Claudio Castagnoli
Birth name Claudio Castagnoli
Born December 27 1980 (1980-12-27) (age 39)
Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Claudio Castagnoli
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight 232 lb (105 kg)
Billed from Lucerne, Switzerland
Trained By Dave Taylor[1]
Chris Hero[1]
Mike Quackenbush[1]
SigMasta Rappo[2]
Debut December 24, 2000

  Claudio Castagnoli (born December 27, 1980),[3] better known by his ring name Cesaro, is a Swiss professional wrestler. He was previously known for his work various independent promotions including the Japan-based Pro Wrestling Noah.

Particularly in the United States, when playing a heel, Castagnoli has been known to emphasize his European origin as part of his wrestling gimmick, proclaiming a superior intellect and fashion sensibility, and by regularly using the European uppercut.[4][5]

Professional wrestling career Edit

Europe (2000−2004) Edit

Castagnoli received his initial training in his homeland of Switzerland from fellow Swiss wrestler SigMasta Rappo,[2] and made his debut on December 24, 2000 in Essen, Germany for the Germany-based Westside Xtreme Wrestling.[6] Castagnoli first used a Japanese gimmick before becoming a Swiss banker along with Ares, together known as Swiss Money Holding.

While performing in England, Castagnoli received training from Dave Taylor. In Switzerland, Castagnoli met Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush, who invited Swiss Money Holding to perform in the United States.[7] They competed in IWA Mid-South and Chikara and received training from Hero before returning to Europe. In 2004, Castagnoli received a United States Permanent Resident Card in his first try at the green card lottery and moved to the United States, where he began making regular appearances for Ring of Honor and Chikara, while Ares remained in Switzerland and formed the new Swiss Money Holding with Marc Roudin.[7]

Pro Wrestling Noah (2008–2011) Edit

Castagnoli made his debut for Pro Wrestling Noah on February 15, 2008, when he teamed up with Chris Hero in a losing effort against Jun Akiyama and Kentaro Shiga.[8] He primarily wrestled in the promotion as Chris Hero's tag team partner and in January 2010 the Kings of Wrestling entered the Global Tag League, where they ended up losing all of their matches.[8] Castagnoli and Hero returned to Noah on November 19, 2010, for a three-week-long tour. The team went undefeated in tag team matches, before being defeated on the final day of the tour, December 5, by Takuma Sano and Yoshihiro Takayama in a match for the GHC Tag Team Championship.[8][9]

The Kings of Wrestling returned to Noah in April 2011 to take part in the 2011 Global Tag League, where they managed to win two out of their seven round robin matches, finishing seventh out of eight teams in the block.[10] On May 15, he traveled to Germany to challenge Takashi Sugiura's GHC Heavyweight Championship on "Genesis in Germany", co-promoted by local Westside Xtreme Wrestling and NOAH. However, he was unsuccessful in his challenge, losing after an Olympic Slam.[11]

Personal life Edit

Castagnoli is a native of Switzerland, being born and raised in Lucerne.[12] As a child and youth, he was very active and was a capable sportsperson, being a keen participant in and follower of tennis, soccer, and basketball,[7] sports that he still follows today.[13][14][15] During his later teenage years, he developed an interest in professional wrestling and soon started training and competing, mainly in Switzerland and Germany, and travelled to the United States in the early 2000s to pursue further training.[7][12] He returned to Europe to work and wrestle, before being successful in the green card lottery to gain permanent residency in the US at his first attempt in 2004,[12] after which he quit his job and moved permanently to the US to pursue his wrestling career.[7]

Castagnoli is fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and his native Swiss German.[16][17] He is a noted coffee aficionado[18] and enjoys cooking,[19] having even run a blog and Youtube channel called "Claudio's Café" in his pre-WWE days.[7][20] He likes to travel,[7] is an animal lover,[21][22] and is a fan of films such as the James Bond movies[23] and the Star Wars series.[24] Castagnoli prides himself on holding high personal values and presenting himself as a professional, in both his personal and work life.[25]

Noted for his exceptional strength and stating that he is "100% natural",[7] Castagnoli describes his training regime as "kind of a mix", with particular focus on CrossFit and variations of Olympic weightlifting.[26] He has stated that he continually tries to learn new ways to workout in order to keep improving.[27] He has performed a one-arm snatch with 145 lbs (66 kg),[28] a one-arm clean and jerk with 135 lbs (61 kg),[29] and comfortably performed a two-arm clean and jerk with 286 lbs (130 kg).[30][31] He has cited Razor Ramon as an inspiration.

