at Waldwick High.[3] Arndt continued his football career at Division III (NCAA) Salisbury University, playing linebacker and safety for the Sea Gulls from 2007-2009.[3][4][5] Arndt ultimately earned a degree in journalism.[3] He formerly worked as a DJ and ticket salesman for the New York Jets,[4] a piano mover, and a manager at Hooters.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

WWE[edit]

Training (2012)[edit]

Arndt had no prior wrestling experience before WWE signed him.[6] He had trained with Joe DeFranco at the DeFranco's Training Systems gym in Wyckoff, New Jersey since the age of 16. By chance, WWE executive Triple H also started training with DeFranco; Arndt, a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, made a compilation video of himself doing various exercises and cutting a promo. When DeFranco showed the video to Triple H, Arndt was given a tryout at WWE,[6] ultimately resulting in his signing.[3] In August 2012, WWE signed Arndt, who then started using the ring name Eric Anthony.[7][8] In November 2012, he was given the ring name of Enzo Amore when he debuted in WWE's developmental system NXT as a wrestler.[3][9]

Teaming with Big Cass (2013–2017)[edit]

Amore (right) with Colin Cassady at WrestleMania Axxess in March 2015

Amore debuted on NXT television as a heel, being described as a "stereotypical cocky, Jersey Shore loudmouth" and an "outsized version of the man playing the part",[3] on May 22, 2013, where he was squashed by Mason Ryan.[10] Amore went on to form an alliance with Colin Cassady,[11] who had also previously lost to Ryan,[12] and they named themselves "the realest guys in the room".[11][13][14] Despite Amore and Cassady's alliance, Ryan easily defeated them in consecutive singles matches in July,[15] but lost to them in a handicap match.[13] Ryan one-upped the two when he caused Amore and Cassady to be attacked by Tons of Funk.[14] After the feud with Ryan, Amore and Cassady went on to feud with Alexander Rusev, Sylvester Lefort and Scott Dawson turning face.[16][17] On the September 25 episode of NXT, Amore and Cassady participated in a gauntlet match for a future shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship; they started the match, first defeating CJ Parker and Tyler Breeze, then defeating Rusev and Dawson but lost to The Ascension.[18]

Amore and Cassady being managed by Carmella in March 2015

In November 2013, Amore suffered a broken leg while training.[19] According to fellow wrestler Simon Gotch, who at the time was also signed to NXT, Amore "broke his own leg trying to counter a wristlock. He blamed it on the canvas being loose."[20] Amore returned on June 26, 2014 episode of NXT, saving Cassady from an attack from Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis.[21] In early August, Amore and Cassady participated in the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament. They defeated Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger in the first round, but were eliminated by The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) in the second round.[22][23] Lefort and Louis then renewed their rivalry with Amore and Cassady by attacking them and shaving Amore's beard. As a result, Amore challenged Lefort to a match with the loser's hair as forfeit at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way which Amore won, but Lefort ran away, leaving his partner Louis to lose his hair and eyebrows.[24] Amore and Cassady formed an alliance with the debuting Carmella. The duo had accidentally cost Carmella her hairdressing job, causing her to demand to get a job as a wrestler.[25][26] Carmella had her televised in-ring debut on the October 16, 2014 episode of NXT.[27] Among the trainers at NXT, Amore singled out Bill DeMott and Dusty Rhodes as being instrumental in his training and promos respectively.[6]

On the March 11, 2015 episode of NXT, Amore and Cassady defeated The Lucha Dragons in a #1 contenders match for the NXT Tag Team Championship. At NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, Amore and Cassady faced Blake and Murphy for the title in a losing effort after interference by Alexa Bliss. In December, Amore and Cassady began a feud with Dash and Dawson, where they challenged them for the NXT Tag Team Championship at both NXT TakeOver: London and Roadblock unsuccessfully. On March 24, 2016, Amore and Cassady teaming with Apollo Crews to defeat Baron Corbin and The Revival.[28]

