Notes on Cesaro’s departure
As noted, Cesaro has left WWE. It was reported on Thursday, via PWInsider, that the two sides were in contract negotiations but they were unable to come to agreement on a new deal, so Cesaro’s deal expired. He is now a free agent and is able to work with anyone he wants. There is no non-compete clause because the deal just expired.
In an update, Fightful Select reports that the immediate reaction from those within WWE was disappointment and dismay as Cesaro was one of the most universally liked talent on the roster.
Cesaro’s departure is not a case of WWE not wanting him there. He was reportedly offered a new contract, but WWE sources say it was rejected.
It was noted earlier that Cesaro was scheduled to be at tonight’s SmackDown. The updated report notes that there were plans to use Cesaro at other upcoming shows, but at the time of the departure there were no longterm creative plans for the veteran wrestler, and that unless a new deal was reached, that would remain the case. It was also said that there was no indication Cesaro was going to re-sign, and therefore WWE had no incentive to push him accordingly.
We noted last year how Cesaro had signed a one year contract extension. Word now is that contract negotiations leading to that extension were also recalled, causing Cesaro to be pulled from a #1 contender’s Gauntlet Match because he hadn’t re-signed. He ended up signing the extension and had a brief feud with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, but he hasn’t done much since then.
Cesaro, age 41, last wrestled on the February 11 edition of SmackDown, losing to Happy Baron Corbin. The Swiss Superman had wrestled just 5 matches in 2022, and lost everyone – teaming with Ricochet for a loss to Sheamus and Ridge Holland at WWE Day 1, teaming with Mansoor for a Fatal 4 Way loss to The Viking Raiders on the January 14 SmackDown, teaming with Ricochet for two Day 1 rematch losses on the January 28 and February 4 SmackDown shows, and then the February 11 loss to Corbin.
Cesaro signed with WWE in 2011 after a successful run on the indies and ROH. He leaves WWE a five-time RAW/WWE Tag Team Champion, a two-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion, and a one-time WWE United States Champion. He also won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
There is still no word yet on if Cesaro has interest from AEW, Impact Wrestling or NJPW, but we will keep you updated.
Stay tuned for more.