Thursday, July 27, 2017
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
One WWE hall of famer visited Covelli Centre this week, and some future hall of famers plan to drop by this weekend.
President Donald Trump, who was inducted into the WWE hall of fame in 2013, had a rally at the arena Tuesday. And while the battling billionaire-turned-commander-in-chief didn’t get in the ring, he did take his usual no-holds-barred approach in firing up the crowd.
On Sunday, things will get even more raucous when the WWE Raw summer tour, featuring some of the top names in the circuit, arrives. The star-laden card includes Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz, the tag team of Sheamus and Cesaro and many more.
Cesaro is known for his strength and is frequently mentioned as one of WWE’s best and most underrated performers. He was recognized by the Wrestling Observer newsletter as the Most Underrated Wrestler in the world a record four times, from 2013 to 2016.
He’s also a rarity in the world of pro wrestling and not just because he combines wiry athleticism with a 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame. That’s because he is a native of Switzerland – which isn’t exactly a hotbed of the wrasslin’ game.
Born Cesaro Castagnoli, the Swiss cyborg is a current Raw title holder, with his tag team partner Sheamus.
He gave an emphatic “no” when asked if wrestling is big in Switzerland. Then how did the former rugby player manage to take his career in that direction?
“I was introduced to wrestling about 20 years ago and fell in love with it,” he said in a phone interview. He started off in the trenches and worked his way to the top.
“My first show was in 2000, in a small night club before 12 people,” said Cesaro, who is fluent in at least five languages and speaks in a European accent that has hints of all of them. “I did it the hard way.”
He arrived in WWE in 2012.
Cesaro and his European counterpart Sheamus dethroned New Day late last year and took control of the tag team titles.
He’s having too much fun with it to think about wrestling solo or what else might be next.
“We are like brothers,” said Cesaro of his Irish teammate. “We push each other to get better.”
The mountainous Swiss flipped back into the heel role earlier this year with Sheamus – even if it seems undeserved to the Continental kingpin with the “sophisticated” wrestling persona and discriminating tastes.
“I don’t see myself as a bad guy,” he said. “Some people do the right thing, and other people don’t think it’s correct. And Sheamus is one of the most decorated wrestlers to ever set foot in a WWE ring. He’s a tremendous athlete, so maybe there is some jealousy.”
As for sharing the same locker room right after Trump, the Swiss Superman was all diplomacy.
“He’s a WWE hall of famer,” said Cesaro. “And I’ll leave it at that.”