Claudio Castignoli, better known as Antonio Cesaro, just put on a heck of a performance on NXT!
For those who don’t know, NXT is the WWE training ground for their next crop of superstars. Although a lot of the wrestlers are new, some of them have wrestled in such promotions as ROH, and in Japan. It is always entertaining to hear someone call Kassius Ohno a rookie, when he has been wrestling for years under the name Chris Hero.
In fact, Cesaro wrestled with Hero and they were the tag team the Kings of Wrestling. They showed remarkable innovation in the ring. The super spin as we see it, when with Hero, was followed up by a double-legged drop kick that wowed fans. Cesaro spun them until their faces went blue, and then Hero kicked their head off. They were a great tag team, and it is this in-ring prowess that has sky-rocketed Cesaro, and made him highly popular with fans.
This is what worries me.
Cesaro is a Swiss superman, crossed with Jason Statham, who possesses the old fashioned body and wrestling techniques that belonged to guys like Bruno Sammartino. In short, he is dangerous.
He has all the ability in the world to be a great heel for the WWE. But they are cheering him even though he is a part of the tag team, The Real Americans, who are supposed to be heels. Traditionally, this adoration forced the WWE to turn their popular wrestlers into faces. They see a bigger market and they sacrifice ideals for profit.
I hope they don’t do this with Cesaro. It will be a crucial mistake and a loss of a great character. Cesaro’s villainy was never more in full display than his last performance on NXT. He was involved in a number of altercations. He threatened the announcer, menacingly stared down William Regal and all but executed his opponent moving with slow and powerful precision. It is this quality, this cold, calculating personality, coupled with his awesome physique that should keep Cesaro from turning face.
The Cesaro that showed up in NXT is the Cesaro that great baby faces need to make them even better. He is more of a viper than Randy Orton. Let us see the WWE put it on display.