He’ll probably never grasp the proverbial “brass ring”.
I’m one of the bigger Cesaro marks you’ll find. Whether he’s a King or a Brother of the Cross, goes by Claudio or Antonio... The Swiss Superman is my man. At last count, four of my WWE-licensed wrestling tees have his name and logo on them. I am in the bag for the dude.
And even I’ll admit - I don’t know that Vince McMahon is wrong to keep that “brass ring” out of his reach.
He’s not a great promo, with shortcomings that can’t be written off to his accent. Cesaro is an undeniably impressive physical specimen, but not in the way Big Show or Braun Strowman are. He’s not as handsome as a Finn Bálor or as intimidating as a Brock Lesnar.
What he is, though, is one of the best professional wrestlers in the world. His name doesn’t come up as often as AJ Styles, Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega or even Roman Reigns, but it should. If his matches happened at the end of pay-per-view (PPV) events like those guys’ do, it would.
Instead, Cesaro’s equivalent of a WrestleMania main event or G1 Climax final usually comes a couple times a year, somewhere in the 9PM Eastern hour of Monday Night Raw.
He’s never not good. The Swiss Cyborg’s alliance with Sheamus has been a boon for both men, and The Bar (along with The Usos, an invigorated New Day, Chad Gable and whoever he’s working with at the time, and the reunited Shield bros) has been instrumental in WWE’s main roster tag team renaissance this year.
But it’s in his singles matches where Cesaro gets a chance to shine. We were reminded of that when he faced Seth Rollins on Nov. 27, elevating the latest rotation of Bar vs. The Shield one-on-one matches to another level. But when they give him a secondary title open challenge spot? Watch out.
It happened when he faced US champion John Cena for two amazing bouts back in 2015, and it happened again against Intercontinental champ Reigns in Cleveland last night (Dec. 12). Just as Cena marked their rivalry by singing Cesaro’s praises, Roman had nothing but good things to say about his opponent:
Say what you want about @WWECesaro but the man is one of a kind in the ring.— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) December 12, 2017
Mad respect for the fight he brought tonight. Def #SteppedUp but not enough to #TakeIt... #AndStill #Raw
The WWE Universe is on board with making this match again (although not by a wide enough margin for my liking):
And one of his most famous supporters - the man who helped get the whole “brass ring” gimmick started in the first place - chimed in as well:
Cesaro and Roman just ripped it up. Real good match. #WWE @WWE— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) December 12, 2017
In honor of Austin, I’ll close by saying that the bottom line is this - there are worse things to be than “guy known for tearing the house down on the flagship show of the biggest wrestling company in the history of the business”.
But it would be nice if he could win one of these matches and hold his own open challenge series someday.
Right now, though? I’m gonna go watch the match from last night again.