A Cesaro conundrum for WWE
It was quite some time ago that I said I didn’t like the Cesaro ‘James Bond’ entrance; I just didn’t get where it came from and what the point of it was. I still don’t get where walking out to a James Bond graphic and then ripping off his suit like a stripper really sits with his character or in-ring work. He’s an incredible in-ring talent and does possess a certain charisma, but has been hampered by his limitations on the mic, but probably more so by some of the gimmicks and presentation he’s been given. The reservations Vince McMahon has with him are well reported; he struggles to ‘get him’ and apparently is unsure what to do with him, but the fact remains that he connects with the audience. The ‘Cesaro section’ signs in the crowd over the past couple of years are testament to that. Like others, he’s embraced what’s been dealt to him, including his James Bond entrance, but unless he and WWE can work out how to tap into the potential that lies within him, he could end being another Dolph Ziggler.
I’ve always felt that Smackdown would’ve been a better fit for him in the brand split – the shorter show, with less time wasted on repetitive and badly acted backstage segments. Having Cesaro involved in less talking and more in-ring action that actually meant something, especially on a show with Daniel Bryan and called by Mauro Ranallo would surely have helped Cesaro rise to a more prominent role. The fact Bryan continues to allude to him moving to Smackdown does give hope for the future and maybe, just maybe, his current storyline could facilitate this.
The thought of Cesaro and Sheamus becoming a tag team wasn’t something that initially excited anyone, but there is a chance that this might turn out to be a move that benefits both men. In fact, it was a pairing that intrigued me and initially entertained me. I say initially because, since the first couple of weeks of them struggling to get along, they have progressed to those stupid situations of one playing with his phone whilst the other is distracted by this in the ring. I suspect it was WWE’s obsession with communicating to us (in case we didn’t already know) the various social media platforms they exist on that led to such half-baked ideas playing out on our screens a few weeks ago.
WWE appears to have something of a fascination with ‘odd couple’ tag teams – Rhyno and Heath Slater (has worked well), Goldust and R-Truth (has definitely not worked well) and even Tyler Breeze and Fandango (who have turned into some kind of Village People tribute act).
WWE are not great at subtlety and with Cesaro and Sheamus they certainly haven’t displayed any subtlety in letting us know they don’t get along. That is of course unless you consider a brick over the head to be subtle.
Having them win on Raw against New Day, just 6 days before their tag title match against the champions was a slightly odd move, but perhaps just another example of the parity booking that has tamed the product for too long. I fear that this tag team pairing is just a temporary place holding to simply delay them resuming their singles feud with each other, perhaps because creative simple do not know what to do with either guy. Both should have value to the company as Sheamus is comfortable on the mic and a decent worker, good at a very physical style match, but not so adept at connecting with the audience. Cesaro is tremendous in the ring and the crowd have connected with him, but his mic work holds him back, so maybe them spending a year together as a physically imposing and successful tag team would be good for both and help the division. Dare I say if that were the case, Smackdown could really do with a team like that and in time it would also facilitate Cesaro being a real player in the singles division there?
What could be really fascinating is if WWE take off the shackles with these two, because they are good friends outside of the ring and let them develop their own thing, much as New Day did, and they may just have stumbled across something and reinvigorated both men in the process.
Stone Cold Steve Austin has always said there’s money in Cesaro and perhaps this could be the way to un-tap it.