Eric Arndt (December 8, 1986) is an American professional wrestler best known for his time with WWE, where he performed under the ring name Enzo Amore and was a two-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

Early life

Arndt was born in Hackensack, New Jersey but grew up in Waldwick, New Jersey. There, he attended Memorial Elementary School and Waldwick High School, where he also played football. Arndt continued his football career at Division III (NCAA) Salisbury University, playing linebacker and safety for the Sea Gulls from 2007-2009. Arndt ultimately earned a degree in journalism. He formerly worked as a disc jockey for the New York Jets, a piano mover, and a manager at Hooters.

Professional wrestling career


Training and NXT (2012–2016)

Main article: Enzo and Cass

Arndt had no prior wrestling experience before WWE signed him. 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, ultimately resulting in his signing. In August 2012, WWE signed Arndt, who then started using the ring name Eric Anthony. In November 2012, he was given the ring name of Enzo Amore when he debuted in WWE's developmental system NXT as a wrestler.

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", on May 22, 2013, where he was squashed by Mason Ryan. Amore went on to form an alliance with Colin Cassady, who had also previously lost to Ryan, and they named themselves "the realest guys in the room". In real life, Arndt (Amore) first 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. Despite Amore and Cassady's alliance, Ryan easily defeated them in consecutive singles matches in July, but lost to them in a handicap match. Ryan one-upped the two when he caused Amore and Cassady to be attacked by Tons of Funk. After the feud with Ryan, Amore and Cassady went on to feud with Alexander Rusev, Sylvester Lefort and Scott Dawson turning face. 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.

In November 2013, Amore suffered a broken leg while training. Amore returned on June 26, 2014 episode of NXT, saving Cassady from an attack from Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis. 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. 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. 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. Carmella had her televised in-ring debut on the October 16, 2014 episode of NXT. Among the trainers at NXT, Amore singled out Bill DeMott and Dusty Rhodes as being instrumental in his training and promos respectively.

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.

Raw Tag Team Championship pursuits (2016–2017)

On the Raw after WrestleMania 32, Amore and Cassady debuted on the main roster and confronted The Dudley Boyz. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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.

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. 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. 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. 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)

On the August 22 episode of 205 Live, Amore made his debut in the cruiserweight division, confronting WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville, beginning a feud with him in the process. On August 28 episode of Raw, Amore scored his first victory in the cruiserweight division against Noam Dar. The following day on 205 Live, Amore teamed with Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik to defeat the team of Dar, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak. On September 5, Amore earned a title opportunity against Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at No Mercy, winning a fatal-5-way elimination match also involving Alexander, The Brian Kendrick, Metalik and Nese, allowing Alexander to eliminate the other competitors before stealing the win. At No Mercy, Amore defeated Neville with a low blow showing signs of a heel turn to win the Cruiserweight Championship, claiming his first title win within the WWE.

The following night on Raw, Amore convinced Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to close the show with a "championship celebration". During the segment, Amore, who was still cheered by the audience, continued to signal a heel turn by insulting the cruiserweight division and stating that since debuting in 205 Live, he made the show "relevant", and claimed that the 205 Live roster was "jealous" of his accomplishments. He also showed a signed clause by Kurt Angle that if any cruiserweight touched him, they will lose their title opportunities. After Raw stopped airing, the cruiserweight division collectively attacked him. The next night on 205 Live, Amore opened the show on crutches, with a heel promo, continuing to say that he is the reason the cruiserweight division is relevant. After Neville's match against Ariya Daivari, Amore assaulted him with a crutch, completing a double turn between Amore and Neville, turning Amore heel for the first time since his NXT debut. The week after on Raw, Amore revealed another paper clause stating that any cruiserweight that tries to touch him will 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 ending his reign at 15 days. However, he would regain the title in his rematch at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, via an illegal thumb shot to the eye behind the referee's back. At the Survivor Series Kickoff show, Amore successfully defended the title against Kalisto. In early 2018, Amore was unable to compete due to suffering from influenza. Amore was suspended from WWE on January 22 due to allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, his match against Cedric Alexander at Royal Rumble for the Cruiserweight Championship was cancelled. Amore was released the next day and the title was vacated.

Independent circuit (2019-present)

After his release from the WWE, on August 15, under a modified ring name of Nzo, he debuted in Northeast Wrestling at Six Flags Slam Fest. There he accompanied fellow WWE alumnus Big Cass (wrestling under the name Cass XL) to his match against yet another WWE alumnus in Jon Moxley (formerly known by his WWE ring name Dean Ambrose). On August 16 at Prison Break Nzo made his NEW in-ring debut, where he defeated Brian Pillman Jr..

Sexual assault allegation

On January 22, 2018, Arndt was suspended due to a violation of WWE's zero tolerance policy for matters involving sexual harassment and sexual assault. WWE released a statement indicating he would remain suspended until the matter was resolved. In an interview with TMZ on January 23, a woman named Philomena Sheahan accused Arndt of raping her in a Phoenix, Arizona hotel room on October 19, 2017. Arndt was released from his WWE contract and the Cruiserweight Championship was vacated the same day. On Twitter, Arndt issued a statement from his legal counsel, "fully and unequivocally" denying the allegations against him.

Other media

Amore is a playable character in WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17, and WWE 2K18.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "A Certified G and A Bona-Fide Stud"
    • "Jersey's Finest"
    • "Realest Guy in the Room"
    • "Smacktalker Skywalker"

Championships and accomplishments

Luchas de Apuestas record

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date
Enzo Amore (hair) Sylvester Lefort (hair) Orlando, Florida NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way 02014-09-11September 11, 2014

External links

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