It seems like, every week since Wrestlemania 28, new talents have been debuting on both Monday Night RAW and Friday Night Smackdown! This past Friday night was no different. In a confrontation with Teddy Long, former fling Aksana revealed she and her new boyfriend had business with WWE GM John Laurinaitis. Moments later, we were introduced to Antonio Cesaro, who Aksana told the world is a former rugby player-turned-wrestler.
Many fans already know who Cesaro is; others are seeing him for the first time. If you are in the latter group, you are about to see something really special over the next few months. Cesaro is former independent standout Claudio Castagnoli, most recently known for his time as one-half of former ROH World Tag Team Champions the Kings of Wrestling, with partner Chris Hero (now known in FCW as “Kassius Ohno”, who will also likely make his WWE debut in the next couple months).
Cesaro has been plying his trade on the independent and international scenes for years, building up an amazing reputation and resume’. He is very technical and ground-based, but big and muscular enough to wrestle a power-style as well. As quite possibly the first every full-blood Swiss to appear in mainstream wrestling, Cesaro has learned numerous styles from his world tours, most notably the European strong-style. For those unfamiliar with this, European strong-style is a form of wrestling that closely resembles “shooting”, in that the strikes are very stiff, and there are plenty of takedowns, submissions holds and chain wrestling. Men like Dave “Fit” Finlay and William Regal are expert practitioners of this style, and Cesaro is no exception.
Aside from his outstanding abilities, Cesaro is highly charismatic and well-respected by both his current peers as well as veterans due to his hard work and strong ethics in the business. While WWE currently features numerous European/UK wrestlers, adding Cesaro is only going to make things better. One of WWE’s strongest markets is Europe (well, international travel in general, in all honesty), a market that only gets to see WWE a handful of times a year. They like to have their “hometown heroes” as much as any other country, and with the addition of Cesaro, Switzerland now has one for themselves.
While WWE doesn’t traverse to Switzerland very often, when they do, Cesaro’s appearance alone could vastly improve business in that country. When WWE travels internationally, any stars from that area are treated like kings upon arrival, and it’s highly likely Cesaro would receive the same reception in his homeland. Even outside of Switzerland, Cesaro is very popular in other European countries due to his style and character.
If you’ve seen Cesaro prior to WWE, you know what to expect-an incredible talent with a great build and loads of charisma. If you haven’t, you are in for a treat that is not only very special, but in Cesaro’s own words, is also very European.