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Wrestling / Claudio Castagnoli

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The Swiss Cyborg.

Claudio Castagnoli (born December 27, 1980), also known by the ring name Antonio Cesaro, which was later shortened to Cesaro, is a Swiss professional wrestler. Castagnoli made his debut in Essen Germany in the year 2000 for westside Xtreme wrestling as Tenshi Takami before changing his ring name to Double C. Castagnoli eventually signed with WWE, where he was the WWE United States Champion. Before joining WWE, he was previously known for his work (under his real name) in Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, CHIKARA, and the Japan-based Pro Wrestling NOAH. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former 2x CZW World Tag Team Champion, a former 2x ROH World Tag Team Champion, a former 2x CHIKARA Campeon de Parejas (tag team champion), a former PWG World Heavyweight Champion and a former JCW (Juggalo) Tag Team Champion, the inaugural winner of the WWE Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy, and has also held several titles in Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain.

Cesaro formed a tag team with Tyson Kidd and they won the WWE Tag Team Championship in February 2015, eventually dropping it to The New Day in April. The team was then put on hiatus due to Kidd suffering a neck injury, and then officially disbanded once he retired due to that injury. In the meantime, Cesaro managed to capture the WWE (Raw) Tag Team Championship four more times in December 2016, June 2017, November 2017, and January 2018 - this time with Sheamus in a team called The Bar.

In February 2022, Castagnoli’s contract with WWE expired and was not renewed. He would join All Elite Wrestling at the cross-promotional pay-per-view event with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Forbidden Door, facing Zack Sabre Jr. as the newest member of The Blackpool Combat Club, after replacing Bryan Danielson due to the latter's injuries. With ROH having been purchased by AEW CEO Tony Khan in March 2022, Castagnoli crossed over to ROH, winning the ROH World Championship at Death Before Dishonor. After losing the belt to Chris Jericho, he would win it back again at Final Battle the same year. He would then lose the title to Eddie Kingston at the 2023 Grand Slam event of All Elite Wrestling.

"A trope list paid for by Swiss Money Holding"

  • The Ace: was this in In 2008/2009 while in CHIKARA. As well as on NXT where he's basically the most dangerous man not wearing a title.
  • Adaptational Badass: Of a sort. Like his partner Tyson Kidd, Cesaro is presented as FAR more dangerous on NXT. On the main roster, he's treated as a glorified Jobber. On NXT, he's The Ace.
  • Alliterative Name: All his pre WWE names, except Very Mysterious Ice Cream. Even at WWE, his Red Barons were this: the Swiss Sensation, the Swiss Superman and, after a fashion, the Swiss Cyborg.
  • Always Someone Better: Unintentionally this to his "Real American" partner Jack Swagger, who failed to qualify for the 2014 Elimination Chamber while Cesaro succeeded. Then when Swagger managed to redeem himself by winning #1 contendership for the IC Title, it ended up being overshadowed by Cesaro's shocking victory over WWE World Champion Randy Orton.
  • Arch-Enemy
    • (in CHIKARA): Mike Quackenbush, Eddie Kingston, the steel steps.
    • The Briscoe Brothers when teaming with Chris Hero in CZW, Ring Of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Juggalo Championship Wrestling
    • In WWE, The Miz. One of his rivalries in the WWE was an old signature rivalry, though, with El Generico also Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
  • Ascended Extra: Started out in WWE as a police officer in 2006 but was released when Deep South Wrestling got into trouble and so went back to Chikara. Then they decided to pick him up again and put him in FCW.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The "Cesaro Swing" looks cool but it deals no real damage and can get the attacker as dizzy as the victim. Partly subverted since he's also used it as part of a combination attack with Chris Hero or Tyson Kidd or as a set-up for the Sharpshooter, and -as stated below- seems immune to dizziness from spinning.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: After his return from his rotator cuff injury (see Determinator below for more on that), he started to wear a tear-away suit to the ring. It was ridiculously cool.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Castagnoli hoists his opponent up for a suplex, holds them up seemingly for ages, then lets back down before Chris Hero elbows them in the back of the head.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: Downplayed; he initially was balding rather than all bald, though he seems to have later started shaving the rest off eventually. Nonetheless, it certainly helps accentuate the toughness of his technical wrestling. Crosses into Bald of Evil as a heel.
