In a WrestleMania filled with iconic moments, Cesaro winning the first annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was easily one of the top three moments of the night. Cesaro lifting and slamming The Big Show over the top rope to win the battle royal was an incredible tribute to the legendary wrestler for whom the event was named. The result and finish elevated Cesaro’s burgeoning popularity to new heights in the WWE.
The following night on WWE Raw, Cesaro officially split from Zeb Colter and The Real Americans during the trophy presentation ceremony. I was in the Smoothie King Center that night in New Orleans when Cesaro made the shocking announcement that he was now a “Paul Heyman guy.” The capacity crowd exploded at this declaration and over 15,000 WWE fans cheered Cesaro on to victory. But then, things got very strange.
The challenge for the WWE creative team in this equation was Paul Heyman. Just days after helping Brock Lesnar end one of the greatest streaks in wrestling history, Heyman was being asked to shift gears and go from managing one of the most hated wrestlers in the WWE to leading one of the most popular. If anyone could do it, it would be Heyman, as he is one of the greatest talkers in wrestling.
Very few people in the wrestling business can be genuinely hated and then loved in a short period of time. But Paul Heyman is so talented on the mic, that he can make this transition in the blink of an eye. Indeed, he seemed well on his way to doing just that when he was introduced as Cesaro’s manager. However, since his first appearance with Cesaro, Heyman has continued to harp on Lesnar ending the streak, which isn’t helping him win over WWE fans.
However, Heyman’s promos aren’t the only thing sending mixed messages to the WWE Universe. On the April 11 edition of WWE Smackdown, Cesaro had a very confusing match against Big Show. Cesaro started the match by shaking hands with his opponent, as all good babyfaces should do. But after Big Show saved Cesaro from an attack by Jack Swagger, the newest Paul Heyman guy attacked Show from behind.
On the April 14 edition of Raw, Heyman continued to extoll the virtues of Brock Lesnar before introducing Cesaro. Drawing heat in a promo is no way to lather up a wrestling crowd before bringing out a popular wrestler. On Raw, I could tell the WWE fans in attendance were confused and they couldn’t decide if they wanted to cheer Cesaro or boo him. At least under Colter’s tutelage, Cesaro’s character was crystal clear.
However, the final injustice to Cesaro has nothing to do with him or Heyman. In his television appearances since joining Heyman, Cesaro does not have entrance music! In the WWE of 2014, everyone has entrance music. The fact that Cesaro is going to the ring without an entrance song makes it look like the WWE creative team came up with the idea to pair him with Heyman at the last minute and didn’t have time to order him a new song. This is inexcusable.
Pairing Cesaro and Paul Heyman should be wrestling gold for the WWE. But the early returns on their union are both confusing and downright awful. Making this storyline work should not be a complicated matter for the top wrestling organization in the world. Both Cesaro and Heyman deserve better than what the WWE is giving them at this time.
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