Antonio Cesaro has defeated R-Truth to retain the United States Championship at Survivor Series. Given the stage, it's one of the biggest victories of the superstar's WWE career.
Cesaro has quickly risen up the ranks after making his debut in April. He won the United States title by defeating Santino Marella on the SummerSlam pre-show, and tonight's win should ensure he passes the 100-day mark as champion.
He's actually done a really nice job with the belt, considering fans weren't sure what to expect from him since he received such a quick push. His in-ring work has been solid, and his promos have improved as time has gone on.
Most importantly, he seems to relish the anti-American gimmick. It's an easy way to generate a reaction from the crowd, and he makes it come off natural. A lot of superstars in similar positions have sounded far too scripted trying to play the outsider role.
Judging by the booking he's been given, the company has gained a lot of confidence in him over a short amount of time. It would have been easy to give the title to R-Truth, a veteran with plenty of experience in many different roles, if they didn't have faith in Cesaro to maintain his momentum.
Moving forward, it would be nice to see him get involved in a lengthy storyline with one superstar, whether it's R-Truth or another mid-card star. It would be a good test to see if he can keep fans interested in a feud instead of just a different opponent every month.
His stock is definitely on the rise. Finding a way to keep the gimmick fresh is his biggest challenge now as his title reign marches on.
As for R-Truth, he wasn't built like a champion over the past few months, making it no surprise he didn't pick up the win at Survivor Series. It's good to see him getting involved in singles action again after plenty of tag-team work over the past year.
Fans will remember he teamed up with The Miz to take on The Rock and John Cena at last year's Survivor Series. He's bounced around quite a bit since that loss, but it appears he's finally headed back in the right direction.
His wacky gimmick, featuring his invisible buddy Little Jimmy, is a terrific contrast with Cesaro's serious character, making for a good feud. That might lead to it continuing through TLC next month.
At least for now, Cesaro remains the United States champion.
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