Following his victory in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX, as well the announcement the following night on Raw that Paul Heyman was his new manager, the future looked dazzlingly bright for Cesaro back in April.
Surely a big-time feud with John Cena or Brock Lesnar or even a WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign had to be in his imminent future, right?
Three months on, Cesaro is still floating around the midcard scene and engaging in short and unmemorable feuds.
He’s also competing in Battleground’s Battle Royal for the vacated Intercontinental Championship this Sunday, which feels very much like a demotion.
Even if he walks out with the belt, who cares? The IC belt hasn’t been relevant in ages, with the brief exception of Wade Barrett’s moderately entertaining reign, which ended abruptly due to injury.
To make matters worse, his association with Heyman might be over: Cesaro came out for his match with Big E on Raw by himself, and the commentators seemed to imply their professional relationship was no more. For the record, PWInsider (via Wrestle Zone) claims the two are being distanced temporarily in the storylines because Brock Lesnar is due to come back soon.
Considering Heyman was the only thing keeping the Swiss wrestler relevant these days, this is very bad news for his career indeed.
So has management given up on him?
In this week’s (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer mentions that there is still interest within WWE in pushing Cesaro as a main event babyface but that he’s rather low on the priority list right now:
If you’re wondering why Cesaro has been kept as a heel and has cooled off so much even with Heyman as manager, it’s been somewhat intentional. Obviously, as noted in plans on who was going to be pushed, Cesaro was slated to be on the verge of a major face push late this summer. The decision was made, and this was before Bryan went down, that Reigns would be getting the big focused face push to the top with Cena, Bryan and Sheamus...as the key guys. Cesaro is slated for a face push, but no time soon.
While it is comforting that the company still has plans for him in the future, it’s frustrating that the star has once again found himself on the back burner.
Sure, WWE can pick up his push again in six months or so, but will most fans even care by that point?