It appears that Friday Night SmackDown superstar Cesaro might be remaining with WWE for the foreseeable future, not long after reports suggested that his contract will be expiring soon after WrestleMania 37.
As cited by Wrestling Inc. on Friday, Dave Meltzer reported on this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Cesaro might have signed or verbally agreed to a new deal. While it's still unclear how long the contract is, the longtime combat sports journalist provided additional information on how the grappler's previous status affected his booking on SmackDown in the weeks leading up to last Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Per Meltzer, the original plans for Cesaro called for him to turn babyface and defeat almost everyone in a gauntlet match to determine Universal Champion Roman Reigns' challenger at Royal Rumble. This idea was reportedly thought of by Daniel Bryan, who joined the blue brand's creative team last year, and it also involved the newly-turned good guy getting "screwed at the end." But with Cesaro's situation still uncertain at that point, his spot was instead given to his former tag teammate, Shinsuke Nakamura, on the January 8 episode of SmackDown.
Although it would have seemed that the person slated to turn face during the gauntlet match — regardless of whether it was Cesaro or Nakamura — would be due for a major push going forward, Meltzer wrote that there was a reason why WWE hasn't built on that creative decision. He noted that Nakamura was supposedly told that his new role would mainly involve him helping "make new stars" out of the blue brand's younger and/or up-and-coming performers.
As documented by Cultaholic, Cesaro first joined WWE in September 2011 after a successful stint on the independent scene under his real name of Claudio Castagnoli. He debuted on the main roster in April 2012 and went on to win several championships, including seven tag team titles across both main roster brands. He has, however, mostly been stuck in the mid-card picture, as he previously held the United States Championship and won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX but has yet to win either the WWE or Universal title.
Cesaro isn't the only performer who has supposedly inked or agreed to a new deal with WWE in recent days. Earlier this week, Fightful Select (via Ringside News) reported that Monday Night Raw superstar Riddle signed a "totally new contract" with the promotion, one that will keep him working for Vince McMahon's company until the end of 2023.