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Cesaro: That’s how you build a star

cesaroThe biggest news in the past couple of years involving Cesaro up until mid-week last week was that WWE had decided to drop his first name Antonio because somebody in the office didn’t think Antonio sounded tough enough.

Seems like a long time ago that his first name was a topic of discussion. Cesaro scored an upset win over WWE Champion Randy Orton on Friday Night Smackdown, and followed that up with an epic, show-stealing match with John Cena on Monday Night Raw last night.

In the course of two TV matches, a top star has been born. Cesaro, of course, was a known entity before the last few days, but even with a long U.S. title run, he wasn’t much more than a low-level middle-carder who seemed to have the talent and the looks, but may have never been destined for any kind of meaningful push.

Born Claudio Castagnoli, the Swiss-born wrestler made his name (under his real name) in Ring of Honor before signing with WWE in 2011. Now miscast as a member of The Real Americans, Cesaro seemed an odd choice for the Elimination Chamber main event, but there was a method to the madness in creative. First came the upset win over Orton, but the better match of the two was clearly the one with Cena, who scored the clean fall at the end, but Cesaro and Cena were able to put on a match that had the live fans chanting “This Is Awesome!” several times throughout.

Now Cesaro is solidified as a legitimate top contender for the WWE title, and though it’s unlikely that he will win it at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view Sunday night, it seems easy to predict that Cesaro will emerge from that match with an even bigger push forthcoming.

Expect to see a face turn with a break from The Real Americans, and then we should see Cesaro get a dance partner that can further elevate him into solid main-event status in WWE into the summer.

This is how you do it, folks. This is how you build a star. For all the criticisms that WWE creative gets, they still know how to get that job done.

– Column by Chris Graham