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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Antonio Cesario is Affected by Vince McMahon/WWE's Utter Hatred of Ring of Honor
By Mr. Tito
Oct 1, 2013 - 10:10:43 PM
For much of my past 15 years as a columnist here for LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com, I have been quite critical of Creative Teams. World Championship Wrestling (WCW)'s criticisms were just stating the obvious, but for the WWE, I was wearing thin on Vince Russo during 1999 in the WWE and quickly predicted the disaster he'd become in WCW. After Russo's awesome lead writer replacement stepped down from the WWE during late 2000 (his name was Chris Kreski), WWE then turned to McMahon daughter and Communications major Stephanie McMahon to become lead writer. All downhill ever since as Vince's trusted wrestling guys were replaced by failed soap opera writers. Aside from the lack of real competition, there's no doubt why the WWE has declined.
BUT - Let's give credit where credit is due. After wasting our time with a Ryback heel push after Wrestlemania 29, the WWE Creative Team has been producing quality. Maybe it's because John Cena is out with an injury and Creative HAS to actually work hard... Who knows? I've certainly enjoyed the Daniel Bryan vs. Orton/Triple H/McMahons, CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman, the revamped Tag Team Division (actual teams!), and even the Divas division. The WWE has been able to fill the 3 hours of RAW, for a change.
Then, I see something that makes me want to see red...
FINGER OF SHAME to the WWE for once again wasting Antonio Cesaro with a 2nd straight jobbing to Santino Marella. Consider this... Santino is "billed" as 5'10" and was mostly a WWE developmental talent since 2005 (some indy work before that) before joining the WWE. Meanwhile, Cesaro is "billed" as 6'5" and has traveled the world as a pro wrestler since 2000. Lots of experience and seasoning... But he loses to a wrestler who puts a Cobra sock puppet on his hand as a finisher? And it's not like Mick Foley's finisher, as Foley would stick his sock down your throat to choke you out. Santino is hitting you with his fingers!
Not just the Santino jobbing... He joins Jack Swagger for this goofy "We the People" gimmick that utterly failed to draw any heat for Wrestlemania 29. I personally like Zeb Colter in a managerial role and could be good for Cesaro, but the gimmick is holding him down because the WWE Creative Team actually considers Jack Swagger to have more potential than Cesaro. Did they not see Swagger's failed title run and recent push? And don't get me started on that United States Title reign. Multiple non-title defeats that not only destroyed Cesaro's potential to get over as champion, but actually made the US Title look weaker as a midcard title. Considering that the WWE treated that title like a joke beforehand, that's quite an accomplishment!
I just wonder if there's something in Cesaro's past that makes the WWE really dislike him?
For the past few years, I've argued how the WWE has held back both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan from their true drawing power. WWE, for whatever reason, just doesn't seem to have any confidence to let Bryan or Punk become the equivalent of John Cena as a draw or Randy Orton in terms of extremely favorable booking. John Cena and Randy Orton are proud WWE developmental territory students and graduates... I wonder if Bryan and CM Punk have something on their resume from their past that might hold them back?
I've argued that the WWE missed the boat on acquiring Samoa Joe. They could have signed him before TNA Wrestling signed him during mid-2005. You could easily argue that during 2004-2005, he was the best in-ring performer in North America. His matches against CM Punk during 2004 (rounds 1 and 2 that went to full 1 hour draws each) were incredible and the hype surrounding Joe was growing by fans who could access his matches via online video (thank God tape trading is over!). WWE lost Brock Lesnar during 2004 and could have used someone like Joe to fill in that needed bigtime wrestler gap. In fact, I'd argue through 2004, Joe was actually a more talented performer than Brock Lesnar. Joe has lots of experience, too, and could have given the WWE a new dimension to a main event wrestler. But the WWE showed no interest in the end... What could he have on his resume?
Kaval won WWE's NXT during August 2010 but was released by the WWE during December 2010. He used to be named Low Ki for various promotions... Wonder what specific promotion was on that resume? Chris Hero is currently in the WWE developmental territory but has recently been scolded for his lack of commitment and physical conditioning (yet, look at some on the current roster). Maybe he's depressed due to his goofy new name Kassius Ohno? I wonder if he has something on his resume? Shield member Seth Rollins has something on his resume that might help persuade WWE management to put him in the doghouse on occasion? Reportedly...
Yes, you're seeing a theme here... Vince McMahon HATES the Ring of Honor promotion. HATES IT! Not only has Ring of Honor established a presence in the Northeast, Vince's backyard, but Ring of Honor has stood for pro wrestling to be more about in-ring workrate instead of "Sports Entertainment". They've let the matches do the speaking and from that, almost every wrestler from that promotion can work an incredible match. Funny, because the WWE hosts 1 Pay Per View a month that has actual matches. Shouldn't they want strong in-ring workrate for their shows? Go watch SummerSlam 2013... CM Punk and Daniel Bryan absolutely BROUGHT IT and helped give the WWE arguably its best SummerSlam Pay Per View ever. Both CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (one of the best of all time) and Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena will be talked about for years and shall be in many Top 5 "Match of the Year" rankings for 2013.
