December 14, 2012
Antonio Cesaro: 'I'm a doctor of wrestling'
By PATRIC LAPRADE - SLAM! Wrestling
For Antonio Cesaro, his match against R-Truth this coming Sunday at the TLC PPV is not about USA versus Switzerland. Even if the WWE U.S. champion didn't have good words to say to the American people recently, that's not the point he's trying to prove.
"Those who think it's a war between USA and Switzerland are the ones who listen to what R-Truth wants them to think," told Cesaro to SLAM! Wrestling.
"This match is me proving that I'm better than R-Truth. The fans will get an exciting title match. I don't need tables, ladders and chairs to win and I'll prove what I can do with only my wrestling abilities," he added.
Cesaro developed his wrestling abilities working many years on the indy scene, at a time when he was known as Claudio Castagnoli.
"Becoming a WWE wrestler is like trying to be a doctor. You need several years of studying in a university prior to achieve your goal. Well, in wrestling, the indy scene is like a university. I needed that to develop into what I am now. I can now say that I'm a doctor of wrestling in the WWE!" said Cesaro, who still watches indy wrestling whenever he can.
In the recent years, WWE seemed to give more opportunities to guys who came from the independent scene. Wrestlers like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro himself and, most recently, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose all made it to the main roster. But for Cesaro, this isn't something new.
"WWE has always done that. They recognize when someone works hard and good things happen then. The landscape sure changed, but guys on the indy scene are touring the world and this is what guys like Eddy Guerrero or Dean Malenko used to do before. So basically, WWE did always check for new talent," explained Cesaro.
Since he's with the WWE, Cesaro capitalizes on his Swiss and European background. Since Switzerland is a country where people speak several different languages, Cesaro incorporated that into his character.
"I speak five languages: English, German, Italian, French and what we call Swiss. It's in fact German-Swiss," he said.
If he had to rank himself on these five languages, which one would be on top?
"In order, it would be Swiss, German, English, French and Italian," Cesaro affirmed.
Talking about his Swiss roots, last November in Zurich, Switzerland, Cesaro had the chance to perform for the first time as a WWE Superstar in front of his home crowd.
"It was very special. My friends and family were there. I left my country eight years ago to become what I am today and I really got the reception I was hoping for and the one I truly deserved," said the former member of The Kings of Wrestling with Chris Hero, now Kassius Ohno on NXT.
The next Wrestlemania could be the first one in which Cesaro would perform. Is there anything or anyone in particular he'd like to face?
"Anyone who's braved enough to wrestle against me and try to take my U.S. title. Because I'm confident I will still be U.S. champion."
He might be right, but before that he'll have to wrestle R-Truth this Sunday at the TLC PPV in a brand new building, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
And like Antonio Cesaro would say in one of his five languages, "nous verrons bien."
Pat Laprade had the chance to speak French with Antonio Cesaro during his interview, something he can't do often while interviewing WWE Superstars. He'll be at the TLC PPV live in Brooklyn this Sunday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also check his brand new Facebook page about his upcoming book at this URL.