Antonio Cesaro: WWE's Utilization of United States Champion Is Criminal

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Antonio Cesaro: WWE's Utilization of United States Champion Is Criminal
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

Antonio Cesaro has impressively held the United States Championship since beating Santino Marella at SummerSlam, and that is an accomplishment that deserves celebrating. Rather than building on Cesaro's success and creating momentum, however, WWE books Cesaro to lose on a weekly basis and has essentially made his reign look meaningless.

I fully understand that not everyone on the roster can win every match they compete in, but I have a hard time making sense of the way Cesaro has been booked.

Early in his title reign he would routinely beat the likes of Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Brodus Clay and others, and while those matches weren't particularly important, they made Cesaro look strong.

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All Cesaro does now is lose to the likes of Ryback, Randy Orton and others. He often puts on great matches and I'm always impressed with his ability to mesh with a number of different styles, but he should be showcased rather than used as a vehicle to put other guys over.

Having him lose so regularly simply takes away from the prestige of the United States Championship.

This isn't a one-time phenomenon with WWE either. It seems like the creative team doesn't know how to properly book mid-card champions.

Cesaro is a glaring example, and it has been true of the Intercontinental Championship, too. Wade Barrett is essentially in the same boat as Cesaro at the moment, and The Miz lost the majority of his matches while he held the IC title this past summer as well.

Most fans have always been under the impression that the mid-card titles are meant to make superstars look good until it's time to make the jump to the main-event scene. That concept was somehow lost in translation, though, and the mid-card titles are now little more than a meaningless prop.

Prior to the past month or so, WWE was booking Cesaro fine, as his exposure was even increased on the mic, but the writers have taken a significant step back with him.

Although Cesaro did beat The Miz to retain his title at Elimination Chamber, it was made to look like a fluke. Cesaro kicked The Miz's leg out, which resulted in The Miz accidentally kneeing Cesaro in the "nether-regions."

Cesaro won the match by disqualification, but The Miz gave him a low blow after the match for good measure. The Miz then followed that up with a clean win over Cesaro on the ensuing Raw, so Cesaro is in a funk to say the least.

It certainly seems as though WWE is building toward Cesaro dropping the title to The Miz at WrestleMania, and I don't necessarily have an issue with that.

I'm a fan of The Miz and realize that it would be smart of WWE to capitalize on the fact that The Miz is starring in The Marine 3. With that said, it would be much better for all involved if Cesaro were to enter 'Mania on a hot streak.

If the goal is for The Miz to come out of this looking incredibly strong, then Cesaro needs to look incredibly strong beforehand. It's a really simple formula that seems to be lost on the creative team at the moment.

Cesaro is supposed to be an anti-American heel, so he should be decimating low-card American wrestlers between now and WrestleMania, however, he is the one who has routinely been decimated.

There isn't much room in the main-event scene at the moment, so Cesaro cannot immediately be pushed as far as I and many others want him to be, but he is an immense talent who needs to be used properly.

Cesaro is easily one of the best in-ring performers in the company as he possesses plenty of size and strength as well as fantastic technical acumen. On top of that, he has proven to be solid on the mic when given the opportunity, so he is truly the whole package.

As much as I enjoy big-time matches on Raw, WWE should go back to its roots in some cases. The reason why so many guys on the roster looked strong at the same time in the 1980s and early 1990s is that they largely wrestled squash matches on television. That may take away from the quality of Raw and SmackDown to some degree, but it would also make pay-per-view matches seem more important as we won't see them a million times on free TV before they actually happen.

I like the current product quite a bit, but there are some fundamental flaws and the handling of the mid-card titles is right near the top.

Even though Cesaro's wins came against lower-end guys for the most part, WWE protected him well and made him look like a million bucks by hitting behemoths like Clay and The Great Khali with The Neutralizer.

I realize that it can only last so long before fans get bored, but it's a better alternative than having the U.S. Champion lose constantly.

Cesaro will drop the title to The Miz at WrestleMania in all likelihood, and he stands to get lost in the shuffle afterwards due to the way he has been booked. Losing the title wouldn't be such a big deal if Cesaro looked like a dominant force heading into WrestleMania, but that hasn't been the case.

WWE still has more than a month to rectify the situation, so perhaps Cesaro can get back to the level he once occupied, however, there simply doesn't seem to be any commitment to make Cesaro look legitimate on the writers' part.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter and listen to him on Ring Rust Radio.

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