Wednesday 23 July 2014

Cesaro Goes Solo

So Cesaro is no longer a Paul Heyman Guy. Because why persevere with an affiliation that could lead to a talented rising star facing your best drawing part-timer in a match people really want to see?

The moment Cesaro was announced as the latest Heyman client people leapt on the potential Lesnar match. It was a natural enough thing to do. Cesaro works a rough and ready style while Lesnar is practically the definition of physicality within wrestling. They would clearly mesh well with one another and both are so experienced and good at what they do that they'd be able to craft a lively match that draws viewers in.

That the Punk v Lesnar feud had been based largely around their shared friendship with Heyman didn't hurt either. It created a precedent. Cesaro could go face, handle his own chatting, and hammer Lesnar in a slobberknocker of the year contender. It all seemed so obvious.

For whatever reason WWE don't seem to want to have Heyman affiliated with more than one guy at once. That means that managing 'The King of Swing' was fine while Lesnar was between matches but now he's back to take the championship off John Cena he needs to be Heyman's sole charge again. It's exactly what happened to Ryback and Curtis Axel last year. They were dropped like a hot brick by Heyman as soon as his programme with Punk was over and they remained unaffiliated with Heyman when he returned to TV alongside Lesnar.

I don't agree with WWE splitting Cesaro from Heyman. I don't understand their reason for wanting to. But I can accept it. They do eccentric, inexplicable things all the time. What I can't accept is that they thought the best way of doing it would be having Cesaro casually mention during a convo with Triple H that he was no longer a Heyman guy. Surely it can't be that nobody within WWE thought to suggest that maybe Heyman and Cesaro have some sort on-screen bust up to better ease into a Lesnar-Cesaro programme should it come up? A simple two minute segment would have been ample. It's not like there weren't two spare minutes on RAW.
The Bond villain look is a good one.
Then of course there's the misconception that pairing Cesaro with Heyman should have turned him into a somebody overnight. The partnership alone was never going to do much for Cesaro. He'd already demonstrated very good verbal capabilities to match his very good in-ring skills. He'd also ably demonstrated he could get over and create a following under his own steam. Heyman in and of himself is not a star maker. He can help to create a buzz about a roster member but when push comes to shove it's always going to be the creative department and the McMahons who decide who the stars are. If creative sees someone as a mid-carder then a mid-carder they’ll be, no matter how popular they are or who their agent is.

Cesaro and Heyman accomplished everything WWE wanted them to. Heyman was kept relevant and on TV screens so he could mention Brock Lesnar constantly. The slow build was continued for ‘The Swiss Superman’. Cesaro was never meant to be rocketed to the top with Heyman, as evidenced by his semi-stagnation in the mid-card since April.

It’s frustrating that things could have been different. When Cesaro joined forces with Heyman his popularity was sky high. He'd just won the Andre the Giant battle royal and become a quasi-face as a result. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for WWE to give him a shove to the top, placing him into programmes with established names and using the association with Heyman for more than the bare minimum they were happy with. For whatever reason they opted not to. The pairing's potential went unfulfilled. It's sad and disappointing but it's not the first time WWE have done this. Nor will it be the last.

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