What we learned from: Cesaro on After The Bell

Cesaro recently appeared on After The Bell podcast with Corey Graves and Vic Joseph. They discussed the man behind the character, wrestling in the current pandemic climate and a surprising choice for one of his favourite matches. Here are the most notable points from the show:

On why he had to change his character:

“I think it all started after The Bar broke up. I predicted exactly what was going to happen with Sheamus, he didn’t think it was going to happen. He thought that I was going to be a star and in the main event too. I just got lost in the shuffle, so I tried a few different things and experimented with a few different gear designs. By the end of year, I came up with the pro wrestling purist thing. This year, I dove more into that and embraced it. I looked at my weaknesses and worked on them.”

On his positive and competitive mindset:

“I’m extremely competitive in everything I’m doing. I even compete in the best recovery on my Apple watch. I don’t do New Years resolutions. I prefer to look at what I can do tomorrow to better myself and stick with it. As a superstar, there are certain responsibilities in being a role model to others. This can include how you handle defeat and other stuff. I’m not good at tweeting motivational quotes and workout routines. I feel like whatever I say has to be authentic. Actions speak louder than words. I don’t want to look back at pictures and think I was out of shape back then. I am proud and lucky to say that I have never thought that so far in my career.”

on the impact of COVID and whether he has questioned being a wrestler:

“Yes, there have been times where I have questioned it. In the last year, a lot of us have, because it has been a difficult year for all of us. People have been waking up and thinking what am I doing with myself? What I love the most about wrestling is the interaction with the fans. I grew up with sports entertainment and the fan engagement. Losing that makes me think can I still do it to the way that I wanted to? But I have always loved what I am doing. Even if I have a bad day, when I’m in the ring I just light up. No matter what I’m doing on TV, live events, tours, people are just so excited that you are there. And that is what I really miss. My job is to stay healthy, stay in shape and provide that same form of entertainment and think of new ways of engaging with the viewers. The whole world has been turned upside down, but if WWE is still there, it is that little piece of anchoring that makes someone think some things still stay the same. They know that they still have that constant in their lives. I want to be a part of that.”

On people saying that he is the best in the world:

“If somebody says that, it is a huge compliment. I also understand that to different people different performers are the best in the world. It could be from a draw perspective or an in ring perspective. It’s like art, someone may think the Mona Lisa is the best painting but someone else may think differently. But if it’s from someone that I admire, I feel like that means even more to me.”

On this year’s Wrestlemania and potential dream matches:

“I’m extremely excited for those 2 nights, because we should be getting fans back. That’s the plan anyway. As sad as I am at how Elimination Chamber went, if I am going to win a big title, I want the fans to be there to experience it with me. When people ask me who do I want to face, I always say whoever is the champion at that point. A singles match will mean a lot to me, and the locker room is full of people I want to have a match with. But I want to have a match with someone that the fans are invested in, I want there to be a story behind it. So me and Seth Rollins have started doing something on Smackdown, so there could be something there. I always say that the best of 7 between me and Sheamus still hasn’t been decided, so that’s still 1 that would be out there. I feel like this year, the singles match could be a big possibility. Truthfully, there is nobody in the locker room that I don’t want to have a match with.

“One of my favourite matches was me and Sheamus against Braun and Nicholas. There was zero stress that day, we just enjoyed it because we knew it was just fun. I love wrestling, but to me it’s sports entertainment, it’s fun. If I was a kid watching and I saw that, then I would want to be that kid.”

On what he has to say to the fans:

“Just how much I appreciate people that have followed my career and still believe, because I sure do. If you have taken any inspiration from my journey and applied it tom yours, I thank you for it. If you have supported me in any way, that’s awesome. I had a chance to record a video for a fan that had 3 open heart surgeries. He watched my matches before each surgery. I appreciate everyone that is doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I just want to do the best every time I go out there, but it is a team effort. Everyone behind the scenes makes the product what it is, it’s a whole package. It’s not just in what we do, it’s what we do in life. Enjoy it and don’t take it for granted.”

Image credits

WWE.com

Full audio episode can be found here

Cesaro can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

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