If you're a fan of Antonio Cesaro, then watching WWE bury him is probably painful.
I know, because I've been one of his biggest marks since last year's in-ring debut. He's got a great look, knows how to work and can hold his own on the stick. I don't know the man personally, however, so I can't say for sure if he's a putz or not behind the curtain.
All I know is what I see, and I see a hard worker.
Even after he mangled his hand to the point where it needed to be bandaged and taped for each match, he still came out and hit all his spots. Even the Neutralizer on Brodus Clay. Somewhere, somehow, he must have done something to piss off the WWE brass.
And now everyone suffers.
When a character starts to change direction midstream, it's probably for a reason. Leaving Cesaro off WrestleMania 29 was unfortunate, but not really a sign of trouble (despite the silent protest CM Punk denies making). Then he lost his United States Championship to Kofi KIngston.
Fans justified it with, "Well, he had to drop the strap eventually if he was going to graduate to the next level."
Then came his subsequent loss to R-Truth, an agile fluffer whose only job is to come out, talk to imaginary sidekicks and get the crowd to chant "WHAT"S UP?" Why is he pinning Cesaro? But even that pales in comparison to the decision to have the former rugby player come out and yodel.
Goodbye heel heat, hello X-Pac heat.
Making him yodel is a form of punishment and a feather in the cap of the ridiculous (and all too frequent) start-stop booking that confuses the audience. Cesaro has lost his identity and whether it's his fault or the company's is no longer relevant at this point. What matters is, his character is currently idling at the corner of Dead & Buried.
But there is still hope!
Look no further than Sheamus, the "Great White" himself. He debuted as a heel back in ECW against the criminally undersized Oliver John, only to rocket himself up the ranks and win the WWE title, as well as the 2010 King of the Ring tournament.
Then, whether it was his attitude or the disdain of Kevin Dunn, he was put out to pasture.
It was ugly. The poor bastard couldn't win a match. After he was unceremoniously cast aside by Triple H, the "Celtic Warrior" was losing clean to guys like Evan Bourne, causing some fans, like former Cagesider S. Bruce, to argue that his burial was so severe his character might never recover.
A year later he won the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds at WrestleMania.
Aside from establishing that C.J. Bradford had indeed called the shot, Sheamus proved that even if you dig your own grave, it's never really deep enough to keep you from jumping out when the time is right. Unless, of course, you constantly bitch about it on Twitter and force them to slam the coffin lid shut.
Cesaro will be back.
I have a feeling he will play it straight, do the job and take it like a man. Sooner or later the promotion will turn to him when they need a fresh face in the main event scene (Ryback's days are numbered as far as I'm concerned). So while it's hard to watch him floundering about on television, I know the future is still bright.
Let's hope that stays buried.