WWE’s Swiss Superstar, Cesaro, has revealed the influence Japanese wrestling, specifically NJPW, has had on his moveset.
The former US Champion was discussing finishing moves with Fox Sports’ Ryan Satin on his ‘Out of Character’ podcast when the topic turned to which legendary finisher Cesaro would like to add to his own repertoire. The ‘Swiss Cyborg’ pointed out that he already uses the Sharpshooter, which was made famous by Bret Hart and so he has already fulfilled that hypothetical.
“Well, [The Sharpshooter] is a finishing move, because I beat people with it, right? So to me, that would probably be it.”
He went on to say that when he was watching wrestling growing up, he discovered NJPW and was really impressed by the variety of moves each wrestler had that they could potentially finish a match with, adding that it gave matches more unpredictability than he saw with other styles.
“So when I grew up, I was also a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, like New Japan, and what I really loved about it, because it’s kind of — you start with WWE, that was the first thing I saw on TV and I’m like, well, this is amazing. Then you learn about all the other stuff that exists, you know, WCW and then ECW, and so you just see all those different styles and then CMLL and AAA and then like, New Japan. It’s like, Oh my god, there’s so much different things going on and what I always loved about the Japanese style is like, they had a move, they had a submission, and they had a strike, and each of those could be the finish. Then those like random moves, a clothesline can be a finish for anybody, a German suplex can be a finish for anybody. So it puts that kind of unpredictability into their matches, that I may not have noticed before in others.”
Going back to the Sharpshooter, Cesaro revealed that Hart himself gave him permission to utilise the move when he wanted to use it as a homage to Tyson Kidd after Kidd was forced to retire due to injury. After adding the submission to his arrsenal, he realised he now had two moves he could use as finishers.
“So to me when I was like, Okay, I’m with WWE, so you have your finishing move with The Neutralizer. Then, there were horrible circumstances with Tyson Kidd[‘s forced retirement.] But then I was like, ‘Cool, I want to pay homage to him; and then I asked Bret Hart as well for permission to do it. So then, it was really cool. Now I have The Sharpshooter. Then I was like, ‘Oh, and I can do the uppercut.’ I got that to a point where people believe it’s a finisher because I beat people with it.
Cesaro ended by saying he hopes his use of multiple moves in ending matches made them more unpredictable and fun to watch.
“So to me, it comes full circle to the beginning, when we talked about the different characters. Dusty Rhodes used to say, ‘body of work.’ So you know, it came back to me. So when people look back at my body of work, they can now see me in each of those incarnations and through that body of work, I was able to establish a moveset where so many things could be finished, which I think makes my matches more unpredictable. and hopefully, more fun to watch.”
During the same interview, Cesaro also spoke about his role in Mattel creating a custom deck of Uno cards for his games with Xavier Woods, Adam Cole, and Tyler Breeze that are streamed on Woods’ UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.