A new report provides more details on the WWE exit of Cesaro, including when he began indicating that he might leave and the frustrations that led to his decision.
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, Fightful Select has updated their report to shed further light on the situation. Some of their sources said that Cesaro had spoken to them as far back as October about how his contract would be up in February and that he wasn’t sure he would re-sign. Some also stated that they were surprised he was able to get a one year extension last year instead of the standard contract length when a talent agrees to stay with the company.
The report goes on to say that some talent said their goodbyes to the Swiss Superman and didn’t get any indication as to why he was leaving, but others noted that he’d expressed “reasonable disappointment” with how the company had used him recently and things he was left out of.
It was also noted that he displayed incredible professionalism in handling his last match before finishing with the company, a bout that saw him lose to Happy Corbin on Friday Night SmackDown.
Fightful went on to say that one source indicated he could return to the WWE unless it’s a done deal that he’s signed elsewhere, and numerous people felt that this wasn’t a situation of anyone burning bridges or a “door completely closed” to a future return.
Inside the Ropes will continue to report as more information becomes available regarding the future whereabouts of Cesaro.