For the longest time in WWE, there has been a feeling amongst some fans that certain wrestlers aren’t given enough opportunities to be big stars within the company. Whether it’s based on their wrestling ability, mic skills, or both, fans feel like these wrestlers should be pushed more. Wrestlers like Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler are typically brought up in these conversations. Another wrestler in that same vain is Cesaro.
Cesaro has been on the main roster since 2012 and has held both the United States Championship and the Tag Team Championships. Of all his accomplishments, his most notable one was winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in the year of its inception. With a resume like this, four years of TV exposure, and the crowd support to boot, it seems logical that he would’ve been a World Champion by now. But as we’ve seen from the WWE in the past, it only matters whether the company wants to see you succeed and do more, not the fans.
Cesaro, despite being given his fair share of accomplishments, has also been given some bad gimmicks and feuds as well. He’s been made to pair with lesser wrestlers, has had odd pairings in regards to managers, has lost multiple times when he didn’t need to, and almost always was robbed of his momentum. People may think that Ziggler and Ambrose have had it bad, but at least Ziggler is a two-time former World Champion and at least Ambrose has main evented multiple PPVs and had matches against big names like Triple H and Brock Lesnar. The biggest matches Cesaro has had in his entire career were his matches against John Cena for the United States Championship and his match against Randy Orton who was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time when Cesaro defeated him.
Overall, Cesaro has been mostly underutilized over the years and it’s only recently where it seems like things are starting to pick back up for him. Whether he’ll ever make it to the main event scene is to be determined, but the fans like him and he has the support of many current wrestlers and WWE legends for it to happen. However, if more moments happen like the ones on this list, all that potential will fade away the same way Ziggler’s pretty much has. The following are the 12 Biggest Mistakes the WWE has made with Cesaro.
And in the future, hopefully there are no more mistakes this bad.
12 12, Not Beating John Cena for the US Championship
Considering Kevin Owens was involved in the feud with John Cena at the time and seemed like he was going to beat him for it, Cesaro not beating Cena for the title seemed like a reasonable decision. However, in light of Alberto Del Rio being the one who took the United States Championship from Cena, it seems like a poor decision in retrospect. After all, Del Rio did absolutely nothing for the United States Championship and neither has Kalisto, so what harm would it do Cena to put the title on a guy who he believed should be main eventing every night? Even if you consider the fact that it led to the a Champion vs. Champion match at SummerSlam, Rollins holding the title for a few weeks didn’t really do much for him, since he won via interference anyway. To make things interesting, the WWE could’ve just inserted Cesaro into the match at Battleground and had Cesaro pin Owens so Cena is protected and then could’ve been given the option by The Authority to get his rematch or fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A simple solution that unfortunately no one thought of. On a brighter note, the match between Cena and Cesaro was strongly considered aa match of the year candidate.
11 11, Changing His Theme Song
When discussing good modern theme songs, it’s safe to say that The Real Americans theme music is among theme. The feel of the song when the intro is done makes it feel like something big is about to happen and somewhat sounds like a signal of impending doom. His current theme song however is not even remotely as good. The music is generally disliked amongst most fans and sounds like what can only be described as a collision of sirens. While it makes sense to say that his music needed to change since the song was originally Jack Swagger’s, it’s replacement was not adequate. He’ll probably have the song for a while so it’s here to stay for now, but if they debuted a new song for him, it would be appreciated.
10 Being Eliminated by Heath Slater in Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal
At the 2014 Battleground PPV, after months of doing nothing with Paul Heyman, Cesaro was entered into the Intercontinental Championship battle royal match to crown a new champion after Barrett got injured…again. Though the match seemed to be going well, Cesaro was ultimately eliminated from the match by Heath Slater. No feud was born from this, he wasn’t being punished for anything, and neither superstar truly benefited. Cesaro ended his partnership with Heyman the next night and Heath Slater went on to do nothing of interest as usual. It’s one thing to lose a title opportunity, but to lose a title opportunity because of Heath Slater, with nothing to show for it, is just ridiculous.
9 Losing the United States Championship to Kofi Kingston
After Cesaro defeated Santino Marella for the United States Championship in 2012, he would defend his championship for the remainder of the year. He was no better or no worse than most midcard champions during this time period, but it was still something notable for him to do. Eventually, he lost the title to Kofi Kingston after doing some yodelling. While this wasn’t a huge loss because the United States Championship meant nothing during this time period, it was still a loss that seemed unnecessary considering Dean Ambrose won the title from Kofi a few months later. If the end result was Ambrose as the United States Championship, then why didn’t they just have Ambrose and Cesaro fight. Was a heel vs. heel match really gonna be that bad of a thing? Most likely not.
8 Pairing him with Aksana
When WWE debuted Cesaro, he was brought in as the guy who stole Aksana from Mr. Tag Team himself, Theodore Long. Seeing as how they were both foreign, it seemed like a logical pairing, but nothing ever really amounted from it. For starters, Aksana was average at best when it came to mic skills, so she wasn’t really adding anything to Cesaro that he was missing in the promo department. Then to top it all off, all she ever did was explain that Cesaro could speak five languages and how strong he was, which didn’t really add much to his character. The pairing would end relatively quickly as Cesaro ended the relationship in heelish fashion.
