Saturday, May 18, 2024
EditorialCesaro Should Win AEW's Face of the Revolution Match (as Claudio Castagnoli)

Cesaro Should Win AEW’s Face of the Revolution Match (as Claudio Castagnoli)

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After tonight’s edition of AEW Rampage, there will be one final spot remaining in the Face of the Revolution ladder match for AEW Revolution 2022. So far, the competitors who will be vying for that spot have not yet been announced, leaving room for Cesaro to be the perfect person for the job.

Not only should Cesaro—or, rather, Claudio Castagnoli—be signed to AEW immediately and fast-tracked to compete in this match, he should actually win it.

Yes, that might sound like the typical response of someone reacting to a WWE Superstar leaving Vince McMahon’s clutches. Cesaro could just as easily reach a new contract and stick around, or go elsewhere. Nothing has indicated he’s even as set to go to AEW as Jeff Hardy, who feels free enough to just flat out say it like it’s a certainty. Even then, why jump straight to putting him in the match in just a few days, as well as winning it? Surely, I’m insane, right?!

AEW isn’t perfect, but one of the things it can do well is gauge whether or not fans are into a wrestler. Tony Khan’s been a fan all his life and understands that viewer’s mindset. He books like someone who has watched WWE screw things up over the past decade, said “I could do that better” and actually has the money to pull it off. Some kids don’t get to play with the same toys simply because they can’t afford them.

AEW has gotten better at judging people’s popularity. Wheeler Yuta didn’t come in as “the next big thing” and Brody King hasn’t been treated like he’s on par with Bryan Danielson, but both are used well enough to justify their spots.

Cesaro’s story has basically been that everybody recognizes how great he is in the ring and how much potential he has to be a top star, but everybody also recognizes how WWE refuses to acknowledge that. The discussion is always “It’s a shame Vince McMahon doesn’t see Cesaro as a main event star and will never push him to that level, because he’s awesome.”

He’s an underdog who never needed to be one. If he were to come to AEW, everyone would be hoping he would do so with the idea that he’d finally achieve the success we all knew he had in him. AEW is still in the “pleasing the fans” business, so it shouldn’t be a difficult task to understand what is needed. He has to be treated like a top star and not just another one of the “good hand” types like Trent or even PAC.

The best way to show that you mean business is to immediately push him in a big way. AEW has the literal perfect scenario ahead of them, too, wherein the Face of the Revolution ladder match culminates in someone grabbing a brass ring—the exact phrasing that revolved around Cesaro’s lack of a push from Vince McMahon on Stone Cold’s podcast!

AEW fans love their surprises. Having Cesaro come in just a few days after leaving WWE would get a massive pop. Imagine someone like Ethan Page being put in a qualifying match with Claudio Castagnoli being his surprise opponent. They have a great match that Castagnoli wins. It’s a few days away from Revolution and you’ve just bumped up your hype considerably with this new acquisition and the interest in watching him in the match itself.

But what about the others? Am I already forgetting about Keith Lee? How come it can’t just be Wardlow winning or an AEW-original type guy? Aren’t we just overloading AEW with WWE Superstars? Rabble rabble rabble!

Look. I love Keith Lee. I’ve been pitching that he should be the guy to win the Royal Rumble and WWE Championship or even dethrone Roman Reigns, beat Brock Lesnar, etc. But if he wins this, he fights Sammy Guevara and probably loses. Then what? He’s too physically large to lose that match and not look weak in response. I’d rather see him in world title contention.

Why not just Wardlow or an AEW guy? Wardlow’s in the same “hold it for the world title” scenario (as I’d like him to be the one to beat MJF, eventually). Orange Cassidy is awesome and one of my favorites, but he’s teflon. Hobbs would be my top choice to win without it being Claudio, but I can wait on him. Starks is holding the FTW title and shouldn’t get belts mixed up.

AEW shouldn’t hire every WWE person, but this isn’t the same as picking up August Grey and running with him as a top talent. Castagnoli is a respected veteran who still has much to give and can be a tool for AEW to show that they do know how to take a great wrestler and let them do their thing without holding them down.

Sammy Guevara vs. Claudio Castagnoli is a match people would want to see. As a veteran, he’d be able to help teach Guevara a few things while putting him over and not looking too weak, OR could win the title. His matches with Danielson, CM Punk and others from his past would be major attractions. Matches with fresher faces like Jungle Boy, Darby Allin and Rey Fenix…how could you miss those?

If he wins this ladder match, he undoes the “brass ring” talk, immediately gets a title shot and starts off with some serious momentum that can lead him to a top spot in the company. Maybe not THE top spot where he’s beating Adam Page any time soon for the world title, but he’d at least look like he has a chance compared to what things have been for years in WWE.

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