These two amazing wrestlers hate each other’s guts

Ahead of their fight for the Cruiserweight Championship title at WWE Live on 7th December, Enzo Amore and Kalisto tell us what it takes to be a titleholder and what they really think of each other…

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Ring name: Enzo Amore
Real name: Eric Arndt
Known for: His smack talk

Tell us about your first ever WWE match…

It was in a live event in Florida in a crowd of around 50 to 60 people against Big E. He hit me with his finish called the Big Ending rather quickly and abruptly – then hit me with it another three times. It wasn’t the best experience but it was a learning one and I like to think that I’ve prospered since that day.

Describe your backstage ritual…

I’m typically running around doing a million things up until the point you see me on TV. On more relaxed days, I like to eat banoffee pie. Bread is good; I’ll butter that up, drink as much coffee as I can get, some Red Bull and I might do some body weight squats and swinging leg raises and that’s about it.

Who is your WWE idol?

There are three major people I idolise, one more than any is Shawn Michaels. As a child I played with his action figure every day and beat up the other figures with his. [Then] there was Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock… Everything they did was monumental for our business as far as entertainment goes – and that’s what I’m in this business for is entertainment.

What has been your most memorable fan interaction?

I was in Seattle, Washington for 205 Live and a fan came to me with my college football jersey from Salisbury University in Maryland. It was split maroon and white, cut right down the middle to spec like one of my college football jerseys, with my college football number and my real last name on the back. That was crazy.

Both you and Kalisto have won Cruiserweight titles. Who’s going to win in Abu Dhabi?

The greatest Cruiserweight Champion of all time: Enzo Amore.

What’s your message to Kalisto ahead of the Abu Dhabi fight?

I don’t have any messages for him. He can check his inbox and he’ll see I haven’t ever sent him any messages.

WWE Live WrestleMania Revenge Kalisto (c) def. Ryback For : WWE United States Championship

Ring name: Kalisto
Real name: Emanuel Alejandro Rodriguez
Known for: Being the King of Flight

Tell us about your first ever WWE match…

I didn’t know what to expect, how the crowd would react to the art that I do, lucha libre. It was fun, it was a learning process.

Describe your backstage ritual…

While I’m stretching I’m either listening to music or sometimes I like to meditate to clear my mind; I pretend that I’m on a beach and just relax. Right before I hit the stage I pray to my loved ones who have passed for me to be safe and for my opponent to be safe.

Who is your WWE idol?

I have many but if I have to pick one it’ll be Eddie Guerrero. Not only is he Latino, he made a difference. People that never in a million years thought they could follow their dreams, he’s inspired everybody.

What has been your most memorable fan interaction?

When I went to Mexico, a [lady] told me: ‘I’m a huge wrestling fan… But my dream is to be a doctor. You inspire me with your scream ‘Lucha, lucha, lucha!’, which means ‘Fight, fight, fight!’. You inspire me to continue to fight for my dreams’. It stuck with me to this day; just the fact that I’m making a difference in someone else’s life feels good.

Both you and Enzo Amore have won Cruiserweight titles. Who’s going to win in Abu Dhabi?

That’s a no brainer – definitely me. I was Cruiserweight Champion before and I know I will be again, but Enzo is very sneaky and he finds ways to cheat his way to victory.

Enzo Amore is known for his smack talk. What’s your message to him ahead of the Abu Dhabi fight?

I’d rather let my actions speak louder. He can talk so much but it goes into one ear and comes out the other. He’ll listen when I pin him down, take him down or make him tap out.

WWE Live in Abu Dhabi takes place at Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium on 7th December at 8pm. Tickets are available from AED 250 at platinumlist.net

WORDS Rachael Perrett 

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