ROH/WWE – Antonio Cesaro: Very European


cesaroswing

Cesaro and the GIANT swing – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Antonio Cesaro:
Very European

The “Real American” Antonio Cesaro is one of the most impressive wrestlers ever seen. He has an incredible physique, he looks like one of the statues of Hercules and Leonidas seen in the temples of Ancient Greece. To back this up he has one of the most unique and entertaining wrestling styles seen. Make no mistake, he is no mere dumb brute. He’s a classical psychologist, using his size to dominate opponents and wear them down. He is capable of insane feats of strength, as seen when he suplexed Christian (I think, I can’t really remember who it was) from the outside of the ring solely with his own leg and arm strength. Need someone to vertical suplex The Great Khali? Cesaro’s your man.

Although he is yet to show his full potential in WWE, he has a long and storied career throughout the world of independent wrestling. Cesaro travelled to many countries to hone his craft, following in the footsteps of greats like Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero. Japan, Mexico, Canada, the United States and European countries like England and Germany.

Cesaro wrestled under his real name during this time, Claudio Castagnoli. He wrestled for most of most famous promotions throughout the world such as Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, Combat Zone Wrestling, CHIKARA and NOAH. Much of his time on the indies was spent as part of one tag team or another, the most memorable being Bruderschaft des Kreuzes with Ares and Tursas, and the Kings of Wrestling with Chris Hero (now Antonio Cesaro).

But so far in WWE he seems rather direction-less. He’s somehow gotten mixed up with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. When he won the United States Championship it seemed like the start of something special, but then WWE did their usual trick of deciding to put a mid-card or tag team title on a hot guy and then hilariously just never book them on shows to actually defend that title outside of house shows and heaven forbid a championship other than the WWE Championship look prestigious. I guess the truth is that the World Heavyweight Championship is the real mid-card title these days. Outside of a few special spots throughout various matches Cesaro hasn’t been given time to shine.

But the treatment Cesaro has received since arriving in the big leagues is really confusing. He’s such a good fit for WWE. It would be like if Barcelona had signed David Silva from Manchester City, it’d just make so much sense. Cesaro’s style can mesh with so many others. His physique is world beating. Vince must have creamed his pants when he first saw him.

One thing gives me hope that this is simply because they don’t really have a firm idea of what to do with him yet and are simply biding time because they don’t want to ruin him. And to be fair he’s been having great matches on NXT with Sami Zayn (formerly El Generico).

A Rivalry Rekindled

Ah El Generico. Cesaro and he have had some of my personal favourite matches that I’ve ever seen. They’ve just got that special chemistry, like Stone Cold and The Rock (or HBK and The Undertaker/Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuiness/Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero) had that can take any match to a next level and make it something special. The matches these two had in PWG simply have to be seen to be believed.

Another thing that gives me hope is WWE’s recent track record with former independent stars. Both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have become two huge stars, cornerstones of the entire show. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are both in great spots in the SHIELD, getting plenty of TV time as the sharp end of the New Corporation. Hopefully Antonio will eventually gain a similar spot.

I personally think the solution is obvious and he’s waiting down in NXT. Kassius Ohno should debut and the Kings of Wrestling should be reformed. They should win the titles and have the great matches we all know they can have with the Shield, the Prime Time Players and the Uso’s. And down the road their split up could be on the same level as when The Rockers split up. It’s a potential high mid-card/sub main event feud that would lead to great matches all around.

Just to sum up, Antonio Cesaro is a great wrestler. He has amazing matches with anyone you put in front of him. He should be an easy fit in WWE. He had one of the best careers on the independents and is ready and waiting to step up to the next level.

Steven Forrester

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