Now this is just a thought and as such, it may be wishful thinking, but has Daniel Bryan set a precedent to be followed by everyone’s favorite unpushed indy star, Antonio Cesaro? I was thinking back to the July 22nd match between Cesaro and Bryan that was a classic even by a casual fan’s standards, and I started to wonder if Cesaro could follow the same path that has seemingly guided Bryan. Follow me, here. Years ago, people were raving about Bryan having the best match of the night at live events and putting on wrestling clinics at both live events and televised shows. The IWC was exultant in its praise of Bryan, as his work was being recognized, and with Bryan being a great worker, the IWC was validated for being huge fans. Bryan worked in the mid-card, did his time, wrestled well, was given a gimmick, injected his personality into that character, created a following due to his mat skills and then ascended.
Cesaro can easily follow that formula for success. For the past few months, Cesaro’s name has been synonymous with Match of the Night. Hell, since he’s been called up, I can’t think of a bad match that’s he’s had despite having some opponents who have less than limited mobility. Google “Antonio Cesaro and Match of the Night” and you’ll see a plethora of hits detailing how he continues to impress WWE officials and the WWE Universe. Sami Zayn, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, and Curtis Axel are a few of the people with whom Cesaro continues to create great matches. I would be doing him a disservice if I said that he can wrestle, because he’s the prime example of how to innovate in matches, while being technically sound, wrestling a hard-hitting style and telling a story.
The similarities between Bryan and Cesaro can’t be missed. Both were indy stars, both were said to lack personality when they came to the WWE, and both continue to impress and amaze in the ring, seemingly at will. Both Bryan and Cesaro won the US Championship within a year of debuting and went on lengthy runs with the belt around the same time periods in different years; Bryan was champ from September 2010 through March 2011, while Cesaro was champion from August 2012 through April 2013. When writers didn’t know what to do with Cesaro after he lost his title, they attached him to the revitalized Jack Swagger character, similar to how writers paired Bryan with a revitalized Kane when they weren’t sure what to do with him last year. Slowly and surely, (but not audibly) fans are realizing Cesaro’s true talent, just as slowly and surely Bryan gained momentum that came to a crest the night after WrestleMania 28. All Cesaro needs now is to win his first World Heavyweight Championship by October, and he’ll have followed directly in Daniel’s footsteps—winning the WHC within the first 18 months of being on the roster.
Both men fall within the top 3 in terms of the ranks of best pure wrestlers in the WWE, and they have similar backgrounds. That being said, it is conceivable that the WWE may be looking at the blueprint laid out by what they did with Daniel Bryan when considering how they plan to deal with Antonio Cesaro. Should that be true, then by all means carry on WWE Creative, because that would put us in line for a WHC run and some incredible wrestling from the Swiss Sensation from here on out.