Raw has taken the fans on a wild ride over the past couple of weeks. From Kurt Angle's return, to the wild main event at TLC, to the final shots of last week's show where SmackDown invaded, there's been plenty to talk about.
WWE Raw comes to Baltimore on Monday, and I had a chance to talk to someone who has been in the middle of everything: Cesaro. We discussed being on the opposite side of Kurt Angle in his return at TLC, Cesaro's current run with Sheamus, knocking his teeth into his maxilla, and whether Ford stole their catchphrase.
What was Sunday's match at TLC like for you?
It was crazy. That's the one word to sum it up. Starting with Kurt Angle being part of The Shield, to Kurt Angle being back in a WWE ring, being in the same ring as Kurt Angle. Then there were chairs, tables, ladders … garbage trucks. You name it.
What was your reaction when you heard that Kurt Angle would be returning, and he'd be one of your opponents?
Selfishly, I was very happy about it. I was a big fan of Kurt Angle when I was growing up. Actually, his book is a big part of the reason that I work out so hard. I thought I was working out pretty hard myself when I was younger, and then I read his book and realized that I needed to step it up, at least a little bit. I knew I may not be able to match his output, but I was going to try my hardest. He had a big influence on me and it was pretty awesome to be in the ring with him in his WWE return.
Now that you've faced him in a multiman match, is a one-on-one match something that's on your wrestling bucket list?
100%. I would love to be in a one-on-one match with him. That's a dream match for many people, myself included.
While Sunday was crazy, you've had a number of wild pay-per-view matches lately. Last month, as you were wrestling Ambrose and Rollins, you took a blow to the mouth and ended up having our teeth jammed upwards. What went through your head as that happened?
Well, the first thing that went through my head was, “Ow, that really hurt.” There was a lot of blood. Then, the doctor came over and checked on me. I said that I was all right. He was ready to look for the teeth around the ring, but I had to tell him that no, they were in there, just up higher. That was not a pleasant experience.
How do you balance your emotions when that happens? Obviously you're worried because your teeth were rearranged, but you also know you need to finish the match.
I don't have to do anything. Safety is always paramount at WWE. But, I knew that I was fine otherwise. It hurt like hell, but this was a tag-team title match. This was very important to me. I guess I'm just a tough cookie.
That match was just one of a great stretch of matches that you've had with Sheamus as your partner. How much have you been enjoying this run that you've had with Sheamus?
I've been enjoying this run immensely. It's been so much fun. It's been over a year now that I've been involved in the storyline with Sheamus. It's great because the fans got to see us going from hating each other in the best of seven, which was truly a best-of-nine, it went from that to not just being a tag team, but being the well-oiled tag team that we are now. You go through the matches, from the matches with New Day to The Club, to the WrestleMania match with The Club, Enzo and Cass, and the Hardys, to the matches with the Hardys, and a cage match, to The Shield. All of those matches were show-stealers. We poured our heart into each and every one. It's been a testament to how much fun we're having as a team. It sounds like a cliche, but we truly live by our slogan, “We don't set the bar, we are the bar.”
OK, I gotta ask about the slogan. Did Ford steal it for their new F-150 campaign?
We said it first! We said it first! There must be a WWE fan at Ford. That person needs to get in touch with WWE to get us in those commercials! We've been saying that for over six months, and now they're using that for the F-150? Maybe we need to look into that with a copyright lawyer. It is pretty cool, though, that wrestling is becoming more and more mainstream, and stuff like that happens. This could be a coincidence, but I'd like to think that someone at Ford saw me and Sheamus and thought, “Those are two cool guys with a cool slogan.”
Do you at least feel you deserve a new truck for that?
I think that would be a great co-promotion between Ford and me and Sheamus. I think that's just a partnership made in heaven.
I want to go back to the first time you and Sheamus won the tag titles. You beat The New Day, ending their record-setting reign. How meaningful was it that you were the ones to end that reign?
It was very meaningful. First, it solidified me and Sheamus as a team. For me personally, I was there at the time, teaming with Tyson [Kidd], when everything started to click for The New Day. We wrestled them all through Europe and the crowd was really starting to respond with the “New Day Sucks” chants. … In fact, we wrestled them in Baltimore at a pay-per-view as well. When me and Sheamus finally broke their record-setting tag-team title run, it was just special to be there at the beginning and the end.
You mentioned that you got to work with The New Day in Baltimore, and of course, you'll be back in Baltimore on Monday. Do you have any special memories of Baltimore as a wrestler?
I used to live in Philly, so I was in Baltimore a lot wrestling before I got to WWE, wrestling for different promotions. Then when I got to WWE, I had a bunch of good memories. I wrestled New Day in Baltimore. Me and Sheamus also wrestled the Hardys in a cage match earlier this year, which I really enjoyed, mainly because we won the tag-team championships back [laughter]. Baltimore is always known for their hot crowds. They love their wrestling. It's part of their culture and it has a long history there. It's always a lot of fun to come back to Baltimore.
Raw will be at Royal Farms Arena on Monday, Oct. 30. Tickets are still available at the arena box office or at Ticketmaster.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me at email@example.com, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout