Following WrestleMania 30, it appeared that WWE Superstar Cesaro was on the cusp of achieving great things.
In the tag team title match on the pre-show, Cesaro rebelled against Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, breaking off from The Real Americans. Later that night, he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal during the pay-per-view card. It was a tremendous moment. It was there that it appeared Cesaro had finally “arrived” in the WWE.
But since that time, the WWE has floundered with his push in pairing him up with Paul Heyman. The results have been incredibly underwhelming.
It has been a little over two years since Cesaro debuted as part of the main WWE roster. He started as Antonio Cesaro, a former Swiss rugby player and militia member. A few months later, he got an early quick push, defeating Santino Marella to win the WWE United States Championship. He got a fairly lengthy run with the belt, holding it for 239 days.
Cesaro was doing well. He was clearly a hard worker. The WWE put him over a lot of talent, and he clearly did a lot of work on his physique. Cesaro also did a great job of adapting to the WWE’s in-ring style.
After losing the U.S. title, Cesaro was eventually paired up with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger to form the lame-duck tag team The Real Americans. It was an oddball pairing, but Cesaro continued to get over using his patented move, the Big Swing. Cesaro would do the move on much bigger guys like The Great Khali, which played a large part in getting Cesaro even more over with the fans.
These impressive visuals and feats of strength made Cesaro the “Swiss Superman.” The Real Americans was really just a way for Cesaro to bide his time and develop until WWE Creative was ready to devote more time to him.
The Swiss Superman moniker carried over to his highlight WrestleMania 30 performance as he won the match by lifting Big Show up and body slamming him out of the ring. It was a classic moment. Cesaro had finally achieved his first big WrestleMania moment. It appeared a path had been laid out before him, and John Cena‘s ringing endorsement of Cesaro would eventually come to fruition.
Unfortunately, despite Cesaro getting over as a face and turning on his heel manager and tag team partner, the WWE immediately paired Cesaro up with heel manager Paul Heyman. Heyman is a big-time player, and was already managing one of WWE’s top attraction Superstars, Brock Lesnar. Turning Cesaro heel right after he had become a face and got a huge face moment at WrestleMania 30 was a bad decision.
Heyman is a great talker and personality in pro wrestling, but he has done very little in making Cesaro a bigger deal with the company. While Heyman can be a great asset and mouthpiece to some wrestlers, it is not a guarantee. Case in point: Curtis Axel, Ryback and John Heidenreich.
Now, if you would argue that Cesaro is way more talented, charismatic and athletic than all those aforementioned Superstars, I would agree. However, that is another reason why I believe Cesaro should not have been paired up with Heyman.
After WrestleMania 30, Cesaro has meandered around the midcard. When there were opportunities to push him through as the new United States or Intercontinental champion, the WWE opted not to take those. Having Cesaro win the post-WrestleMania Intercontinental title shot tournament would have gone a long way in keeping his momentum going and put a new singles title on Cesaro.
Recently, he lost to Kofi Kingston on Raw, with the finish not even shown on TV.
Cesaro’s next opportunity is competing for the vacant Intercontinental title in a battle royal at WWE Battleground later this month. The push for Cesaro is far from unsalvageable, but that magic and momentum that Cesaro was gaining after WrestleMania 30 is now clearly gone.
I simply do not wish to see Cesaro be another promising Superstar that has another hot-and-cold, stop-and-start WWE push.