AEW News

Eric Bischoff On Why Cesaro Shouldn’t Join AEW Right Now


WWE Hall Of Famer Eric Bischoff has explained why he doesn’t think it makes sense for recent WWE-departee Cesaro to join AEW right away.

News broke on February 24th that Cesaro, real name Claudio Castagnoli, had departed the WWE after his contract expired. The initial report from PWInsider noted that WWE had offered another contract extension, but that Castagnoli turned down the offer when the two sides could not come to terms, and also that the expiration of his contract meant that there would be no non-compete clause in effect, meaning that he is free to work wherever he chooses.

An update from Fightful Select provided more information, confirming that Cesaro had been working on a one-year contract extension and that WWE had attempted to get him to sign a new deal. While there had been plans to feature the performer on upcoming shows, the plans were scrapped when he didn’t re-sign with the company, and there were no long terms plans in place creatively for him unless he were to agree to a new deal.

Now Eric Bischoff has waded in with his thoughts on Cesaro’s WWE departure. Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast, Bischoff explained why he thought now was not the time for The Swiss Cyborg to become All Elite:

“This is going to sound like I’m taking a shot at AEW, I’m cheering them on believe it or not, but if I’m Cesaro and I’m looking at AEW, do I really want to go there right now?” Eric Bischoff stated. “I mean great you signed for big money and you’re going to be the new shiny object in AEW for a night and then after you make your debut, what happens, Christian? What happens, Jay Lethal? What happens? You go there and disappear after your first big debut and it’s not a bad thing, it is if you’re a talent and want to perform, but there is a lot of talent right now in AEW.”

“A lot of talent. Not everybody is getting a lot of TV time, if you’ve been in WWE and you’re leaving because you just haven’t been able to break out of the pack and get that top guy push, what makes you think it’s going to be any different in AEW right now? Because it’s got such a crowded roster of top guys.”

Eric Bischoff continued by adding that if he was advising Cesaro, he’d tell him to take a different route through the independent scene before seeing what the lie of the land is in AEW in before committing to the company:

“Is Cesaro that guy that is going to be different than everybody else that’s come in over the last year? Maybe and if he is great, that would be a great move. If I’m Cesaro and Cesaro’s agent, I would go the [independent route].”

“Take a year and build your equity, build your stock in Japan, go to Europe, spend some time in the UK and do your own thing, go to Mexico, make a name for yourself, wait for the dust to settle on the AEW side a little bit and you’re not coming in as one of 25 people brought in as the next big surprise.

“Let the dust settle in and then take your shot, that makes sense to me, it all depends on what his goals are. If Cesaro wants to break through the middle, which is where he has been stuck for whatever reason, I’m not sure going to AEW is the best way to get out of that right now.”

h/t Wrestling Inc.