Relative newcomer Antonio Cesaro defeated Santino Marella for the United States title last night at Summerslam.
For Cesaro, that’s the good news.
For fans of wrestling, that is also good news.
However, the entire situation may not spell good news for the WWE.
Only recently have rumblings began to sound as to whether or not the company had faith in Cesaro to become a top-level talent. In theory, it should have been a no-brainer.
On the heels of the success of independent wrestling darlings CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, the company made the move to sign many competitors from the independent scene to contracts, including Evan Bourne. Others, like Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, are sure to make moves to the main rosters very shortly.
Cesaro was a top-level talent on the scene, and after many rumors surrounding the company being interested in him 2006, he finally signed a developmental deal in 2011.
On paper, Cesaro looks to be an ideal candidate to be the star of the United States title landscape. He is big, strong and incredibly aggressive. In fact, as part of his backstory, he was forced to end a rugby career due to excessive aggression.
DO You Think Antonio Cesaro Deserved to Win the U.S. Title?
The good thing about Cesaro is that in the ring, his work is very strong, and his arsenal of moves is incredibly innovative. His finisher, the Gotch-Style Neutralizer, is something most fans have never seen before.
And the European uppercuts speak for themselves. It would be very difficult to find anyone that does them better.
Conversely, the knock on the Swiss superstar is that, without proper guidance, his personality tends to be a bit bland.
Ring of Honor was able to solve this by teaming him with a charismatic partner, Chris Hero (now Kassius Ohno in NXT) who could do a majority of the talking. The WWE is attempting to do this by pairing him with Aksana, but she may have exactly the same issue.
Fans are used to performers with larger than life personalities. Cesaro and Aksana lack that characteristic.
The man that Cesaro defeated for the United States title, Santino Marella, had charisma to spare. Yes, he is a comedy act at times, but no one can say that they are not thoroughly entertained any time Marella is involved with a segment.
The buzz has been that that the company was keeping the title on Marella until they found the next big thing that they planned on turning into a bonafide superstar.
So when Cesaro walked down the aisle at Summerslam for a pre-show bout with Marella, few likely thought he would walk away with the belt.
Though after a distraction from the aforementioned Aksana, Cesaro was able to steal the win and the title.
But where do Cesaro and the United States title go from here?
In terms of ring-work, he needs very little. His innovative style is exactly what the company is lacking.
However, the main goal should be finding him a legitimate mouthpiece. Aksana is nice for fans to look at, but she serves no real purpose to hype up her charge. Someone like William Regal would be an excellent choice to fill the role.
Anyone that has seen Cesaro’s old FCW matches will know immediately that Regal got legitimately excited to see Cesaro compete. They have similar European-styles of wrestling, complete with submission hold and throws.
While it’s true that Regal can still compete, at age 44, his best days are behind him. However, who would not be slightly thrown off center by seeing a person like him at ringside backing up a guy like Cesaro? Plus, Regal would offer a legitimate threats on the microphone for Cesaro to back up. The two would make a compelling pair.
The Swiss tend to maintain a neutral stance in most issues. But in order to make his time with the WWE and more importantly, the United States title, a success, Cesaro will need to be in attack mode at all times.