Other media Edit

Castagnoli made a brief appearance in Darren Aronofsky's 2008 wrestling drama film The Wrestler.

In wrestling Edit

  • Finishing moves
    • Alpamare Waterslide (Side Death Valley driver)[1]
    • Ricola Bomb (Straight jacket sitout powerbomb,[1] sometimes from the top rope)[32]
    • Roaring Swiss Uppercut (Discus European uppercut)[33]
    • Swiss Death[3] / Very European Uppercut[34] (Pop-up European uppercut)[35]
  • Signature moves
    • The Neutralizer (Over the shoulder single leg Boston crab with a neckscissors)[1][36][37]
    • Bicycle kick[33]
    • Cravate[32]
    • Giant swing[33]
    • Jim Breaks Special (Elevated wrist-lock)[1]
    • Match Killer (Horizontal belly-to-back suplex spun out into a sitout facebuster)[1]
    • Money Dive (Diving headbutt)[1]
    • Multiple European uppercut variations
    • Multiple suplex variations
      • Delayed vertical[33]
      • Double underhook[42]
      • Ricola-Plex (X)[33]
    • Suicide dive[33]
    • Swiss Sleeper Hold (Bridging cobra clutch)[1][3]
    • UBS Neckbreaker (Backbreaker rack dropped into a cutter)[1]
    • UFO – Unidentified Flying Opponent[43] (Spinning backbreaker rack, sometimes while no-handed)[44][45]

Championships and accomplishments Edit

  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Tag Team of the Year (2010) with Chris Hero[46]

References Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 OWOW profile .
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cagematch profile . Cagematch. Retrieved on 2009-12-16.
  4. Very European Maneuvers Playlist
  5. Five Very European Maneuvers for Antonio Cesaro
  6. wXw Extreme Wrestling Party results,, retrieved July 29, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 More about me... . Archived from the original on 2011-01-18. Retrieved on 2010-07-06.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Pro Wrestling Noah matches . Cagematch. Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  9. Zayfren 2010-12-05. Resultados Pro Wrestling NOAH, 5 de diciembre: Takashi Sugiura retiene (in Spanish). SuperLuchas. Retrieved on 2010-12-05.
  10. Global Tag Team League Tournament 2011 . Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved on 2011-04-29.
  11. NOAH Genesis in Germany – 15.5. – Results . Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved on 2011-05-16.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Professional: How Cesaro grabbed the brass ring (again) and why he isn't letting go this time . World Wrestling Entertainment (2015-07-29). Retrieved on 2016-05-14.
  13. Cesaro (@WWECesaro) Twitter Feed (2015-09-06). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “#Euro2016Qualifiers #yesssssssss #Nervensache #SwissStyle”
  14. wwecesaro Instagram Feed . Self. Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “World Cup Qualifier between Saudi Arabia and UAE #wwejeddah”
  15. Cesaro (@WWECesaro) Twitter Feed . Self (2015-09-10). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “#USOpen @rogerfederer @stanwawrinka #twoScreensNeeded #IpadAndTV #SwissPower”
  16. Laprade, Patric. Antonio Cesaro: 'I'm a doctor of wrestling' . Retrieved on 2015-03-14.
  17. The Professional: How Cesaro grabbed the brass ring (again) and why he isn't letting go this time . World Wrestling Entertainment (2015-07-29). Retrieved on 2016-05-14. “"...which is something I really do, I do speak five languages..."”
  18. Cesaro (@WWECesaro) Twitter Feed (Retweet) . WWE 2K @WWEgames (2015-09-30). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “Wishing a happy #NationalCoffeeDay to @WWECesaro, the biggest coffee fanatic in all of @WWE!”
  19. Q&A: WWE Superstar Cesaro On Those "Cesaro Section" Signs and How the Internet Changed Fandom . Reddit, Inc. (2015-10-12). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “On the day and a half I get off every week, I like to relax, listen to music, watch some TV. and eat food I actually cook myself—which is fun for me.”
  20. Claudio's Café 16: Powerthirst - Coffee Edition . Self (2011-06-30). Retrieved on 2016-05-28.
  21. Q&A: WWE Superstar Cesaro On Those "Cesaro Section" Signs and How the Internet Changed Fandom . Reddit, Inc. (2015-10-12). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “...we [went] to the zoo in Sydney, Australia. It was an amazing experience because we actually went behind the scenes and met some of the animals...which was an unbelievable experience.”
  22. wwecesaro Instagram Feed . Self (2015-08-09). Retrieved on 2016-01-12.
  23. Cesaro (@WWECesaro) Twitter Feed . Self (2015-11-05). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “Landed in Dublin, worked out, went to see #SPECTRE. Who needs sleep when you can see @DaveBautista vs 007?”
  24. wwecesaro Instagram Feed . Self (2015-12-19). Retrieved on 2016-01-12. “When I first moved to the US I didn't bring much, but I brought this #starwars (image of original Star Wars discs)”
  25. The Professional: How Cesaro grabbed the brass ring (again) and why he isn't letting go this time . World Wrestling Entertainment (2015-07-29). Retrieved on 2016-05-14. “"That's another thing that's just important to me. That's part of being a professional, a Renaissance man so to speak. Older values of older times, that are not as much around anymore, are still very important to me."; "You have to be a professional in every single thing you do..."”
  26. Rules of Fitness from WWE's Cesaro . Men's Journal LLC (2015-05-29). Retrieved on 2016-05-14. “"John Cena's very heavy on the Olympic weightlifting, Seth Rollins is a student of CrossFit...I myself am kind of a mix. You need to find what works for your body and what keeps you healthy."”
  27. Rules of Fitness from WWE's Cesaro . Men's Journal LLC (2015-05-29). Retrieved on 2016-05-14. “"There's constantly new ways to work out ... new theories and studies, and anybody who wants to get better at anything will realize you never stop learning. The moment you think you know everything, you should probably quit."”
  28. Check out Cesaro's insane workout routine. 2 April 2013.
  29. Kidd, Tyson (22 September 2015). "Some Like It Hot". Total Divas. Season 4. Episode 12 (57 overall). 33 minutes in. Cesaro's strong. Nat, Cesaro can clean and jerk...135 with one arm. That's just like, to show off... I don't know what his actual max is.  (on phone with Natalya Neidhart)
  30. Cesaro training (2015-03-07).
  31. Chris Illuminati 2015-05-27. Watch WWE Superstar Cesaro Clean And Jerk Almost 300 Pounds Like There's No Weight Involved .
  32. 32.0 32.1 Ford, Kevin 2009-06-29. CHIKARA Review: King of Trios 2009, Night Two . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2009-12-18.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 Chikara profile . Archived from the original on 2010-01-03.
  34. Hubbard, Aaron 2009-10-01. 411's ROH on HDNet Report 10.01.09: Castagnoli vs. Albright (09.28.09) . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2009-12-17.
  35. ROH roster .
  36. Massingham, Matt 2011-01-30. 1/29 PWG results in Los Angeles: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of PWG Title match, Kaval vs. Davey, Roberts retirement, Legends Battle Royal . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2011-01-30.
  37. Card Subject to Change IIII . Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Retrieved on 2011-04-12.
  38. Vetter, Chris 2008-01-24. DVD Review: ROH "Survival of the Fittest" (10-19-07), w/Strong, Hero, Aries, Castagnoli, Romero . PWTorch. Retrieved on 2009-11-29.
  39. Hagen, Ben 2006-07-23. Hagen's Artful Analysis #23: ROH Milestone Series Review Part 7 -Last One . WrestleView. Retrieved on 2012-08-24.
  40. Boutwell, Josh 2009-04-20. ROH on HDNet Results - 4/19/09 . WrestleView. Retrieved on 2012-08-24.
  41. Rivera, Ryan 2010-10-26. ROH on HDNet Recap - 10/25/10 . WrestleView. Retrieved on 2012-08-24.
  42. Trionfo, Richard 2012-08-23. WWE NXT report: opponents in next week's NXT title match face off; former diva in action; Ohno and Cesaro in singles action; Kidd and Gabriel vs. McGillicutty and Curtis . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2012-08-24.
  43. Dunn, J.D. 2010-01-23. Dark Pegasus Video Review: Ring of Honor — Final Countdown Tour: Glory by Honor VIII . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2014-03-06.
  44. Ford, Kevin 2009-11-14. CHIKARA Review: An Optimistic View of a Pessimistic World . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2009-11-29.
  45. Radican, Sean 2009-11-22. RADICAN'S ROH DVD REVIEW SERIES" 9/18 Final Countdown Tour: Dayton – Richards-Castagnoli, Hero-Danielson . PWTorch. Retrieved on 2009-11-29.
  46. Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, CA: 1–40. ISSN 1083-9593. 

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