Coming out of WrestleMania XXX, life was pretty rosy for Antonio Cesaro. He had just taken the roof off the Superdome twice—first by turning on tag team partner Jack Swagger and then by winning the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
The next night on Raw, Cesaro became a Paul Heyman Guy and looked set for a profitable alliance with arguably the greatest manager in WWE history.
But, from there, it all went wrong.
The WWE opted to fight the organic babyface turn and keep Cesaro as a heel under Heyman. He was thrust into a mediocre program with Rob Van Dam in addition to his ongoing difficulties with former friend, Swagger.
Since then, he has been unable to recapture the momentum he was riding with the WWE Universe on the way into New Orleans in April.
From the WWE's point of view, Cesaro had to stay a heel. With Randy Orton still suffering from his last title reign, Kane already entering a program with Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt not ready to enter the championship picture, Cesaro was one of few Superstars with the clout to challenge Bryan before the arrival of Brock Lesnar.
However, the lack of a face turn has held Cesaro back from being the star that this push should have helped him become. He was already over with fans, especially as a result of his Giant Swing finishing move.
Cesaro has been forced to tone down aspects of his performance to work as a singles heel. According to PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc), he has been told to drop the Giant Swing entirely as a result of the positive pop it received from fans.
It’s saddening to see what has happened to Cesaro. The sight of his character begging at the doorstep of the Authority is a real step down for the Swiss Superman.
If he succeeds in impressing Triple H, then he can expect to be third in the stable’s pecking order at best, behind hand-picked face of the company, Orton, and Seth Rollins.
This is not a spot that should be occupied by the Superstar, who was riding one of the biggest pushes in the company just a couple of months ago.
Cesaro has suffered as WWE Creative desperately tried to apply a band-aid to cover the wounds of its own shortcomings. By refusing to build new top heels for so long, it has been forced to resist organic story progression and shoehorn one of its top talents into a role for which they are ill-suited at this time.
Hopefully, Cesaro can recover from this blip and revive his main event career. A face turn against the Authority would be a great start, putting him over as a top babyface instantly.
Who wouldn’t like to see Triple H on the end of a Cesaro Swing?