Saturday 4 May 2013

The Saddening Regression of Antonio Cesaro

United States champion Antonio Cesaro was conspicuous by his absence from WrestleMania XXIX and its pre-show. It was the same on the following night’s RAW. A lot of people were (and are) upset by this. Not because they were desperate to see the US title defended over ‘Mania weekend but because Cesaro is considered a hard-working guy who had earned a spot performing in front of WWE’s biggest crowd of the year.

While I’m not as irate as some by the supposed snub I can see why people would be annoyed. Since he debuted this time last year Cesaro has proven to be a capable member of the roster and entered numerous compelling performances against lesser wrestlers. He looks, acts, and wrestles like he belongs in a WWE ring. He had earned a spot at WrestleMania or the April 8th RAW.

Cesaro not getting onto WrestleMania is hard to accept as a deliberate snub. The card was too full as it was, which is why the Rhodes Scholars and Bella twins v Tons of Funk and Funkadactyls match got pulled from the broadcast. WWE know what they’re doing when putting these events together. Cesaro has been portrayed as an important guy for the future and would have had a match if there was time.

That said he’s not going to be an important guy to the future if this lacklustre approach continues. The healthy push he’d been enjoying last year abated throughout WrestleMania Season as he lost televised matches to a seemingly endless stream of babyfaces who needed a win going into the big event. That’s acceptable to a certain extent, but if we’re to continue taking him seriously he has to be shown to be a winner.
He's Swiss you know...
More concerning is the way in which he’s been presented since the big show. He lost the US gold clean to Kofi Kingston and failed to take it back in a rematch. That move robs him of his faux pro-America gimmick, which had been a significant step forward. He’s left instead with the yodelling entrance shtick. That’s not something that’s going to rocket him to the top.

I’ve written before that once someone’s made it in WWE they can lose as often as is required. When you’re established in WWE fans are going to accept you as a star no matter what. Chris Jericho and The Rock are two guys in such a position. ‘The Swiss Superman’ is a long way from joining them.

That he wasn’t on RAW is a far more troubling sign than him being left off of WrestleMania. Time was found on the flagship broadcast for 3MB losing to the babyface trio of Santino, R-Truth and Zack Ryder. I mean… c’mon! If those six guys could appear on RAW there’s no logical reason Cesaro should have been skipped.

It would be easy enough to get Cesaro back on his roll. It’s not as though he’s fallen that far down the card or suffered an insurmountable number of losses. The next two months should see the very European superstar picking up wins on TV, including taking in a successful mid-card bout at Extreme Rules (or Backlash, as it used to be known). If he has to go back on job duty for a bigger star the smart thing to do would be to book the match for SmackDown. Fewer people will see it that way.

Long term Cesaro could be massive star for WWE. As I say, he’s got the look and wrestling ability and carries himself like he belongs. All he needs is time and some wins to establish himself.

How’s this for a booking idea? Have Cesaro get back to winning matches and have him lose to a headliner at Payback, then enter him into a Money in the Bank match in July. Have him come really close to winning but just miss out. He doesn’t need to get a world title this year. There’s no rush.
Come SummerSlam give him a feud with another established babyface like Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio and allow him a victory, proving that he’s on his way to the top. If it goes well enough he could be tested out against John Cena at TLC in December. That show’s been something of a test centre for the last two years. The trend should continue this year and Cesaro should be the man getting the tryout for the top.


  1. Awesome article on Cesaro. I have written an article on my blog:

    I think we seem to share some similar views!

    1. Thanks. He's been so poorly handled this year. He was doing so well too.