  • Bash Brothers: Ares, Dave Taylor and Chris Hero. Formerly Bison Smith (who unfortunately died due to heart complications). Later on, Tyson Kidd (whose career was cut short after an injury) and Sheamus.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • The usually dominant Kings of Wrestling losing two straight to the Briscoes at ROH Domination.
    • The Kings of Wrestling, easily the most successful tag team in the USA at the time, went to on to lose every single match they had in Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global Tag League after they showed up in 2008.
    • Losing to Sara Del Rey at Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Sequel. In fact, this caused both Del Rey AND Daizee Haze to be kicked out of the BDK.
    • He then went on to lose to Icarus and was so disgusted by this that he quit CHIKARA and signed with WWE under the name Antonio Cesaro.
  • Carpet of Virility: He's not exceptionally hairy, but in the very well-shaved modern WWE, his chest hair is apparently enough to warrant inclusion on his action figure.
  • Cast from Hit Points: One big problem of the Giant Swing is that it makes him just as dizzy as his opponent. Fortunately for him, he's so physically strong and adept that it takes a lot to get him there.
  • Catchphrase: "Take a swing!"
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • Doesn't appear ridiculously jacked (in comparison to, say, a guy like John Cena) but he's pretty freakin' strong. He's already got a Neutralizer on Brodus Clay and The Great Khali to his credit. Made all the more impressive that due to Khali's lack of leg mobility, he was unable to push off the ground to the extent that most other wrestlers can. Essentially, Cesaro deadlifted a 7 foot 4, 400lbs man twice!
    • He then performed a Giant Swing on Khali!
    • In his February 18th, 2014 match with John Cena, Cesaro managed to deadlift Cena (245 lbs.) into a superplex...from the goddamn ring apron. "Swiss Superman" is not an exaggerating nickname for Cesaro.
      • The Raw after Wrestlemania XXX, he manages to do the same to former tag team partner Swagger who is 270.
    • He wins the Andre the Giant Battle Royale at Wrestlemania XXX by hoisting and then bodyslamming the Big Show (450 lbs!) over the ring ropes. And on the following Smackdown, he's able to use the Neutralizer on him (and is only unable to perform the Big Swing by Jack Swagger's run-in).
    • When fighting Mark Henry he put the Neutralizer on him!
    • During a Triple Threat match against Kevin Owens and Rusev, he performed a deadlift German Suplex to both of them. Simultaneously.
    • Commentators often talk about how he is the strongest pound for pound WWE wrestler.
    • In matches against the New Day, Big E (285 lbs.) would attempt a cross-body block on Cesaro. Not only would Cesaro catch Big E, he wouldn't even stumble backwards. In other words, Cesaro caught a near-300-lb. man like most people catch a basketball.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Very Mysterious Ice Cream.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Averted at ROH Fight of the Century, August 5, 2006. He brought a briefcase with him for the four-corner survival match against winner Nigel McGuinness, Christopher Daniels and Jay Lethal that never came into play.
  • Cherry Tapping: This is the primary role of the Giant Swing, yeah it's turned into a Magikarp Power, but mostly it's just Cesaro showing off.
  • Combination Attack: Swinging opponents into Hero or Kidd's kicks. Performs a double White Noise, or occasionally a suplex into a brogue kick with Sheamus.
  • Cool Shades: Part of his Badass in a Nice Suit makeover involved wearing these. When he and Sheamus teamed up to form The Bar, they eventually both started wearing them.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: At CZW Last Team Standing, the crowd started chanting "Dance Off" after Chris Hero tagged in Claudio Castagnoli. Unfortunately for him, his "opponent" was Human Tornado, which was pretty much a no win for Castagnoli but the crowd cheered him anyway for trying.
  • Determinator: The man continued working out and wrestling full throttle with a left shoulder injury for over two months with no hint at sluggishness in his performances and his condition kept improving over time. Then when it seemed to plateau with some lingering issues he had it checked out with an MRI…and it turned out to be a completely torn rotator cuff.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: During the Team CHIKARAnote -BDK Torneo Cibernetico at The Dark Ciberknetico, October 23, 2010, it was down to Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio and Tursas. Claudio got himself disqualified by blatantly low-blowing Kingston right in front of referee Bryce Remsburg. Claudio's reasoning was that nobody that year had been able to knock Tursas off of his feet, and figured that King wouldn't be able to do that either. He was wrong, as King not only knocked down Tursas, King pinned him to win the match.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: On two occasions, he's had the ring steps slide out from under him when he tried to get into the ring. His response was to European Uppercut the hell out of them.
