Hackensack, N.J. spawned an enthralling loudmouth, NXT's self-proclaimed "Certified G," Enzo Amore.
Thanks to his rare gifts, expect Amore to be wearing a leopard-print tux one day as he gets a call from the WWE Hall of Fame. He is one of the best talkers in either NXT or WWE right now and has elite stage presence in a field where folks often struggle to obtain scraps of that trait.
WWE calls its wrestlers Superstars but not all of them are true stars. Amore is a man whose name is destined for the marquee. His rants beg to be replayed on YouTube ad nauseam.
His vibrant personality and verbal wizardry have allowed him to keep demanding screen time and to stay relevant on a wrestling show despite having a broken leg.
While most prospects have to be content with flecks of "it factor," Amore has it dripping off him.
He stands out on a crowded developmental roster. While the leopard spots on his shaved head and his gaudy wardrobe play some part in that, it's mostly his star power that forces the audience to pay attention to him.
His comic timing and energy acted as flashing lights when he first burst into NXT. From the time he introduced himself to the NXT fans, it was clear that he was a gab guru.
Like Chris Jericho before him, Amore seems to roll out new catchphrases with little effort.
That's an invaluable trait for Superstars who have to snag the crowd's attention in short bursts. Amore can do that expertly.
It doesn't matter if the subject is his enemies or soft tacos; he exudes the kind of presence that only the top Superstars possess. He showed that skill off in a backstage segment with Colin Cassady:
Most of what fans buzz about regarding Amore is his character and charisma, but he offers some standout skills in the ring as well.
While not as mesmerizing in the ring as Adrian Neville or Sami Zayn, Amore is an excellent athlete. He's quick and agile, though not at an all-world level.
In a match against Scott Dawson, he had two moments that belong on his highlight reel. At one point, Dawson tried to flip him over, but Amore landed on his feet. Moments later, he toppled Dawson with a headscissors takedown:
That bout is also proof that Amore is simply not as electric in the ring as he is on the mic, which is his biggest flaw right now.
At this stage, Amore is an unpolished wrestler. He doesn't do anything that truly wows the audience. Neville is famous for his acrobatics, Bray Wyatt leans on animalistic aggression and Big E impresses with his power, while Amore has to rely on his mouth to be remembered.
He's an unproven commodity in the ring.
WWE often books him in squash matches. With short, one-sided bouts like this one against Mason Ryan, we get to see very little of what Amore can do:
The fact that officials are asking Neville, Zayn, Corey Graves and Bo Dallas to put on extended outings while relegating Amore to quick-victim status is a bad sign. Some of that is based on his inexperience, but the rawer Mojo Rawley gets plenty of ring time.
This looks to be a sign of a lack of confidence from the folks in charge.
If Amore were tearing it up off camera, he'd likely be asked to do more between the ropes. His size (5'11'', 200 lbs, per WWE.com) won't help get him more ring work either.
Amore is just a tad taller, but not as bulky as Daniel Bryan right now.
Discussions about Bryan's place on the card often drift toward his stature, but he has always had his fantastic wrestling skills to counter arguments about his being too small. Amore has yet to show that has such a retort in hand.
As a wrestler, Amore has a lot of catching up to do, as talented as NXT's roster is. Powerful beasts and dazzling athletes make him look ordinary for now.
Even if Amore doesn't amp up his wrestling ability in a major way, though, his ceiling is still rather high. His skills beg for him to be put on camera.
Charisma like his is so rare that WWE will find a way to use him, even if he's not asked to be a workhorse. Teaming with Cassady is a great option for him. He can be the team's leader and mouthpiece and let "Big Cass" do most of the actual throwing of blows.
That team could garner the kind of popularity Kane and Bryan had as Team Hell No, leading to a run with the titles and a significant amount of time as the tag division's featured duo.
Amore's best route would be to get into the managing business.
His biggest strengths are all character-related, which he could utilize as someone's cornerman. In this role, he can sling around his catchphrases and make an indelible impression on WWE fans.
Should WWE focus on making Amore a star in this manner, the Hall of Fame awaits him.
The list of managers and wrestling personalities who are as funny and magnetic as Amore takes just a few breaths to finish. He has the ability to reach the Paul Heyman/Bobby Heenan/Grand Wizard level.
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