Antonio Cesaro has been added to the Elimination Chamber match at the WWE pay-per-view of the same name on Sunday, February 23. The Swiss Superstar won a qualifying match against Dolph Ziggler on a recent edition of Friday Night Smackdown, completing the six-man bout for the WWE World Championship.
And now that Cesaro is in the mix, WWE fans could be getting more than expected from this unlikely addition. In fact, it could be that Antonio will be the breakout star of the Elimination Chamber.
Truth be told, many of the WWE faithful likely did not anticipate Cesaro's booking in this match. The biggest reason for that lies in the fact that he and Jack Swagger have been a tag team since July of 2013. Zeb Colter's Real Americans saw some heavy rotation in WWE's tag team division, as they regularly faced off against The Usos, The Prime Time Players, Tons of Funk and the former tag team champions, The Rhodes Brothers.
Cesaro appeared to be assimilating quite well in his new role, as he and Swagger seemed to get better every time they were in the ring.
However, all of that has apparently changed, as Swagger and Colter recently have had their problems on WWE programming. Now the status of The Real Americans is somewhat in doubt. This of course opens the door for both Swagger and Cesaro to venture back out on their own again.
And first up to the plate is Cesaro, as now he has been thrust into the Chamber match.
For many WWE fans, this has been a long time coming. Cesaro is a 14-year veteran of the industry, a guy that has traveled the world and worked for various different promotions, including Ring of Honor. But since his debut in Vince McMahon's company, Cesaro has not really been given all that much.
In fact, some fans may not even be aware of his years in the business. As far as they know, his pro wrestling career began the day he first signed his WWE contract.
But being back on his own means that Antonio Cesaro has a great chance to move up the ladder in WWE. And being in the Elimination Chamber match means that he is getting a shot that most guys in his spot would love to have.
Now it's up to Cesaro to impress on the worldwide stage. While fans are very familiar with his tag team work next to Swagger, the fact is his singles career is something of a distant memory. But they will be reminded soon of just how good Antonio is.
Cesaro is a true technician in the ring. Much like Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko and William Regal before him, Antonio is a no-nonsense competitor that basically just puts his head down and goes to work each and every week.
The only real issue is that Antonio may have more in common with Malenko than he does with Regal and Double A.
The fact is that Malenko was pound for pound one of the best workers that the industry has ever known. The Man of 1000 holds was all business all the time; he was cold as ice and had a character that was never in the mood to play games.
But Dean's lack of charisma was always a point of contention among WWE fans. While many appreciated his ability in the ring, it was his lack of ability on the mic that caused Malenko to be thought of as a guy that came up just a bit short.
He was good. But was he memorable? Was he a legend?
The truth is that being considered on that Hall of Fame level is perhaps not feasible for every WWE Superstar. Just because Cesaro has the potential to perhaps get there does not mean that he will. Some would argue that holding Antonio up to that standard is not fair to him.
But the goal for any WWE talent is to be the best. Having a well-rounded game is essential to being the best. Right now, Antonio Cesaro has what it takes to succeed in the ring. But until he can get over on the mic or at least connect with the crowd, he will not be considered among WWE's elite.
The Elimination Chamber is the best chance that Cesaro has to make an immediate impact with the fans. If he has a great showing then he could get even more individual opportunities than he is right now. And assuming that everything goes well at the pay-per-view, we could perhaps see him go even further up the ladder than that.
To ignore Daniel Bryan in this discussion would be ill-advised, as he continues to deliver each and every time he's in the ring. He has never been more popular than he is right now and to believe that someone could possibly outshine him on the pay-per-view stage seems impossible.
This means that Antonio Cesaro has a lot of work to do when he enters the Elimination Chamber on February 23. And for fans that have believed in him since the beginning, he is more than up to the challenge.