U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro def. The Miz (Pre-Show)

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January 27, 2013

PHOENIX — The festivities of Royal Rumble 2013 kicked off with an exclusive live Pre-Show — on Facebook, YouTube, WWE.com and for the first time ever on the WWE App — featuring the heated rivalry between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and The Miz culminating in high-stakes contest for the title. After weeks of tension building between the two Superstars, the Swiss-born Superstar proved himself a dominant champion by defeating The Awesome One before preparing to enter the Royal Rumble Match later. (PHOTOS)

For weeks, Antonio Cesaro has displayed his impressive power on WWE Main Event under the watchful eye of The Miz — who serves as the color commentator Wednesday nights on ION Television. Although the U.S. Title holder has only competed in WWE for less than a year, his resume speaks for itself with victories against veteran Superstars such as The Great Khali and Kofi Kingston. The Miz’s experience as a former U.S., Intercontinental and WWE Champion would normally give him a clear advantage against a competitor of Cesaro’s tenure; but the raw strength and power of The Swiss Superman cannot be underestimated.

Inside the sold-out US Airways Center, the WWE Universe witnessed a truly epic clash for one of the most prestigious titles in sports-entertainment history. Surprisingly there was no talking, as soon as the opening bell sounded, the action got underway. Both competitors were certainly poised and ready for the battle, as The Miz used quickness and agility to avoid Cesaro’s unbridled power.

Momentum shifted back and forth until the Swiss-born Superstar impressively caught The Awesome One in mid-air with a tilt-a-whirl slam. The Miz managed to fight back, but the United States Champion simply knocked his opponent back down with an impressive body slam. The WWE Universe watched in disdain-filled awe at Cesaro’s impressive abilities inside the squared circle. The Swiss Superman continued to punish Miz — every time The Awesome One tried to build momentum, the pure strength of Cesaro proved to be the real star of the contest.

As the battle raged, The Miz dug deep down and fought back, but as he ascended the top rope, Cesaro moved out of the way, leaving The Awesome One to land awkwardly on his right knee. The heart of the former WWE Champion was on display, continuing the battle — but the tactical prowess of Cesaro ultimately decided the contest.

Rolling to the outside, Cesaro exposed the steel supports underneath the ring and remained on the arena floor — luring his injured opponent to his position. The ingenuity of The Swiss Superman was on display, pulling Miz shoulder-first into the exposed steel before throwing him back into the ring.

With full control of the match, the United States Champion prepared his nemesis for the Neutralizer. This time, rather than sending The Miz face first into the mat, Cesaro executed his patented maneuver with added punch — directing the impact to The Awesome One’s injured right knee.

After the official made the three-count, Antonio Cesaro proudly held the United States Championship high with momentum in his favor heading into the Royal Rumble Match and on The Road to WrestleMania.

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