Wrestlemania 30 made it look like the rest of 2014 would be the year of (Antonio) Cesaro.
He was on a quick ascension up the WWE ladder as every crowd cheered him on as a baby-face. His wrestling skills are fantastic and got over with the crowd well. They really loved the “Cesaro Swing” even more. Every time he did that during the match, it got the crowd going and resulted in them all being in awe of Cesaro’s strength.
In March, we saw plenty of signs of “The Real Americans” breaking up. Him and tag team partner Jack Swagger would argue during every show based on jealousy. Swagger was the one usually jealous. He was also looking poor during matches, so it annoyed Cesaro.
The next month, there was a fatal 4-way match at Wrestlemania for the WWE Tag Team Championship and The Real Americans were involved. They would go onto lose the match and the duo would split following the end of the match. Everyone thought that this was the long anticipated face turn for Cesaro.
It looked even more certain later in the night when the Swiss Superstar would have his Wrestlemania moment and throw Big Show over the top rope in the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He got a huge reaction from the Superdome (not Silverdome) crowd and it looked like the face turn was complete.
I sit back here writing this article and laugh at how wrong we all were.
It looked positive at first when Cesaro would come out on the night after Wrestlemania to accept his trophy.
From being congratulated by Hulk Hogan, the crowd chants, and seeing Zeb Colter steal the mic from Cesaro, it looked like this face turn was happening.
“I’m a Paul Heyman guy.” That one sentence looked like the greatest thing in the world for Cesaro’s career. It turned out to be the nail in the coffin that nobody realized that night.
The assumption was that Heyman was now a face since it looked like Cesaro was turning face. It just didn’t make sense with Heyman managing Brock Lesnar the night before and ending The Undertaker’s 21-0 streak at Wrestlemania. How could be a face after that?
Cesaro got plenty of positive reaction during his feud with Swagger, which the former came out on top. After that, he got his new entrance that sounded like a mix of Scott Steiner’s theme music and generic rock music. The crowds in most arenas didn’t know what to think of it and slowly stopped reacting to him.
What really hurt him was the feud with Sheamus for the United States Championship. After a few weeks of showing heel tendencies, putting him in a feud with an above-average baby-face in the Celtic Warrior, damaged him. He would go onto lose the match between the two for the title.
He was placed in the ladder match for the vacated WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank while his feud with Sheamus was continuing but he did not do too much in it. Once the match ended, their feud was over too.
Cesaro would then be in a brief feud for the Intercontinental Championship that did not become of anything.
He would be involved in it again once the title was vacated due to Bad News Barrett’s injury, courtesy of Swagger. Cesaro was made out to look like a strong contender for the battle royal at Battleground for the vacated title initially. He started a brief, mini-feud with Big E and Kofi Kingston, which he lost and expressed a lot of anger in post-match segments. This was done to make the battle royal looking intriguing, however, he would go onto be a “surprise” elimination, as he wasn’t in the final couple of Superstars remaining.
Since Battleground, Cesaro has not had any main feuds. There was an off-screen breakup between him and Paul Heyman. To paraphrase, “Things were just not working out.” There was a brief feud between him and Dean Ambrose along with a terrific match that him and John Cena had on the July 28th edition of Raw after calling him out to begin the show and saying he couldn’t wrestle, only to lose and slowly become buried in the ground.
Now this is what irks me the most. You would say him and Dolph Ziggler are on pretty similar ground in the company right now, right? Two fantastic wrestlers who WWE creative has lazily left in the mid-card area but deserve more. They faced off two days ago on Raw. They didn’t let you see or hear Cesaro’s entrance for a single second on live TV. He would then get defeated by Ziggler in a matter of minutes in an effort to hype “The Show-Off” as a tough competitor for The Miz’s Intercontinental title at SummerSlam. Cesaro jobbed to Ziggler. Has he really fallen that far?
Reports were swirling this week that there’s a planned feud down the road for Brock Lesnar and Cesaro, so we should be relieved that there’s a silver lining to the burying of the King of Swing, right? Wrong.
Rumors throughout the spring were that Cesaro was going to get a push at one of the company’s top baby-faces during the summer. Why couldn’t WWE just capitalize over all of his momentum that he had following Wrestlemania 30. That still baffles me. It’s arguably the company’s worst booking decision of the year.
It makes me take all of these Lesnar-Cesaro rumors with a tiny grain of salt. If WWE doesn’t have faith in the Swiss Superstar right now, why should we have faith in these rumors?
Cesaro will probably not be on the SummerSlam card. There is no room for him and he was never put in a legitimate feud after Battleground, which is unfortunate.
He is a fantastic wrestler and is not the best on the mic but he has some charisma that is much better than others. WWE tends to give people with better skills on the mic plenty of time but why can’t they let him develop on it more often? I understand Roman Reigns is the potential company headliner but they’ve been fine with giving him all the time in the world to develop his speeches to the crowd. He has been much better too every time he has been out there because of the experience he’s gaining.
For the fans of Cesaro, we have to cross our fingers and hope that these Lesnar-Cesaro rumors are true because the latter is on a downward spiral at the moment. Even if the rumors do turn out to be true, WWE has a lot of ground to make up with re-establishing the Swiss Superstar’s character.