  • The Dragon: To Chris Hero in the Kings of Wrestling and Ares in the BDK.
  • Dressed to Kill: Being a member of Swi$$ Money Holding meant he would often wrestle in a dress shirt and dress pants with a leather belt and a tie around his neck...and elbow pads.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Not so much him, but his title reign. After holding the title for over half a year and then not having a match on Wrestlemania AT ALL, Cesaro lost his title to Kofi Kingston in a match on RAW that seemed to have little to no setup.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: His pre USA runs as "Double C" were weird enough, but his run in the Swiss Wrestling Federation as "Japanese Wrestler" Tenshi Takami takes the cake. Then there is the entire period of his career with a full head of hair.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Would you believe Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush were also this guy's trainers in Switzerland? His first trainer was SigMasta Rappo but he counts enough himself. Castagnoli would go on to help train Drew Gulak and Lince Dorado, as well as Rory Mondo and Frightmare.
  • Evil Duo: With Chris Hero, who is usually the one with the plan.
  • Evil Minion: Shane Hagadorn, once the Kings of Wrestling's second Ring Of Honor run really began in earnest.
  • Exact Words: He stated that no American could beat him for the US title. Which turned out to be true when he was defeated by the Ghanaian born Kofi Kingston.
  • The Face: Of Chikara in IPW:UK and at the 2007 King Of Europe Cup, a position he defeated Mike Quackenbush to take.
  • Face–Heel Turn
    • He betrayed Ring Of Honor and sided with the CZW invaders, because they were being led by Chris Hero.
    • His "Very European" gimmick, which started with him assaulting Bryan Danielson, whose victory over Castagnoli once again spoiled his chances at getting an individual ROH Title belt. Claudio then threw his lot in with Prince Nana.
    • In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, he joined with BLKOUT Members Human Tornado and future arch enemy Eddy Kingston against Christ Hero, in order to help Human Tornado get rid of Hero's girlfriend, Candice LeRae. They became partners again after Castagnoli left and then returned to PWG.
  • Finger Wag: At ROH Driven after Matt Sydal's unsuccessful hip toss. Unfortunately for him, the wasted time allowed Sydal an arm drag instead.
  • Finishing Move: The Alpamare Waterslide (side death valley driver), The Ricola Bomb (sit down cross armed power bomb) The (Gotch Style) Neutralizer, Very European/ Swiss Death (pop-up European uppercut, or a European uppercut to a diving/springboarding opponent). KRS1 with Chris Hero. The Sharpshooter, which he adopted as a tribute to his partner Tyson Kidd, who is currently injured (he then later transitions it from a Cesaro Swing more often to make his version more unique). He also wins some matches with the Crossface.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Tenshi Takami, an evil Japanese man who seemingly looks down on the Swiss. Double C, a rich Swiss who looks down on Germans. Antonio Cesaro, a Swiss rugby player/yodeler who looks down on Americans. Downplayed as a Real American; he loved America and smugly waved the American flag and wore the flag on his tights. He just hated the people in it.
  • Geeky Analogy: In CHIKARA's "On the Verge of High Noon" video, building up to the 12 Large Summit tournament final between Mike Quackenbush and Eddie Kingston to crown the inaugural CHIKARA Grand Champion at High Noon, Claudio compared Quack and King's respective wrestling styles to "Superman vs. Doomsday."
  • Gimmick Matches: He defeated Brodie Lee in the first ever steel cage match in CHIKARA.
  • Gratuitous German: While in the BDK he and Ares would cut entire promos in German.
  • Groin Attack
    • He purposefully got himself disqualified to give one to Eddie Kingston at Chikara's Torneo Cibernetico. Ended up not being worth it, as Kingston sucked it up and won for his team, beating even Tursas.
    • How he retained his US Championship at Elimination Chamber 13 against The Miz. Miz was working on Cesaro's knee in order to put it in The Figure Four Leglock, so Ceasaro tripped Miz and got Miz's knee in his groin and the ref had to call for a DQ.