On the Raw after WrestleMania 32, Amore and Cassady debuted on the main roster and confronted The Dudley Boyz.[29] A week later on SmackDown, Amore and Cassady defeated The Ascension in a tournament to determine the No. 1 contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship.[30] The team went on to defeat the Dudley Boyz on the following week's Raw in the semi-final of the tag team tournament, advancing them to the finals. In the finals, Enzo and Cass faced the Vaudevillains at Payback, with the match ending in a no contest after Amore suffered a legitimate concussion during the match.[31] At Money in the Bank, Enzo and Cass faced The New Day, The Vaudevillains and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, in a fatal-four way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship, in which The New Day retained their titles. On the July 4 episode of Raw, Enzo and Cass helped John Cena, who was getting attacked by The Club, involving themselves in the feud between Cena and The Club. At Battleground, Enzo and Cass teamed with Cena to defeat The Club in a six-man tag team match. In the 2016 WWE draft, Enzo and Cass were drafted to Raw.[32] Following Battleground, Enzo and Cass proceeded to feud with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, which culminated at SummerSlam, where the two lost to Jericho and Owens.

Amore in May 2017

On the November 7 episode of Raw, Enzo and Cass joined Team Raw for the 10–on–10 Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination match at Survivor Series, during which Team Raw defeated Team Smackdown. On the November 21 episode of Raw, after Amore was locked out of the locker room naked by Cass as a practical joke and ran into Lana in the hallway, Rusev challenged Amore to a match later that night, in which Amore was quickly defeated. The following week on Raw, Amore defeated Rusev by disqualification. On the December 5 episode of Raw, after Amore stood up for Lana after seeing her and Rusev argue backstage, Lana invited Amore to her hotel room. Later that night, this was revealed to be a trap when Rusev attacked Amore in the hotel room. Over the following weeks Enzo and Cass feuded with Rusev and Jinder Mahal.[33]

Amore participated in the 2017 Royal Rumble match entering at number 27 but was immediately eliminated by Brock Lesnar. Amore and Cass competed in a fatal-four way ladder match at WrestleMania 33 for the Raw Tag Team Championship against defending champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Sheamus and Cesaro, and the returning Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy), where the Hardys emerged victorious. The following night on Raw, Amore and Cass were defeated by Cesaro and Sheamus in a tag team match to determinate the #1 contenders for the Raw Tag Team Championship. On the April 17 episode of Raw, Amore and Cass were defeated by Anderson and Gallows.

Throughout May, Enzo was repeatedly knocked out from behind by an unknown attacker. Big Cass went on to accuse The Revival, who had been seen in the background in the aftermath of the attacks. The following week on the June 5 episode of Raw, Cass was found knocked out backstage in the same fashion as Enzo was. Later, Cass claimed he was not cleared to wrestle, so Amore teamed with Big Show in a match against Gallows and Anderson, which they won.[34] The following week, Cass was again found knocked out backstage. He claimed the attacker had to have had a giant fist and blamed Big Show, who denied having been the attacker. On the June 19 episode of Raw, General Manager Kurt Angle attempted to expose the attacker before security footage found by Corey Graves revealed that Cass had faked his own attack in order to lure away suspicion. Cass admitted to this, expressing his frustration during his time teaming with Enzo. Cass then attacked Enzo, thus turning Cass heel and disbanding the team.[35] On the June 26 Raw, an emotional Enzo called out Cass to the ring and the two seemingly reconciled; however, Cass again viciously attacked Enzo on the stage, cementing his heel turn. [36] At the inaugural Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, Enzo lost to Cass. At SummerSlam, Cass defeated Big Show while Enzo was suspended above the ring inside a shark cage. During the match. Enzo escaped from the shark cage, but was quickly attacked by Cass. The next night on Raw, Enzo challenged Cass to a Brooklyn Street Fight, which he won after the referee stopped the match after Cass suffered a legitimate knee injury.