Vince McMahon is very controlling over his talent. Always has been. If the WWE promotion didn't make the wrestler, he doesn't matter according to Vince. Granted, Vince has a good track record in some aspects. He's running on the fumes of the Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002" with John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar still around. He took a chance on Rocky Johnson's son, the Rock, and saw potential in him that probably no other promoter could. Vince has been in the pro wrestling business forever and didn't become the #1 promoter in the country and possibly ever by being an idiot. He's made great talent choices and he's a self made millionaire for taking chances on talents that nobody saw coming. But what in the blue hell does he have against Ring of Honor?
Vince was that way with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), as he's made it a point to job any former WCW stars during the 2001 WCW Invasion and then the years thereafter when other WCW stars joined. He seems to completely ignore any possible standout talents in TNA Wrestling. Maybe he feels that if he signs a TNA based wrestler that it could legitimize TNA? Maybe he feels that if he pushes a Ring of Honor talent hard, it legitimizes that promotion? But Vince's WWE Corporation has resources that Ring of Honor and TNA could only imagine having... Why would he fear legitimizing either promotion who are years of infrastructure building away from challenging the WWE?
It's one of the reasons why I'm quite confident that Daniel Bryan is just Randy Orton's "something to do" as we await John Cena's return. In addition to his 5'8" height, which is another strike against him for Vince, Daniel Bryan has "Ring of Honor" on his resume. I just don't see the WWE giving him a lengthy WWE Title reign beyond 1 Pay Per View cycle (so far, it hasn't been 24 hours long yet). Makes you wonder if Bryan was a purebred WWE developmental title if the WWE would have fired Bryan in 2010 for the infamous tie choking incident when the Nexus formed? Then you have CM Punk... Let's forget about the fumbled 2011 momentum or the non-Main Eventing for Pay Per Views as WWE Champion that occurred during 2012. WWE can't give him a single win over a major star. Sure, Chris Jericho can be defeated, but Punk lost to Rock twice, Undertaker, Kane, and Brock Lesnar for 2013. That's AFTER being WWE Champion for more than a year.
CM Punk joined the WWE during September 2005 and arrived with a lot of hype as the "King of the Indies". Yet, Vince McMahon disliked the guy and reportedly questioned his signing. If Paul Heyman wasn't in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the WWE developmental territory at the time, and later the rebooted Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) to protect and appreciate CM Punk, we probably wouldn't have Punk in the WWE. The guy has been handed poor many poor booking assignments yet CM Punk has overcome and still got over. I personally believe that he's the one wrestler that could do some damage to the WWE if he were to bolt to TNA Wrestling during 2014 based on the way WWE has under-appreciated him.
And here we go again with Antonio Cesaro. Based on the way he kept jobbing as United States Champion, I was almost drinking the WWE Koolaid that he didn't "have it". But then he wrestled Daniel Bryan and I was blown away. I started looking back on past matches with other promotions by Cesaro (but under his real name, Claudio Castagnoli) A few weeks ago, I finally caught his Best 2 out of 3 Falls match with Sami Zayn on NXT. Holy mother of God... Amazing display of athletic talent and the fans were behind it. Much like fans are enjoy Cesaro's 30 second Giant Swing move that should be used as a trademark to get a wrestler over. Instead, it's just done as a move before his opponent can somehow recover from the extreme dizzy feeling and pin Cesaro.
John Cena and Randy Orton won't be around forever, WWE. Your hand selected WWE talents, Sheamus/Curtis Axel/Alberto Del Rio, are not getting over. The talent pool needs filled... Ring of Honor has a strong history of creating legitimately good pro wrestlers both in the ring and surprisingly good at the "sports entertainment" part that Vince McMahon likes. And there is nothing wrong with adjusting the wrestler's style or persona once they are a WWE employee (or "independent contractor", excuse me). But the WWE attempts to completely remake the wrestler and attempt to erase what made them catch the attention of the WWE. Thanks to the WWE trying to make or remake every wrestler in their own Vince McMahon image, we get many wrestlers who are exactly the same and are giving us many dull matches.
But the Ring of Honor guys are proving to be great workers... At the end of the day, the WWE is still a pro wrestling company. They need more "WRESTLING" in WWE than "ENTERTAINMENT". Like the New York Yankees pick off the smaller baseball clubs of its best talent, the WWE should exploit what's available for talent and embrace the training already provided to the talent. Give us some variety, WWE.
Comments and debates are welcome on Twitter. Bring it on. @titowrestling
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