    • Also, the execution of Cesaro's Neutralizer appears to put rather a lot of pressure on the opponent's crotch region.
  • Handshake Refusal: He and Delirious repeatedly tagged each other in during IWA Mid-South Volcano Girls 2 for the purpose of mocking Jason Strife by denying him handshakes.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: His yodeling was the worst sound WWE had the gall to broadcast since they released Jillian Hall.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: The Cesaro SWING!
  • Identical Stranger: Particularly when he's dressed up, you could be forgiven for mistaking him for Jason Statham. Dean Ambrose has even noted as such in a backstage segment.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: A key element of his gimmick, especially as part of the Real Americans. In an inversion of the Foreign Wrestling Heel trope, this (combined with his actual in-ring skill garnering an increasingly large following) actually made him, if not an Anti-Villain, much more sympathetic.
  • It Will Never Catch On: During some down time after being put on WWE's main roster, he and former team uppercut partner Bryan Danielson came to the conclusion wrestling was now a parody of what it once was and that they were never going to get upset about their positions on the card again.
  • Jerk Jock: First appeared on WWE TV as a somewhat arrogant former rugby player. Led to Early-Installment Weirdness, as the rugby aspect of his character hardly ever got a mention in later years.
  • Last-Name Basis: From February 2014, he's just called and billed as "Cesaro". Reinforcing that this is still his last name was Aleister Black calling him Mr. Cesaro.
  • Leitmotif: KoW by Cody B. Ware for the Kings of Wrestling in Ring of Honor.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Sort of, seeing how the event was called In It To Win, yet in his attempt to become New School Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, he decided not to target the taped up hand of Ontario Canada's hometown hero Michael Elgin, targeting Elgin's knee instead. Elgin would overcome this and pin Castagnoli.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He doesn't need to trade agility for power; he displays loads of both.
  • Lonely at the Top: Subverted according to the commentators at Remix Pro Wrestling. He and Chris Hero spending so much time in the gym is what allowed them to meet and strike up a friendship with Sara Del Rey.
  • Made of Iron: At No Mercy 2017, he took a slingshot spot with Dean Ambrose badly and smashed his face into the ring post, pushing his two front teeth up into his gums and undoubtedly causing tremendous pain. Not only did he continue the match, he saw it through all the way to the end, and even played up his injury for the cameras.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Chris Hero was very bad to him after the Kings of Wrestling lost to Friends In Similar Tights. This started with Hero kicking Castagnoli out of Chikara and then forcing Castagnoli to do his bidding when he revealed he had returned, WWE having nothing for him (back in 2006 anyway). Castagnoli eventually broke up the Kings of Wrestling and sent Hero out of Chikara, seemingly for good, though the two made up and became friends again in Ring Of Honor (where no one would know they even had a feud if they did not keep up with Chikara)
  • The Mole: When Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes was revealed, Castagnoli looked like he was going to be among the first to oppose them, along with Mike Quackenbush, but then he turned and uppercut Quackenbush, showing where his true allegiance was.
  • Mundane Made Awesome
    • "Very European," his HUGE pop-up uppercut. Back when Cesaro was in WWE's developmental program FCW, commentator William Regal said during one of Cesaro's matches that he was "envious" of Cesaro's ability to do that move.
    • His 100-Rotation Giant Swing.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Often drank coffee during promos while working the indies. He even used to maintain a photo blog documenting his coffee intake (
  • New Old Flame: Apparently for Aksana.
  • Noodle Incident: Of course, even though Aksana's been on WWE TV for about a year beforehand, he was never brought up and, except for the fact that they were romantically involved, their history is never mentioned.
  • Odd Friendship: So you get that Castagnoli is a banker swelling with national pride by now, right? Arik Cannon is an anarchist. They go great together, really.
  • Omniglot: Apparently speaks five different languages, as at the start of every match he had with Aksana as his manager, he says one word in each, a fact that makes sense as Switzerland has four official languages (German, Italian, French and Romanch).
  • Only One Name: WWE dropped the "Antonio" from "Antonio Cesaro"... the rumored reason being Vince McMahon didn't think that "Antonio" was a tough name. Why they could not just shorten it to Tony is a mystery for the ages. Also, did Vince forget about Antonio Inoki?