Cruiserweight Champion (2017–2018)[edit]

On the August 22 episode of 205 Live, Amore made his debut in the cruiserweight division and began a feud with WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville. On September 5, Amore earned a title opportunity against Neville, winning a Fatal five-way elimination match also involving Cedric Alexander, The Brian Kendrick, Gran Metalik and Tony Nese, allowing Alexander to eliminate the other competitors before stealing the win. At No Mercy on September 24, Amore defeated Neville with a low blow to win the Cruiserweight Championship. This decision was made because of 205 Live's lack of success; Vince McMahon thought a "strong" character as Enzo Amore would improve the brand, making him the core of the show.[37]

The following night on Raw, Amore closed the show with a "championship celebration", where he insulted the cruiserweight division and stated that he made 205 Live "relevant" and that the 205 Live roster was "jealous" of his accomplishments. He also showed a signed clause by Raw General Manager Kurt Angle that if any cruiserweight touched him, they would lose their title opportunities.[38] After Raw concluded, the cruiserweight division collectively attacked him. The next night on 205 Live, Amore appeared on crutches and attacked Neville with a crutch. The week after on Raw, Amore revealed another paper clause stating that any cruiserweight that tried to touch him would be fired. Subsequently, Kalisto was introduced as the newest member of the cruiserweight division and attacked Amore. On the October 9 episode of Raw, Amore lost the Cruiserweight Championship to Kalisto in a lumberjack match. However, he regained the title in the rematch at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on October 22, via an illegal thumb shot to the eye behind the referee's back. At the Survivor Series pre-show on November 19, Amore successfully defended the title against Kalisto. In early January 2018, Amore was unable to compete due to suffering from influenza.[39] Amore was suspended from WWE on January 22 due to allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault (see below).[40] As a result, his scheduled title defense against Cedric Alexander at the Royal Rumble was cancelled.[41] Amore was fired from WWE the next day and the title was vacated.[42]

Independent circuit (2018–present)[edit]

After his release, Amore announced his retirement from pro wrestling and stated his intent to focus on his music career.[43][44] However, on June 9, 2018, the House of Glory wrestling promotion announced Arndt would be making his first independent wrestling appearance as Real1 at Intensity 7 on August 17, 2018.[45]

Music career[edit]

Under the stage name Real1, Arndt began pursuing a career as a rapper in May 2018, releasing his first song titled "Phoenix" through WorldStarHipHop on May 28, 2018.[46] He released a second song titled "Bury Me a G" on June 7.[47]

Other media[edit]

Amore is a playable character in WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17, and WWE 2K18.[48][49][50]

Personal life[edit]

Arndt resides in Los Angeles, California.[51]

In real life, Arndt (Amore) met Bill Morrissey (Cass) when Morrissey was 15, when they played basketball together at the Cage of Manhattan, New York nearly 10 years before reuniting on NXT in August 2013.[4] Arndt’s decade-and-a-half long friendship with him ended after Cass suffered a legitimate knee injury and Arndt was publicly critical of Morrissey for not finishing their match after injuring his knee.[52]

On January 22, 2018, the Phoenix Police Department confirmed that Arndt was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that was reported to authorities in October 2017.[53][54] Later that day, Arndt was suspended by WWE due to violating their zero tolerance policy for matters involving sexual harassment and sexual assault. WWE released a statement indicating that he would remain suspended until the matter was resolved.[40] In an interview on January 23, a woman accused Arndt of raping her in a Phoenix, Arizona, hotel room on October 19, 2017.[55] Arndt was fired from WWE the same day, due to his failure to inform WWE of the investigation (Arndt later stated via his lawyer that he did not know of the investigation until it was made public.[56]).[42][57] On Twitter, Arndt "fully and unequivocally" denied the allegations against him.[58] On May 16, 2018, the Phoenix Police Department ceased their investigation due to insufficient evidence.[56]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Enzo Amore (hair) Sylvester Lefort (hair) Orlando, Florida NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way September 11, 2014 [24][Note 1]
  1. ^ Lefort's ally Marcus Louis lost his hair after Lefort ran away.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]