Who is the next WWE Champion?

Page 6 of 8
November 10, 2013

Antonio Cesaro

It’s easy to write off Antonio Cesaro as a muscle-bound brute, yet that might be the biggest mistake a WWE fan can make. Sure, this 6-foot-5, 232-pounder might be the strongest man on the roster, but Cesaro is about more than just dizzying Swings. A connoisseur of fine coffees and a noted master of five languages, the Swiss-born world traveler has the experience and more than enough brains to match his famous brawn and intensity.

A decade-plus veteran of the squared circle before ever stepping foot in a WWE ring,Cesaro once trained with revered British star Dave Taylor and cut his teeth across Europe before making his way across the pond. In the United States, Cesaro has battled in nearly every notable independent organization, including Ring of Honor, Chikara, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, IWA Mid-South and Japan’s Pro Wrestling Noah – many of which contributed to the resumes of champions like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. But Cesaro hasn’t just participated in these companies, he has thrived in them with a dynamic mat style that blends strength, grappling and Thesz-era hooking. Whether performing as a lauded hero, a despised villain, in a tag team or even under the hood of an ice cream mask, Cesaro has developed cult-like followings wherever he’s laced up a pair of boots.

The cultured strongman proved he could score in the big time as well. Upon his WWE arrival in spring 2012, he wasn’t pinned in a match for two and a half months. After suffering his first pinfall defeat, Cesaro followed it up a week and a half later by winning the United States Championship, which he held for eight months. How’s that for a rebound?

While backstage during a recent Raw, Cesaro chatted about Japan, his favorite competitors and how he has adapted his style in WWE. Clearly, he loves the history, making a statement and most importantly, improving in the ring. And this future champion is only getting better.  ZACH LINDER

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