Antonio Cesaro: Why US Champion Is One of the Best Pure Wrestlers in WWE

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Since winning the United States Championship at SummerSlam, Antonio Cesaro hasn't been put in a meaningful angle, so it has been difficult to get the fans behind him as a credible top heel. Despite his shortcomings in that area, though, Cesaro is quickly becoming one of the most impressive in-ring workers in the company.

While pure wrestling skills aren't always enough to lead someone to the top, they can certainly endear a superstar to the fans. While the likes of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and perhaps Dolph Ziggler top the list in terms of the best grapplers in the WWE currently, Cesaro is just a notch or two below and he is coming like a freight train.

Cesaro was one of the biggest stars on the independent circuit for many years, particularly while in Ring of Honor as one half of the Kings of Wrestling along with Chris Hero, who is now known as Kassius Ohno in WWE developmental. Cesaro always received his due credit from diehard fans, but even the fringe fans are coming to realize how talented he is.

Storyline development is one of the most important things in wrestling, so failing to have Cesaro involved in any type of sustainable feud has been a failure on the WWE creative team's part, especially since there has been plenty of time to make it happen. Cesaro can only play with the hand he has been dealt, though, and has made the most of it.

Over the past several weeks, Cesaro has had matches against wrestlers of all shapes, sizes and skill levels. Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd, Brodus Clay and Justin Gabriel are among the foes he has vanquished, and he managed to have entertaining matches with all of them.

The great part about Cesaro is that he has a unique style that isn't often seen in the WWE, and it allows him to mesh well with pretty much anyone. At 6'5" and 232 lbs., Cesaro is a deceptively big man with a ton of strength which is often on display in his matches. Getting Clay up for his Gotch-Style Neutralizer was extremely impressive, and the way he throws around smaller combatants makes him look dominant as well.

As good as Cesaro is in the ring, he could potentially be even better if he expands his moveset. It is well known that ROH puts in-ring performance above everything else, so Cesaro's arsenal was much more varied there. The WWE has been known to dumb down the action in order to make it easy for fans of all levels to follow it, which seems like the case with Cesaro.

Even with a moveset that is seemingly cut in half, though, Cesaro routinely puts on great matches and really acquits himself well. The fact that he hasn't really been asked to wrestle a match exceeding 10 minutes in length could be the main reason why we haven't seen some of the moves he used regularly in ROH, but at the same time it could be a top-down mandate.

Whatever the case, Cesaro has thrived in spite of the limitations placed upon him by the WWE or himself. The Swiss Sensation hasn't yet become a household name, but if he continues to perform at such a high level, things will eventually work themselves out. His gimmick has been all over the map, but he seems to be coming into his own on the mic as well.

Cesaro's in-ring work is already top notch, so he simply needs his character development to reach the same level. That won't happen until the WWE decides to do something significant with him, but it's only a matter of time. Cesaro has all the tools to be one of the WWE's top heels and has the foundation to thrive in the company for a long time thanks to his rare wrestling skills.


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