Remember way back in the before times, in the long, long ago when Cesaro was one of the hottest names in the WWE?
Yeah, I know, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to remember that, but he was. He had just hossed the Big Show over the top rope of the Andre the Giant Memorial battle royal at Wrestlemania XXX and parlayed that into becoming the latest Paul Heyman Guy, a moniker bestowed to the best and the brightest in the business like CM Punk, Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel (maybe that last one would sooner be forgotten by Heyman). It seemed as though the WWE had finally noticed that he was consistently their best guy in the ring on any given night and that the crowd was responding to it.
Seriously, by that time, Cesaro was having great matches with everyone on the card and tore the house down twice with Sami Zayn on NXT. He’d patented throwing you into the air and uppercutting your face into oblivion like no one before him has ever done. He’d become the legit strongest guy on the roster by a country mile, dead-lifting opponents into precarious positions with the kind of power we’re only told some possess. Cesaro was supposed to be the next guy from the Indies to be a big star on the biggest stage, joining the aforementioned Punk and Daniel Bryan as those guys we’d thought would never get the respect they deserved but ultimately found the Promised Land.
And then the WWE’s ADD got in the way. Y’see, creative and the powers that be have this ugly trend going for them. It’s a trend that sees them hype up a new face, hoping to create a new star so that they can stop making every pay-per-view center around John Cena overcoming the odds only to quickly lose interest in whatever it was they were doing. It happens all the time. If you look over the roster, you can find at least a half dozen guys who at one point were receiving a hefty push only to see it quickly and mysteriously deflated.
For Cesaro, it was confusing from the start. They put Heyman, the business’ greatest talker/manager, in his corner and expected that to be all he needed. It was a huge boost to Cesaro’s credibility in the eyes of the fans who don’t necessarily recognize the in-ring contributions of certain WWE superstars, but it wasn’t all that he needed. He needed continuous momentum; wins in big moments to keep building his credibility with the audience as more than just a really strong guy that swings people.
Instead, he hit a stand still. Cesaro kind of hit a stand still where he didn’t really have a feud but then kind of feuded with former Real Americans teammate Jack Swagger for one week and then seemingly forgot about it the next. He changed his music a few times as if that were going to really change anything. Then Heyman just dropped him to manage Brock Lesnar (which is understandable) and he’s been doing clean jobs to Swagger again.
Is it any wonder why the WWE seemingly struggles to create new stars? They really can only seem to focus on the main event picture and even that they only get right half the time. They expect overnight results with guys like Rusev, Axel and Cesaro and when those expectations fall short, they abandon their plans and leave the performers to fend for themselves.
Really, it would be easy to build Cesaro up again. He’s legitimately the strongest guy in the company, right? So just go back to having him hoss people again! It’s that simple. Let him hoss people in awesome matches where he actually wins a few. Have him just be an arrogant dude who knows he’s going to truck you because he’s absolutely going to truck you. Being a heel isn’t a hard thing to do.
Cesaro has a bright future in the WWE if creative and management will let him. If they continue to forget about these guys they felt like pushing for five minutes, it’s going to be difficult for them to develop new stars unless they randomly strike lightning in a bottle like they did with The Shield.
Bring back the King of Swing and let him toss the competition around the ring on his way back up the ladder.
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