It’s no secret that WWE’s roster is extremely thin at the top, and it has been for some time now. There are very few guys in the main-event scene that get treated differently than everyone else. Actually, only three come to mind — John Cena, Kevin Owens, and Brock Lesnar. As for the rest, it would seem that they’re destined to be career mid-carders, which would be appropriate, seeing as this is the era of the mid-carder.
Unfortunately, it seems that WWE, and Vince McMahon in-particular, has — for the most part — forgotten how to make a star. Sure, there is the occasional exception such as the aforementioned Kevin Owens. But, most of the time WWE doesn’t let guys who could be main-eventers reach their full potential.
Over the past couple of years, guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have been vastly underutilized by WWE because they didn’t have “the look,” but there’s no doubt that both of them were able to connect with the audience like few people in WWE are able to do these days, and had WWE fully gotten behind both guys, they would have been difference makers.
In WWE’s mind, they were fully behind both Punk and Bryan. After all, Punk was the longest-reigning WWE Champion of the modern era, and Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main-event of WrestleMania 30. But, despite what WWE’s decision-makers thing, they never fully got behind either guy.
While CM Punk was the WWE Champion, the shows were never built around him. He never main-evented a pay-per-view unless John Cena wasn’t on the show, and when he finally did main-event a show that John Cena was featured on, he lost the title to The Rock.
Sure, Daniel Bryan got his one moment of glory. But, he was given the Rey Mysterio treatment after he won the title, and was made out to look like a weak champion. Luckily for Bryan, he was forced to surrender the title due to injury before WWE could completely ruin his main-event status.
Point being, WWE has had numerous main-event level guys come and go from their organization, and they constantly refuse to let them reach their full potential because — in their minds — they’re missing something, and a good example of that is Cesaro.
Cesaro had years of experience wrestling around the world before he debuted on WWE television in 2012. As a matter of fact, he was one of the most respected workers in the world before he came to the biggest wrestling organization in the world. Initially, WWE built him up nicely, giving him a pretty substantial winning streak, which was topped off by him winning the United States Championship — a title which he held for 239 days.
Since his U.S. Title reign, WWE has done the start-and-stop thing with Cesaro more than they have with anyone else. When he was inexplicably paired with Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger as part of the “Real Americans,” he made it work, and eventually had one of the best moments in WrestleMania history, when he body-slammed the Big Show over the top rope to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30.
Cesaro was then paired with Paul Heyman, and made the newest “Paul Heyman guy.” So, he was turned back heel the night after an apparent babyface turn, which didn’t do him any favors. WWE then split Heyman and Cesaro up because, well, Brock Lesnar was coming back, and, apparently Heyman can’t manage two guys at once, even though he had done it the year before with both CM Punk and Brock Lesnar.
After his split with Heyman, which was never really explained, Cesaro somewhat floundered until he was paired with Tyson Kidd as part of the “Brass Ring Club.” Kidd and Cesaro quickly became one of WWE’s best, and most popular tag-teams, and it got to the point where WWE couldn’t keep them as a heel team anymore because Cesaro and Kidd were able to earn the fans’ respect. Imagine that.
Unfortunately, Kidd and Cesaro’s run as WWE’s best tag-team came to an abrupt end after Kidd was injured during a match with Samoa Joe. An injury which will force Kidd to miss over a year of in-ring action. But, maybe Kidd’s injury isn’t so unfortunate for Cesaro.
This past Monday on RAW, Cesaro answered John Cena’s United States Championship open challenge, and the two of them had what could be the match of the year up to this point. It’s not the first time that Cesaro has had a great match with John Cena, or any other main-eventer on the roster. But, due to the match getting such high-praise, there is once again hope that WWE will finally see the light, and pull the trigger on a Cesaro push.
Back in December, Vince McMahon spoke about Cesaro on the Stone Cold Podcast. His comments weren’t very well-received by the WWE audience, and, especially the WWE locker room after McMahon scolded them for not being ambitious enough to “grab the brass ring.” McMahon also said that Cesaro hasn’t yet connected with the WWE audience because he’s Swiss, which was later somewhat mocked by Steve Austin on his podcast.
It’s clear that Cesaro has the in-ring skill to be a main-eventer. If you’re not sure about that, seek out his match with John Cena from this past Monday if you haven’t seen it already. He has the physique, and, other than Brock Lesnar, he may be the best all-around athlete that WWE has. And, even though WWE doesn’t think so, he has a good deal of charisma. Just take a look at this interview that he did with Sam Roberts for the proof.
Here’s the deal; Cesaro is 34-years-old. Granted, wrestlers — especially the one’s with Cesaro’s level of talent — can continue to be great well into their 40s. However, it’s been proven time and time again that if you start and stop a push with a particular wrestler too many times, the fans will end up not caring about that guy when he finally gets the push he deserved in the first place. So, they’re risking that with Cesaro.
There’s no question that the fans love Cesaro, and with WWE’s lack of depth, they could use a guy like the “Swiss Superman” in the main-event scene. So, let’s hope that his match with John Cena helped him prove just that he deserves to be in a much better spot than he’s in, and that WWE finally gives him the push that he so deserves.