  • Perky Female Minion: He's hired SoCal Val and Jade Chung has served as his valet.
  • Pet the Dog: Standing up to Brodie Lee for bullying the smaller wrestlers of the Chikara locker room.
  • Phrase Catcher: Claudio Castagnoli spreads his arms and "Hey!"
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: He isn't short. At 6'5 232 lbs, Castagnoli is well into the heavyweight range but he looks almost skinny next to the bulked up standard of the WWE. Still, he possesses an incredible amount of core strength that lets him perform suplexes and throws on people like The Great Khali and The Big Show.
  • Popularity Power/Tweener
    • Has drifted in this direction ever since the introduction of his Giant Swing in WWE. Despite playing a heel gimmick, when Cesaro uses his Giant Swing (which has now ascended to Signature Move status for him), he plays to the crowd and receives reactions much like a face would.
    • When he reveals that he's a "Paul Heyman guy" on 4.7.14 you'd expect him to be booed. Nope, the crowd supports him all the way.
  • Power Stable.
    • Swi$$ Money Holding with Ares, Don Heavy and Marc Roudin(also known as G-Ses)
    • The Embassy under Prince Nana in Ring Of Honor, then Larry Sweeney's Sweet and Sour International
    • One of many YRR lead by Young Rich And Ready For Action (Chasyn Rance, Kenny King and Steve Madison) in Full Impact Pro.
    • The Kings of Wrestling eventually became a stable with Chris Hero and Castagnoli using Arik Cannon, Larry Sweeney, Icarus, Chuck Taylor and Gran Akuma as henchmen.
    • (in CHIKARA): Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (BDK) (with Delirious, Sara Del Rey, Tim Donst, Jakob Hammermeier, Daizee Haze, Lince Dorado, Tursas, Pinkie Sanchez, Ares, Derek Sabato and Dieter Von Steigerwalt.)
    • The Blackpool Combat Club in AEW with Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta.
  • Power Trio: The Kings of Wrestling started as a trio with Chris Hero and Arik Cannon but Cannon soon departed and was replaced with Sara Del Rey. A Few Good Men (with Chris Hero and Blackjack Marciano), Team Uppercut (with Dave Taylor, another of Castagnoli's trainers and with Bryan Danielson) and The Real Americans (with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter) too.
  • Prematurely Bald: In the early 2000s he had a coif to rival Conan O'Brien's. Then it started receding. Then it kept receding. Then it receded even further and Claudio gave up on it and shaved his head. He wasn't afraid of complaining to referees about his opponents pulling on it (with Jade Chung's backup) before then though.
  • Product Placement: The Ricola Bomb.
  • Put on a Bus: Left Chikara for WWE.
  • The Quiet One: When he and Aksana were together they weren't very verbose. She basically told people to listen to him say a word about something (usually himself) in five languages, and he did.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Zig-zagged in his match with William Regal on NXT. Near the end, after seemingly knocking out Regal with a surprise dropkick after an absolutely grueling 15+ minutes, Cesaro geared Regal for the Gotch-style Neutralizer. You could tell from the look on his face that he didn't want to put Regal down like that. When Regal showed a faint sign of life, though, Cesaro fired up and hit Regal with an intense Neutralizer for the win.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: If he's not in wrestling gear, he's often seen with a messenger bag that looks suspiciously like a man-purse... and at least once on the indies actually wore a full pink dress suit! He's regularly wrestled in a purple button down collared shirt as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • He sure loved giving these speeches to Americans during his "Anti-American Foreigner" phase (his basic point being "I'm a better American than all you people and I'm not even from here"). Many of said people gave him the Shut Up, Hannibal! speech, but he kept going on and on. Eventually Zeb Colter agreed with him and named him a "Real American" along with Jack Swagger.
    • A surprising one from him of the (presumably) Worked Shoot variety following his draft to RAW in 2016. After being questioned about the potential animosity between Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley, he hung a serious lampshade on how WWE tends to highlight the issues of management over the wrestlers and that he'd rather see the show focus on the superstars and their performances in the ring.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: It's not uncommon to hear some fans complain that "Antonio Cesaro" doesn't sound like a Swiss name. To be fair it isn't. "Antonio" is Spanish (but is also common in Italy), "Cesaro" is Italian. Switzerland doesn't have its own language, as its citizens speak German, French, Italian, and Romansh, languages from which their names are derived. Romansh is the closest thing there is to a Swiss language, and even that is a Latin-based, German-influenced language spoken by a minority of Swiss people. For example, his real name Claudio Castagnoli is also a name with Spanish and Italian roots.
