Big E revealed on the latest episode of The New Day’s Feel The Power podcast that Tyler Breeze was due to be fired by WWE in 2011, but a match with Cesaro prompted the company’s decision-makers to change their minds.
At the time, Breeze (then known as Mike Dalton) had been part of the FCW system for nine months but, according to Big E, “no one really liked him or thought much of him”.
He then had a match with the debuting Cesaro, who defeated his opponent in a five-minute encounter that was designed to make “The Swiss Superman” look impressive.
Big E recalled that a Cesaro uppercut during the match – and the way in which Breeze sold the move – is what prevented WWE officials from firing Breeze.
“He didn’t have anyone who was in his corner. No one really liked him or thought much of him but I believe, if I recall correctly, he was very close to being fired and people were so impressed with the way he took that bump [from the uppercut] that you [Cesaro] saved his job, legitimately saved his job with that bump, and he’s still here today.”
Xavier Woods added that Breeze “was on the chopping block quite a bit” earlier in his career, but he was able to work his way through WWE’s developmental systems and eventually make a name for himself in NXT and on RAW and SmackDown.
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