Thursday 15 November 2012

Neutral Push

I like the booking pattern that has emerged for Antonio Cesaro since he captured the United States title on the SummerSlam pre-show in August. Instead of easily dominating everyone  he faces as most of WWE's champions do 'The Swiss Superman' routinely loses non-title matches on RAW and SmackDown. He then gains a win, occasionally a tainted one, in a rematch against the challenger.
This has happened most notably with Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel. It allows the challengers to get some TV time and enjoy a short feud. It also shows that Cesaro is fallible. That's nice to see in a champion in WWE.
I'm enjoying the treatment of Cesaro for more than just the approach to his win-loss record. He's being given a chance to get into the ring and wrestle for a relatively long amount of time, which isn't that common. Not only that but he's getting to wrestle a style not dissimilar to the one we saw him use in ROH. That's not what I expected when he signed with WWE. 
The recent vignettes in which he banishes American landmarks from "his" America are even better. They're a nice way of making the United States championship stand out. Which is needed because it is arguably the promotion's most meaningless strap.
The trouble (there's always a trouble) is that this approach has led to any babyface being pitted against Cesaro as being heralded as the next guy to receive a meaningful push. It would be great if the likes of Kidd, Gabriel, and, most recently, R-Truth were given a chance to prove to audiences that they can win as well as perform well. Unfortunately every decision WWE makes indicates that creating a mid-card in which guys can get over is very low on their list of priorities.

Taping his right hand helps him remember all those languages
Both Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel have been rumoured for a strong babyface push at different junctures this year. They were going to be used as a tag team back in the spring. Then Kidd was going to being a player on the heels of his qualification for Money in the Bank (which, in hindsight, happened so that there was someone in the match other than Dolph Ziggler who could perform some stunts). Then the two were going to be a combo again when the doubles scene began receiving attention thanks to Kane and Daniel Bryan. Finally Justin Gabriel scored that non-title win over Antonio Cesaro, which was seen as WWE "getting serious" about making 'The Werewolf of Cape Town' a star.
It has been a parade of false dawns. Nothing more.
The truth is that it is always very obvious when WWE wants to make something of someone. Look at Ryback. Look at Sheamus. Those are the sorts of pushes WWE gives guys it has plans for. For now we’re going to have to satisfy ourselves with Cesaro getting regular pay-per-view outings against underutilised yet talented wrestlers. It’s not all bad.

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