Cesaro, formerly Antonio Cesaro, has had a quick rise to the top in WWE. His strong work in the ring and his wacky personality have made him a budding fan favorite, and WWE has responded by giving him a bit of a push.
Cesaro will compete in the elimination chamber match at WWE Elimination Chamber on Feb. 23. This will be Cesaro’s first WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity since making his television debut with the company in April 2012.
However, before Cesaro steps in the chamber he must first test his merit against reigning world champion Randy Orton in a non-title match. The contest will be the main event on tonight’s edition of SmackDown.
Cesaro, real name Claudio Castagnoli, has been honing his craft since he turned pro in late 2000. Cesaro made a name for himself in Ring of Honor where he competed under his given name from 2005-11. While in ROH Castagnoli formed a memorable tag team with Chris Hero, dubbed the Kings of Wrestling. Hero and Castagnoli developed a strong fan following and caught the attention of several wrestling promotions, including WWE.
Cesaro’s strongest attribute is his in-ring ability. Between his devastating finisher the Neutralizer, superb European Uppercuts and the Cesaro Swing, Cesaro has cemented himself as a wrestler to watch.
Hopefully Cesaro’s run at the top isn’t merely a brief interlude. Fans seem ready for Cesaro to make the next big climb, and in order to break away from the pack he may need to ditch his current tag team partner, Jack Swagger. The Real Americans are an entertaining tag team managed by the incorrigible Zeb Colter, but it will be difficult for Cesaro to establish himself as a main-eventer while a member of a decidedly mid-card team.
Only time will tell if Cesaro has the goods to be a steady headliner, and tonight’s match with Randy Orton is a solid start.