  • Red Baron
    • Occasionally known by "The Swiss Death", also the name of one of his signature moves.
    • In WWE, he's been known as the "Swiss Superman". "King of Swing" is starting to pick up some steam now as well.
  • The Resenter: He resented that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were more popular with the FCW fans than he was.
  • The Rival
    • Euro Threat (SigMasta Rappo and HATE) to Ares and Double C, especially in Germany. For that matter, Ares and Double C were not always teammates.
    • The H8 Club (Nic Gage and Justice Pain) in CZW to the Kings of Wrestling.
    • The Kings of Wrestling had QuackenSaw (Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush), Lightning Storm (Shane Storm and Mike Quackenbush) and ShaneSaw (Shane Storm and Jigsaw) in Chikara. Also Incoherence (Delirious and Hallowicked)
    • Generation Next in Ring Of Honor, particularly Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, who frequently acted as a tag team, though Matt Sydal too, as he teamed with Christopher Daniels to unseat them as ROH Tag Team Champions after The Kings of Wrestling unseated Aries and Strong. Also, The American Wolves and The World's Greatest Tag Team.
    • Team PWG (Super Dragon and B-Boy) in Pro Wrestling Guerilla.
    • Brave in NOAH, particularly Takeshi Morishima and Mohammed Yone (AKA Captain NOAH), who acted as a tag team against Hero and Castagnoli. Castagnoli would also face Morishima for the Ring Of Honor World Title belt but come up short.
    • The Olsen Twins, Colin and Jimmy in 2CW.
    • The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) in ROH and PWG.
    • Individually, Castagnoli has faced Brent Albright in the National Wrestling Alliance, International Wrestling Cartel, IWA Mid-South and Ring of Honor. The two would even meet in a triple threat match with Castagnoli's other rival, Takeshi Morishima.
    • Antonio Cesaro has often been seen wrestling Kofi Kingston in WWE.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue:
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: "Uppercut Symphony", his AEW theme, is a rock rendition of the 1812 Overture.
  • Shoryuken: His Very European Uppercut is basically a standing variation. He does have a jumping variation done off the middle rope, but it looks more like Sol Badguy's Volcanic Viper.
  • Shout-Out:
    • His Neutralizer finisher is a shout out to Karl Gotch's classic Gotch-Style Piledriver, with "Gotch-Style" even being part of the Neutralizer's name at first.
    • His return from injury saw him coming to the ring in a suit, which later evolved into his gimmick invoking James Bond. He even appeared in the white tuxedo associated with Goldfinger at least once, and asked for a "vodka martini; shaken, not stirred" during a skit in a bar on the November 28, 2016 episode of Raw.
    • Ever since his tag team with Tyson Kidd ended abruptly due to Kidd's neck injury, he started using the Sharpshooter to honor his partner and real-life friend.
    • At some indeterminate point, perhaps just for the hell of it, he added the Tiger Feint Kick into his moveset. WWE fans remember the move as The 619.
  • Signature Move: Besides the Ricola Plex (Straightjacket Brainbuster) and Swiss Sleeper Holding (bridging cobra clutch, better known as Delirious's cobra stretch) Castagnoli's gotten over by using a giant swing, a move that not only looks staid and ineffective, but hasn't been part of any wrestler's regular repertoire in over thirty years (Ivory on B shows was the closest to "regular"). In his indy days, he gave Grizzly Redwood a 100 rotation giant swing. In WWE, he did it by putting Christian through it for nearly a full 90 seconds nonstop, and then putting it on the Great Khali and an ever-larger array of wrestlers to showcase his frankly ridiculous strength. The swing has also been used as a tag team move, with the opponent released into a low dropkick by partners such as Tyson Kidd and Chris Hero.
  • Spectacular Spinning: His nickname the "King of Swing" comes from his giant swing maneuver, which involves him grabbing his opponents by the legs and just spinning around and around and around. He also does a springboard corkscrew uppercut (basically imagine the Psycho Crusher), and has been known to do a no hands Spinning Argentine Backbreaker dropped into a slam. His mastery of spinning makes him immune to other people's attempts to render him dizzy through spinning.
