It has been nearly three months since Antonio Cesaro took the WWE United States title from Santino Marella at Summerslam and in that time, he has grown into a very formidable champion.
With Aksana no longer at his side, Cesaro has proven to be one of the best wrestlers on the main roster while speaking in five different languages. Ok, so the five language thing isn't very entertaining.
What has been impressive is the string of victories Cesaro has put together. Whether it be his multiple victories over Marella, who held the title for over five months right before him, or picking up the massive Brodus Clay and driving him into the mat with his finishing maneuver, the Neutralizer, it has been something to behold.
Cesaro will defend his title this Sunday against R-Truth at the 26th annual Survivor Series. This may be the stiffest challenge Cesaro has faced.
Who Has Cesaro Defeated During his Reign?
Santino Marella: While Santino's cobra fell "in love" with Aksana, it allowed Cesaro to defeat him several times. This propelled Cesaro up the ranks in singles competition and relegated Marella to the tag team scene with Zack Ryder.
Brodus Clay: While it was just one match, and a short one at that, Cesaro defeated Clay and he did so cleanly. He finished the match by muscling the big man up for the Neutralizer.
Justin Gabriel: Gabriel and Cesaro traded wins on Raw before meeting for the title at Hell in a Cell. While Gabriel was able to pull off the upset once, Cesaro was able to beat him when the gold was on the line.
Who Could Challenge for the Title?
R-Truth: Truth will get the title shot at Survivor Series and he goes into the match with plenty of momentum, having defeated Tensai on Monday night. The challenges are getting progressively more difficult for Cesaro and this one could go either way.
Christian: Should Cesaro get by R-Truth, Christian would be a logical opponent for him. While Christian is currently out of action following surgery on his shoulder, he is expected back soon. He and Cesaro would put on some very entertaining, well worked matches for the belt.
Jack Swagger: It may sound like a long shot at the moment, but once Swagger returns to television, it may make perfect sense. Swagger desperately needed to be repackaged and he could freshen up his character immensely returning as a face and challenging Cesaro for the U.S. title. Perhaps Swagger could even take on somewhat of an American patriot-type gimmick.
While Cesaro has only held the title for three months, he has brought it prestige. Marella had been nothing more than a comedy act for years and before that, Swagger and Ryder didn't do the title much justice.
Cesaro has had a great year in WWE in which he has become one of the better heels on the roster. It is clear that he can get it done inside the ring and he has faced superstars of many different styles, having success against each.
Cesaro should defeat R-Truth on Sunday and go on to hold the title for several months to come. That is, if WWE books him correctly. Following that, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make a push into the main event picture.
Now, how do you say breakout superstar in five different languages?