Monday 25 February 2013

Real American

Anyone who's watched WWE over the last twelve months will be able to tell you that Antonio Cesaro has been a great success story. He's carved out a niche for himself as a rising star and enjoyed ring time with several of the company's top acts. Nobody gets to have competitive matches with Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Ryback unless they're being presented as something of worth.
The crowning achievement of Cesaro's WWE run so far is arguably his United States title reign. He won the strap on the SummerSlam pre-show, broadcast on YouTube, from comedy act Santino. Since then he's been presented as a fighting champion, working surprisingly enjoyable matches with the likes of R-Truth, Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel.
He has proven himself to be a reliable wrestler and a reliable promo. Practically anyone on the roster could be put in a match with him and be made to look at least decent. He got something passable out of The Great Khali. Twice! If that doesn't prove his talent I don't know what does.

Zips are cool
Over the last few months Cesaro has dropped the anti-America shtick that characterised the early weeks and months of his US title run and instead started embracing the country. Coming to the ring waving Old Glory and wearing trunks patterned with stars and stripes while disingenuously endorsing the US has proven a far more effective way of having fans turn on him than merely proclaiming himself (and Switzerland) better would in 2013. It's been a smart, enjoyable move.
I'd like to see Cesaro take things even further and begin emulating Hulk Hogan. Throughout the 80s 'The Hulkster's' chief gimmick was that of the uber-patriot. It was a clever move back then. The Cold War was still an ongoing thing and the US fans were generally happier to cheer a guy wrestling in a singlet interpretation of the national flag than they are today. It was cheap but it didn't matter. It worked.
Have Cesaro wrestle decked out in red and yellow tye dye trunks with a Swiss Cross or the Stars and Stripes on them. Let him keep the flag and the championship he's restored credibility to and add the Hogan pose routine to the act. Even if just for one night, say WrestleMania, I think it would be great. The heel European rubbing the embarrassing, overly-patriotic image of Hogan, a man who has since become somewhat of an embarrassment to the wrestling business in general, into the faces of fans. I can hear the boos (and ironic cheers) now.

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