  • Student–Master Team: Besides the Kings of Wrestling, besides teaming with Dave Taylor, Castagnoli and Lince Dorado in the BDK
  • Tag Team: Besides Swiss Money Holding and The Kings of Wrestling? AC/CC with Arik Cannon, The Real Americans with Jack Swagger, The Brass Ring Club with Tyson Kidd, and most recently The Bar with Sheamus.
  • Technician/Performer Team-Up: He is one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the sport and tends to be the "technician" whenever he joins a tag team, pairing up with more of a "performer" type like Chris Hero (as The Kings of Wrestling) or Tyson Kidd (as TysonKiddAndCesaro).
  • Tournament Arc
    • Defeated The Scorpion and Ares in a three way dance to win The Swiss Wrestling Federation Powerhouse Title Tournament in 2001.
    • Double C won the Rings Of Europe Summer Crush wXw Round Robin Challenge of 2004 in Wien Wien Austria by defeating Ian Rotten in the final.
    • Arik Cannon and Claudio Castagnoli won the Chikara's 2005 Tag World Grand Prix, Castagnoli and Chris Hero won the Tag World Grand Prix in 2006
    • He and Chris Hero won CZW's "Last Team Standing" in 2006
    • Castagnoli beat El Generico in the finals of the Ring Of Honor's Race To The Top in 2007
    • Ares, Tursas and Claudio Castagnoli won Chikara's 2010 King Of Trios. He and Chris Hero also "won" Ring Of Honor's tag wars in 2010, though they did not actually compete in the tournament. Claudio Castagnoli actually lost the 2010 Battle Of Los Angeles but ended up winning the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Title belt anyway because Davey Richards had to drop it due to being double booked.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: When the Kings of Wrestling went to NWA Pro's Inoki Dojo.
  • Use Your Head: The money drop is like Val Venis's money shot, except Castagnoli lands head to sternum.
  • Villain Team-Up
    • Before what was supposed to be a Six Man Mayhem match at the 2/23/2007 ROH show Castagnoli, Roderick Strong and Shingo conspired to isolate and beat the hell out of rookie Pelle Primeau. This plan fell apart when Austin Aries ran out against Strong in revenge for the No Remorse Corps attacking him and Sydal after an Open The Brave Gate defense earlier in the night. With that plan foiled, Castagnoli simply settled on winning the match by pinning Matt Cross.
    • With Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger in summer 2013. And then, after a period of meandering on his own, again with the reappearing Tyson Kidd.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Chuck Taylor were sort of friends or at least nominal allies in The Kings of Wrestling prior to F.I.S.T. becoming rivals of the BDK when it appeared to be showing weakness. There's also that bit about F.I.S.T. getting him kicked out of the KOW...
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Tights: Usually Swiss, but would also wear American during his US Championship run to show his superiority.
  • Wham Line: On the 4/7/14 RAW:
    Cesaro: I am not a Zeb Colter guy...I'm a Paul Heyman guy.
  • Wicked Cultured: Very European.
  • The Worf Barrage: Just how many matches has "The Match Killer" (Swinging Sitdown Facebuster) actually won Castagnoli?
  • World's Strongest Man: According to Zeb Colter, Cesaro is. This is somewhat doubtful but his strength is nothing to overlook.
    • Cesaro is said to be the strongest man pound for pound in WWE. Also, not to mention that while someone like Cena has shown some (arguably more) impressive feats of strength from time to time, Cesaro is the guy on the main roster who is consistent in showing how strong he is.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Before one would ask Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru and Sumie Sakai about the Kings of Wrestlings' stance on the topic. Castagnoli made it particularly clear when he chokeslammed Daizee Haze out of the BDK with almost no provocation.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: An evil Swiss Banker in Germany.
  • You Have Failed Me: The reason he broke up with Aksana: she failed to stop Santino Marella from pinning him, so he kicked her to the curb (in five different languages).

Take a swing.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Antonio Cesaro, Cesaro


Distracting the Cobra

Santino Marella charges up the Cobra to finish off Antonio Cesaro, but Aksana has other ideas.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / ShowSomeLeg

Media sources: