Current WWE United States champion Antonio Cesaro seems well on his way to becoming a major star inside tonight's sports entertainment world. It's a refreshing sight to see the former Claudio Castagnoli having such early success in the top wrestling company in the world after signing with them not quite one year ago.
Longtime fans of Ring of Honor would likely agree that it's nice to see a guy who isn't a "homegrown" product climb the ladder of success the way Cesaro has.
Cesaro is easily one of the top stars in the history of ROH, and now he has a chance to showcase those talents in the WWE.
But is that really going to happen against the likes of Santino Marella, whom he has defeated on multiple occasions? Cesaro won the U.S. title on the YouTube pre-show prior to SummerSlam after knocking off Marella in several non-title affairs.
WWE seems to realize the potential it now has in Cesaro as he is beginning to be showcased more. Aside from that, the pairing with Aksana seems to suit both of them. However, in order for Cesaro to show his true abilities to viewers, he needs to be given stronger opponents.
Here are a few options that WWE has at its disposal that would accomplish just that.
Christian is one of the most accomplished superstars currently on the WWE roster. Holding a total of 20 championships during his WWE tenure, Cesaro would gain instant credibility by coming out on top of a long feud with him.
Beyond that, the two would put on excellent matches, as evidenced by their brief encounter on the August 10, 2012, edition of SmackDown. Considering the result of that match, both men have some unfinished business with each other. Despite Christian getting the win, it was Cesaro who left him lying afterwards, so the seeds have been planted.
Having Cesaro come out on top would allow him to hang his hat on the fact that he defeated a former multiple world champion.
WWE seems intent on pushing the oft-injured Sin Cara, and a run at one of their titles seems imminent. So why not a feud with Cesaro in the future?
Sin Cara has lost few matches in his WWE tenure, so they could make a case for him getting a shot at the U.S. title. Both men have international backgrounds, and that could be brought into the program as well.
Sin Cara is currently involved in an angle with Cody Rhodes, but should he come out on top, he would clearly be a contender for Cesaro. Cesaro could gain some serious heel heat by destroying the masked superstar, who is catching on with the young fanbase the way Rey Mysterio did.
Speaking of Mysterio...
This is a very logical opponent for Cesaro and it would be much more entertaining than a program with Sin Cara, simply because Mysterio is capable of working with big men much better.
Mysterio is on the downside of his career, and Cesaro could gain quite a bit by inching him closer to retirement by defeating one of the most decorated superstars in the last decade.
This would be the type of win that would help Cesaro rise to the cusp of main-event level, and if he followed the progression of opponents listed here, there would be little doubt that he would.
If Cesaro were able to showcase his skills against guys like Christian, Sin Cara and Mysterio, it would make sense to have him in the ring with the top of the food chain—guys like Sheamus and Randy Orton.
At WWE Night of Champions this Sunday, there will be a Battle Royal to determine the next contender for Cesaro's gold. Perhaps one of these men will win it.