7 Losing his TV Feud with Big Show
Before Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker resumed their feud at the Hell in A Cell PPV, the WWE booked Lesnar for a live house show at Madison Square Garden against Big Show. And to build up Big Show for this match, the WWE decided that Cesaro should lose to Big Show twice on television.
Where to begin with this. First of all, the WWE acted like the fans forgot the match that Lesnar and Big Show had a year ago at the Royal Rumble which Lesnar won, so why would they build him up just for another loss. Second, the last live house show Lesnar appeared on showed him devastating The New Day after beating Kofi within a couple of minutes. The third and most important thing, why did this happen at Cesaro’s expense?
Because we all saw the outcome coming, there was no reason to build Big Show up just for Suplex City and to do it at the expense of Cesaro, who was just starting to get his momentum back.
6 His "Shoot" Promo
Towards the end of 2014, the WWE decided to give Cesaro a pipebomb-esque moment. Cesaro was in the ring, had a flustered look on his face, and began to talk about how he was being underutilized. In the midst of this promo, he pointed at the ring ropes and boldly declared that the only thing that mattered was what happened between “these four ropes.”
Though he corrected himself a few seconds later, it didn’t change the fact that Cesaro blatantly botched a promo that involved him discussing something in plain view that he sees every day.
To be fair, he’s never been known for his promo skills, so to send him out there to talk by himself was probably a mistake. With that being said, it was still laughable how badly he messed up his line.
When it was apparent that the give languages gimmick wasn’t catching on, WWE decided that the next best thing for him would be yodelling.
It's very hard to find footage of this on YouTube because the gimmick didn't last too long. Although it was early on his WWE career, this was a horrible idea to even attempt to saddle on just about anyone, let alone Cesaro. The only upside to this and the reason why this isn’t a higher ranked mistake is because of how short lived it was.
Thankfully, someone saw this play out on television and realized how stupid it was.
4 Losing a 2/3 Falls Match to Ziggler 2-0
A Two out of Three Falls match is one of the more interesting matches to pull off. It’s typically expected that both wrestlers will win at least one fall and that the final decision will come down to the third fall. Rarely will the WWE ever book a Two out of Three Falls Match and have someone just dominate by winning back to back. Unfortunately, the WWE decided to do that with Cesaro. Cesaro was booked in a match against Dolph Ziggler at Hell in a Cell 2014 where it was expected that he would at least win one fall. Instead of this, the WWE gave both wins to Ziggler. Despite how bad it was, this wouldn’t have looked so bad if Ziggler didn’t already defeat Cesaro four other times, but since he had, it made Ziggler look strong and Cesaro look like a loser who can’t even hang with an upper midcarder.
Not exactly how you build up a wrestler.
3 Becoming Allies With Adam Rose
WWE really needs to stop with these momentary bad decisions… by not letting them make it to television.
Before Cesaro and Tyson Kidd beat The Usos for the Tag Team Championships, they were involved in a feud with The New Day heading into the Royal Rumble. So to gain an advantage against The New Day, the duo teamed up with Adam Rose and The Rosebuds. Following a match between Adam Rose and Big E, two Rosebuds attacked The New Day. After attacking the team, the duo was revealed to be Cesaro and Kidd looking to make a statement against their opponents for the upcoming PPV.
Considering what place Adam Rose had on the card throughout his entire WWE run, it made no sense for the WWE to pair their future Tag Team Champions with a jobber. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long but it was yet another short-lived dumb idea that the WWE would include Cesaro in.
2 Pairing Him with Paul Heyman/Not Turning Face
After Cesaro won the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, it seemed like a pretty safe assumption that a babyface run was next. He had been a heel for the least two years, the crowd was behind him, and he was given a lot more time to have some really good matches. And in typical swerve fashion, the WWE went in a completely different direction by pairing him with Paul Heyman. And this pairing may have had some potential in a face run, but as a heel gimmick, it went against the natural crowd reaction. To make matters worse, Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker’s undefeated streak and Heyman was always bragging about this fact. As a result of this, Heyman consistently got booed by the fans and while it did work to keep heat on Brock Lesnar, it failed to do Cesaro any good. And what happened next only made matters worse.
1 Winning Nothing Important
Though it wasn’t what the fans wanted, it could be argued that as long as Cesaro was getting a push that it didn’t matter if he was a face or heel. It’s unfortunate that it was exactly what didn’t happen. Following his pairing with Paul Heyman, the WWE announced an Intercontinental Championship Tournament and placed Cesaro in it. He eventually lost due to interference and would go on to beat both RVD and Jack Swagger at the Extreme Rules PPV in 2015. After that, he wouldn’t win much of anything for months on end. He competed for multiple titles, but never won any of them. The next time he won something important was the Tag Team Championships with Tyson Kidd in 2015. Cesaro went almost a year without winning anything important after all the momentum he had in 2014. And while no one can win titles all the time, it’s ridiculous to think that Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, and Big E were all holding midcard titles during that period and were doing absolutely nothing with them while a guy who needed it was losing.
Hopefully, WWE learns from these mistakes and books him like the star he can be.