Kalisto Rips Enzo Amore, Talks State of WWE 205 Live in Exclusive Interview

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 20, 2017

Photo Courtesy of WWE

Glaring through his horned, gold mask, Kalisto played the cavalry on WWE Raw.

He charged in to silence Enzo Amore, the cocky motormouth cruiserweight champ. A no-contact clause meant the rest of the 205 Live couldn't give the heel his comeuppance. But that didn't apply to the new arrival and so Kalisto drove Amore's head into the mat with a Salida Del Sol.

And so a new chapter in the cruiserweight division began.  

It's a subsection of the Raw roster in flux, one The King of Flight is now charged with being the face of. "205 Live is changing right now, I believe, for the good," Kalisto told Bleacher Report.

He will be front-and-center during that change. The former United States champ claimed the Cruiserweight Championship days within joining the division. He is now set to put that title on the line against Amore at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on Sunday.

Kalisto looks and sounds thrilled to a part of it all. "It's a new, fresh start," he said.  

Both the high-flying Kalisto and the garish Amore joined the division recently. But additions haven't been the only changes. A knee injury derailed Tajiri's 205 Live run. Austin Aries and the WWE came to terms on his release in July. And Neville's rumored exit, per Figure Four Online, threatens to yank out the division's heart.

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The King of the Cruiserweight's departure, though, would be softened by The King of Flight stepping in.


On the Outside

When the WWE first resurrected the cruiserweight division last year, a mix of familiar faces and new blood emerged on Raw. Brian Kendrick returned after a six-year absence. Independent star Rich Swann started doing his dancing and fighting on the WWE stage. 

But Kalisto was nowhere to be seen.

The cruiserweight division during the debut of 205 Live.
The cruiserweight division during the debut of 205 Live.Credit: WWE.com

The King of Flight felt like the perfect fit for this division as a speedy, smaller wrestler with a deep bag of aerial tricks. Yet, the WWE chose to draft him to SmackDown. And even when he moved to the red brand this April, he didn't make his way to the cruiserweight section of the roster for another six months.

Kalisto felt no resentment about being left out of the early chapters of the cruiserweights' story. "It didn't really bother me to be honest," he said.

He has happy to watch Swann, Kendrick and guys like Lince Dorado tear it up. The former Lucha Dragon soaked all the action in from afar.

"I'm a big fan of the 205 Live show. If I was part of it or I wasn't, I would watch it," Kalisto explained. "It gave me more of a chance, as a fan, to see what they can all do."


PHOENIX SPLASH!!! @GottaGetSwann is pulling out ALL THE STOPS on @WWENetwork's #205Live!!! @WWENeville https://t.co/wM7Y2EdOpU

And he liked what he saw. The art of Lucha Libre was on display, fused into an amalgam of in-ring styles. 

Kalisto recognized how much talent the division boasted. "205 Live is a whole different show," he said. "It's for really great high-flyers and entertainers that put on a great show."


Amore Arrives

A smack-talking loudmouth strode into the cruiserweight division in August.

Amore had long been Big Cass' tag team partner. Once the pair split, he kept himself in the spotlight on the strength of his vocal work. He berated enemies, fired off jokes and toyed with the crowd.

The WWE clearly wanted to bring some of that to 205 Live.

Enzo Amore talks smack to Kalisto.
Enzo Amore talks smack to Kalisto.Credit: WWE.com

Kalisto recognizes that Amore is skilled in that part of his game. "He has a big mouth and he's good at it," The King of Flight said.

After winning the Cruiserweight Championship from Neville at No Mercy in September, an increasingly heelish Amore told fans he had a no-contact clause during his title celebration. If anyone attacked him that night, they would forego any future title shots.

In spite of that, Neville led the way and the entire division wailed on him.

That left Amore with no challengers. He had weaseled his way out of ever having to put his gold on the line. That was until Kalisto joined the division soon after.

On Oct. 9, the luchador challenged Muscle Marinara in a Lumberjack Match. For the first time, Raw's main event would feature a cruiserweight bout.

