From a booking perspective it makes sense. Despite being a heel, Amore is the underdog in his matches, usually the territory of the endearing face. It doesn't make sense to have him chasing the title. Rather, in his current status as an underhanded, self-promoting heel, it makes sense to have him using all sorts of tactics to maintain his title.
And that brings us to Tuesday night's episode of 205 Live, where Kalisto was exercising his "contractually mandated rematch." With Amore's voice still missing in action, it was Ariya Daivari standing in for the pre-match promo -- although it wasn't as enjoyable as watching Drew Gulak read Enzo's prepared statement the previous night on Monday Night Raw.
Kalisto started the match with a quick dropkick, driving Amore to the outside. We then got a good ring psychology moment when Kalisto, continuing his early-match barrage, tried to prevent Amore from sliding out of the ring. Amore desperately clung to the ringskirt again, dragging it into the ring with him. In Sunday's match, this was the beginning of the end, as the referee turned his back to put it back in place, Amore hit a thumb to the eye, and then connected on the Jawdonezo to put away his opponent and win the title.
It was a different story on Tuesday as Kalisto learned from his mistakes and stood on the ring skirt. Even without the distraction, Amore gained the upper hand when he dumped Kalisto to the floor when he was going for a corner mount.
Amore held control of the match until the best spot of the match -- when Kalisto caught Amore out of the ring and hit the Windmill Driver (think a cartwheel Death Valley Driver). He barely got Amore back into the ring before a countout.
Kalisto continued to pour it on as he cut off Enzo's attempt at a "DDG," instead hitting a Listo Kick on Amore sitting on the top rope, and then a tornado DDT. Kalisto went back to the top rope, but Amore kicked the official into the ropes, sending Kalisto to crash and burn and getting himself disqualified in the process. Amore lost the match but maintained his hold on the championship.
Although it seems likely that Kalisto is going to get another shot, even if Nigel McGuinness hinted that was his sole contractually obligated rematch, it might be for the advantage of the WWE now to hold off until after Survivor Series.
Survivor Series is being pitted as Raw versus SmackDown Live, but the cruiserweights exist mostly on the fringe of Raw, and their exclusive show takes place immediately after SmackDown, so it makes sense to keep them out of the conflict (they were absent through SmackDown's siege of Raw on Monday). But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be a part of Survivor Series.
On Raw this week, we got a five-on-five match with the "Zo Train," consisting of Amore and marry band of well-compensated men, and "Lucha Lucha," consisting of Kalisto and the top faces on the roster. It seems like that match on pace to happen at Survivor Series, and it still might. WCW's cruiserweight division got noticed, in part, for its high-flying, exciting multi-man tag matches. Putting those 10 men on display at one of the year's major pay-per-views would allow them to do the same.
After that, Kalisto (or somebody else who stands out after the elimination match), could return for Amore's title, and put us on the path to whatever happens at WrestleMania.
Hits and misses
I didn't get why Gulak would align with Amore originally, and it's still questionable given Gulak's stance on chanting and show-offs, but if we get moments like his reading Amore's pre-match promo, I'm all for it.
I've really enjoyed the pairing of Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander, and we're starting to see some tag-team maneuvers on Tuesday. I'm not saying they should have a long-term run at the top of the tag division, but imagine if they got a shot at Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins and gave them a brief run for their money. What it would do for their careers?
Superlatives of the night
Move: Kalisto's Windmill Driver on the apron was innovative.
Line: "My bank account couldn't be happier to be associated with Enzo Amore. Because Bucks and a championship is something this city knows nothing about." -- Ariya Daivari, on his relationship with Amore