Cesaro

Cesaro swings Randy Orton. Image credit: WWE.com

Cesaro. Quietly dropping the Antonio from his name last week, alongside beating WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, the WWE made a very clear statement: Cesaro is going to be a key player in this company in years to come.

Cesaro announced the change on Saturday, just after he appeared on SmackDown with his new name. On SmackDown, Cesaro defeated Randy Orton clean, in what was an excellent wrestling match.

Then, on Monday Night RAW, Cesaro faced John Cena in another fantastic wrestling match. Cesaro lost, but that match was so good that he reportedly received a standing ovation in gorilla position following the match. There is a trend here.

For a long time, Cesaro has showcased his skills to the WWE Universe as United States Champion and, more recently, as a member of the tag team The Real Americans alongside his tag team partner Jack Swagger. Cesaro and Swagger form a powerful duo who utilise a lot of amateur wrestling moves with powerful strikes and gripping grapples and, under the tuition of Zeb Colter, they have become one of the best tag teams in the WWE.

Cesaro alongside his tag partner, Jack Swagger. Image credit: WWE.com

Cesaro has recently started using the giant swing, a move which has become wildly popular and has the fans counting the number of rotations as Cesaro’s opponent dangles from his grasp, trapped in a whirlwind of centrifugal force. This move has increased Cesaro’s popularity as it is a unique move that adds an air of light-heartedness to his moveset.

Even more recently, Cesaro has been involved in some big matches throughout the WWE. His feud on NXT with Sami Zayn has already encompassed three matches, all of which have been excellent, with a fourth on the way at NXT: Arrival on February 27 on the WWE Network. On the bigger stage Cesaro qualified for the Elimination Chamber match by defeating Dolph Ziggler on the January 27th edition of RAW while his team-mate failed to do the same against Christian.

Cesaro will face Zayn in a 2/3 falls match at NXT: Arrival. Image credit: WWE.com

While Swagger is now chasing Big E’s Intercontinental Title, Cesaro is edging towards the main event picture following the two great matches against the biggest two stars in the company and the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View should see Cesaro put in another excellent performance.

I don’t see Cesaro winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title so close to WrestleMania but what I do expect is Cesaro to have a stand-out Elimination Chamber and a stand-out 2014 and really take his game to the next level.

Antonio is gone. Cesaro is here to stay.

John Cena and Randy Orton back on top of the WWE

Image credit: WWE

John Cena made a triumphant return to WWE last night at Hell in a Cell defeating Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship and Randy Orton won the vacant WWE Championship defeating Daniel Bryan.

Cena had been out nursing a torn triceps injury for two and a half months but returned well ahead of schedule to win the World Title in what was an extremely good match with Mexican Alberto Del Rio.

Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan went at it for the third PPV in a row (Night of Champions and Battleground preceded Hell in a Cell) and Daniel Bryan got screwed once again when special referee Shawn Michaels superkicked Bryan and counted the pinfall for Orton.

Expect fallout and celebrations aplenty on RAW if this tweet from Stephanie McMahon is anything to go by:

CM Punk and John Cena head to Bedrock for The Flinstones movie

Image Credit: ESPN Go

WWE and Warner Bros. have announced that they are collaborating on a Flinstones animated movie to be released early 2015.

The animated movie will see the Bedrock gang – including Fred and Barney – experience the very first WWE Main Event with Vince McMagma (voiced by Vince McMahon), John Cenastone (voiced by John Cena) and CM Punkrock (voiced by CM Punk.)

The movie will be released on Blu-ray DVD, VOD and digital download in early 2015. Colour me excited.

 

WrestleMania 29 taking shape

**This post is dedicated to the late Paul Bearer (William Moody) who died at the age of 58 on Tuesday 5th March 2013. **

Monday’s RAW was a defining moment on the Road to WrestleMania; The Phenom, The Deadman, The Undertaker returned, signalling that he would be back and competing at WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey.

The Deadman returned at the top of the show, encased in his shroud of darkness and mystery, and told everyone within the WWE, fans and superstars alike, that he would be at WrestleMania to once again defend his undefeated streak.

The race was then on for four of WWE’s biggest stars today: CM Punk, Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show. A fatal-four-way was set up to decide who would face The Phenom, something that struck me as a little odd considering it doesn’t feed into an over-arching story, it’s merely a match set-up out of the blue. But who am I to complain? Taker’s back for another WrestleMania match, and we won’t be able to appreciate that for much longer considering the 47-year-old’s physical shape.

So Punk won, and we now have Undertaker vs CM Punk as another match on the card of WrestleMania 29 alongside The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship; not bad for the first few matches announced!

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Image credit: WWE.com

It’s here that WrestleMania begins to take shape. With a WrestleMania mainstay like The Undertaker confirmed to be back for the Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania suddenly has a beacon of power and authority back to support the two title matches already announced.

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Image credit: WWE.com

The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship is obviously a huge match. They had a fantastic match at WrestleMania 28 which saw The Rock coming out on top, but this year, things are different. The Rock holds the WWE Championship, and with him not being a permanent member of the WWE roster, I expect John Cena to leave WrestleMania as an 11-time WWE Champion.

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Image credit: WWE.com

On the other side of the coin, the World Heavyweight Championship will be contested between Alberto Del Rio (c) and the newly-reinvigorated Jack Swagger. Swagger’s latest patriot gimmick with Zeb Colter has gone down a storm, with WWE receiving political press from the angle that sees Swagger and Colter making risque comments towards non-Americans much like the champion, Del Rio. I see Swagger walking out of WrestleMania once again the World Heavyweight Champion.

There are also a few matches that should be taking shape over the next few weeks as the Road to WrestleMania heats up. On Monday’s RAW, a Ryback vs Mark Henry match was teased with the two entering a stare down on the entrance ramp. This could be a big match between two powerhouses, and could lead to a WrestleMania moment for Ryback if he could lift Mark Henry up for Shell Shocked.

Another match that could take place is Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler. These two have had a few run-ins over the past few months, with Ziggler eliminating Jericho from the Royal Rumble after Jericho had a fantastic showing upon his return. Maybe WWE will have Ziggler beat Jericho (if the match takes place) and then cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase.

Finally, there should be a Tag Team Championship match somewhere down the line, as well as other matches yet to even be teased. There are still 31 days until WrestleMania, with four RAW shows and five SmackDown shows to take place in that time. Things can change, but know for certain, that things will get very, very interesting.