Chaos reigned, as much of the division put their hands on the combatants. Kalisto nailed his foe with a Salida Del Sol for the victory nonetheless. Suddenly, he was cruiserweight champ, holding the purple prize above his head.

Kalisto celebrates his Cruiserweight Championship win.
Kalisto celebrates his Cruiserweight Championship win.Photo courtesy of WWE.com

The moment hit him hard.

"I was really emotional when I won," Kalisto recalled. "I didn't expect for me to win that day, that fast."

He channeled his surging emotions into a tribute to the late WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero. 

"What a special day," Kalisto said. "It was on the birthday of Eddie Guerrero, one of the great Latino inspirations of all time. Rey [Mysterio] and Eddie, they're one of the reasons I'm here, They opened doors for luchadors like me to step foot in the WWE ring."

Mysterio responding to him on Twitter further motivated him. 

Kalisto wants to keep the cruiserweight division's momentum going. He wants to make sure it remains in the spotlight. And he plans to do that with a fighting champion's spirit.

"Everyone deserves a shot," he said of his newly won title. "Enzo was closing those doors. I'm opening them." 


Kalisto vs. Amore II

The King of Flight's first cruiserweight title defense is on Sunday in a rematch with Amore in Minneapolis' Target Center.

Amore will be looking to reclaim his gold. Kalisto will be looking to shut up the smack-talking egotist.


The #Cruiserweight Title will be on the line when @KalistoWWE defends his championship against @real1 this Sunday at #WWETLC! #205Live https://t.co/UqKMUhU8MN

The former titleholder, with his New Jersey accent and endless supply of metaphors, got people talking about 205 Live when he made the jump to the division. He offered a bigger personality than any of his new peers. But the champ believes that won't be enough.

"The only thing that I believe he brought to 205 Live was his catchphrases," Kalisto said. "How long is that going to last? It's going to get old. It's going to get boring. And people are going to know, that dude can't go. It's just a matter of time."

As for Kalisto, there are no doubts about his in-ring ability. He's an electric dynamo between the ropes.


Is @KalistoWWE taking @real1 lightly heading into #WWETLC? Not a chance. #WWERegina https://t.co/jEUe6Snbbz

He explained, though, that what we see from him in the ring is not all he can do. He doesn't use his full arsenal, his whole mercadoas he put it. He wants to have moves in reserve, giving him the chance to wow and surprise the audience down the line.

In his mind, he's not just an aerialist, either.

"I can fight. I can fly. I can grapple. I can wrestle. I do judo. I can do everything."

Amore is poised to be the recipient of some of those skills on Sunday. Then it will be time for Kalisto to take on the rest of the division, one by one.


What's to Come for the Cruiserweights?

The diverse cruiserweight division offers Kalisto a wealth of intriguing new foes, from the dastardly submission artist Jack Gallagher to the no-nonsense, hard-hitting Drew Gulak.

The champion wants to step into the ring with the whole 205 Live roster.

"I want to work with all of them," Kalisto said. "I want to go against everybody. Everybody's a world traveler. They all have experiences. They have all wrestled against the best."

Gran Metalik, however, would be a particularly enticing opponent. The masked acrobat has been an underused part of the division, but he's shown flashes of what fans in Mexico know all about.

Gran Metalik. Future Kalisto opponent?
Gran Metalik. Future Kalisto opponent?Credit: WWE.com

"He's a really known luchador in Mexico," The King of Flight explained. "He can go. He can even teach me a thing or two. I can't even imagine the things we can do inside the ring."

The two men have practiced together at the WWE Performance Center, showing each other moves and turning heads with their improved sessions.

It may not be long before those two are mixing it up in front of a bigger audience. Kalisto vs. Gran Metalik is one of the electric matchups the WWE can now turn to with the former Lucha Dragon now a part of the cruiserweights. 

If Neville is on his way out, that will be a gut-punch of a loss to 205 Live. But plenty of talent remains. The King of Flight is quite the capable flag-bearer for the division. 

Kalisto has high hopes for where the cruiserweights can go. "Maybe one day we can headline a PPV," he said. "Anything's possible."


Ryan Dilbert is the WWE Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand.


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