After watching Friday’s SmackDown, I was left asking myself one question: does the WWE even care anymore?
It should be no secret to anyone that’s read me that I’m a fan of Cesaro. Why wouldn’t you be? In an industry that loves a good strong man, he’s a real life strong man without having the cartoonish muscles. He deadlifts everyone, tosses them to their doom and uppercuts faces off. He’s the legitimately hard-hitting Superman that everyone should be in love with.
And WWE cannot figure out what the hell to do with him.
Back in April, it seemed pretty clear that Cesaro was getting the push of a lifetime. Separated from his xenophobe tag team partner, Jack Swagger, the Swiss Superman would go on to win the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30 in the most impressive way possible: body-slamming a legit Giant, the Big Show, over the top rope. Hulk Hogan has this delusion that his body slamming Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3 killed the big man; if he had done what Cesaro did, he’d be claiming to have shifted the tectonic plates. It was that impressive.
The next night on Raw, it only got better for Cesaro: he was the latest Paul Heyman Guy. In the past, this meant automatic respect and a likely ascent to the top of the company. He’d surely become the next big heel with the game’s greatest talker as his mouth piece.
Instead, the WWE did what it usually does: lost patience. Cesaro did nothing of note for a little while, failing to build on the momentum he had coming out of the biggest event of the year. Eventually, Paul Heyman decided that he’d rather spend all of his time with BAAAAROOOOOOCK LEEEEEEESNARRRRR than coach up the Swiss Superman and Cesaro was left flailing.
From there, it only got worse. He would become jobber fodder for his former tag team partner among others, being the guy used to make someone look legitimate. He’d have a highly competitive match with John Cena, then go out and lose on Smackdown.
It’s continued in that way all the way up to now. He’s lost several times to hardly-defending US Champion Sheamus, but got a little momentum with a battle royal win on Friday’s Smackdown to earn himself a shot at Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental Championship. Instead of building that win up, making it seem important and huge, as well as saving the championship match for Hell in a Cell to give us a fresh matchup for once, what did the WWE do? Had it later on that night. And Cesaro lost in controversial fashion. If this leads to an awesome feud between two of the best workers in the game, I’m all for it, but forgive me for losing faith in the WWE’s creative process. The next logical step on their white board of doom is to have Cesaro repeat that loss 14 more times, put it on pay-per-view and then do it another 23 times before finally moving on.
It’s like the WWE doesn’t want to make money anymore, which would be weird considering all the reports about how freaked out the WWE is over the declining ratings. Then again, they pull awful booking decisions like this out and wonder why people are tuning out the product left and right.
I don’t ever expect John Cena to go away, but push Cesaro to something relevant and you’ll keep me happy. Even that seems like a tall task at this point.