Since his 2012 debut for the company, Cesaro has been one of WWE’s most popular wrestlers among so-called “smart marks.” Yet, he still hasn’t made his way from the upper mid-card to the main event, and his recent “odd couple” partnership with Sheamus has drawn mixed-at-best reviews among fans and wrestling journalists. And with the “Swiss Superman” conspicuously absent from a WWE poster for a show in his home country, he’s taken to Twitter once again to rant about how he can’t seem to get any respect from WWE. Does this mean Cesaro is leaving WWE, or at least the RAW brand at some point in the future?
Indie wrestling veteran Claudio Castagnoli signed with WWE in 2011, and debuted on the main roster in the spring of 2012 as Antonio Cesaro, a ring name that’s since been shortened. He was immediately given a strong mid-card push, and it took just four months for him to win the WWE United States Championship. And while that would usually suggest a big-time push in the making, he’s mostly been running in place in the mid-card, and had even been mentioned by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as someone who can’t connect with audiences, or, in Vince’s words, someone who can’t capture those so-called “brass rings.”
In 2015, Cesaro spoke to WWE and touched on McMahon’s comments, and while the interview has since been pulled from the company’s website, WrestleZone quoted some of Cesaro’s more memorable remarks.
“You can’t really reason or explain something, because once people get a certain impression, that’s really hard to change. With anything, it’s kind of similar here, in that the only way to respond to such an outlandish comment is to prove it wrong, and that’s what I’m doing. “
Fast forward to 2016, and it still would appear as if Cesaro’s role in WWE has him far from grabbing those “brass rings.” He hasn’t been a serious contender for any singles title since the July brand draft, and while his best-of-seven series with Sheamus drew raves from fans, many were confused as to why the deciding seventh match ended in a draw, and why both men were asked to team with each other.
For what it’s worth, Cesaro and Sheamus were the “sole survivors” when Team RAW beat Team SmackDown in the tag team elimination match at Survivor Series, and they were given a title shot against The New Day on the Monday Night RAW following the event. And when The New Day retained their WWE World Tag Team belts via cheating, Cesaro posted a cryptic message on Twitter hinting at some frustration.
The Daily DDT speculated that that tweet could suggest Cesaro wanting to leave WWE due to a frustration with his lack of push and muddled creative direction. Further, the publication criticized the Sheamus/Cesaro tag team partnership as “never (making) much sense” and possibly serving as a way for WWE to give both men television time without allowing them to compete for singles titles.
On Friday, Cesaro had taken to Twitter once again to share a photo of a WWE Live poster advertising shows in Zurich, Switzerland and Stuttgart, Germany in May 2017. He pointed out that he wasn’t on the poster despite one of the shows taking place in his home country of Switzerland, though he curiously didn’t mention that his own tag team partner Sheamus was included. Other tag teams such as The New Day and Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson are also pictured in the WWE Live poster, same with the currently-injured Finn Balor.
As the show is more than five months away, anything can happen in terms of WWE storylines. Lineups for house shows booked that far into the future are always subject to change, after all. But with two angstful Twitter posts in the same week once again hinting at what could be some real-life frustration, the rumors of Cesaro leaving WWE are swirling once again. Is the wrestler, who’s earned praise for his technical skill and amazing strength for his size, planning to leave once his contract comes up?
For one, the Twitter rants may be for storyline purposes. In September, 411Mania reported on a Twitter exchange between Cesaro and SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan, where Bryan asked Cesaro when his “RAW contract” expires. Earlier this week, Bryan had again responded to Cesaro’s “tired of it” tweet, extending a second invitation to the SmackDown brand.
Still, the Daily DDT did note that prior to this week, the “Swiss Superman” hadn’t ranted about WWE in a non-scripted manner, which may add to the chances of Cesaro leaving WWE, should the new comments be an unscripted “shoot.” It’s a tough call given what we know about the 35-year-old mid-card mainstay, but given what he brings to the table, a lot of fans are hoping that Cesaro’s recent comments are only storyline-related.
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