Aksana, a beautiful Lithuanian fitness model, and former arm candy of Theodore Long, has now aligned herself with SmackDown’s new comer Antonio Cesaro. A 6 ft 5 Swiss pro wrestler, Antonio has made quite a name for himself in Florida Championship Wrestling. His most recent accomplishment has been wrestling Richie Steamboat, the FCW 15 Champion, to two title match draws. The last of the two–a special 20-minute title match–called upon the services of WWE Hall of Fame Jim Ross to call the action alongside William Regal. Antonio’s physique, stamina and endurance are what compelled John Laurinaitis to call him up to the main roster.
But who is Antonio Cesaro?
Outside the glamorous world of the WWE Universe, Antonio gained recognition wrestling under his real name — Claudio Castagnoli.
AY!!! He is Very European.
Having received training in his homeland from StigMasta Rappo, in England from Dave Taylor, and in the United States from both Mike Quackenbush and Chris Hero, Castagnoli has accustomed himself to different wrestling styles.
Teaming up with his former mentor, Castagnoli and Chris Hero formed The Kings of Wrestling in 2005 in Chikara. The two went on to become Chikara’s first-ever Campeonatos de Parejas tag team champions, met up again in Combat Zone Wrestling to win its World tag belts on two occasions, earned the tag titles in Juggalo Championship Wrestling, and have won the ROH World Tag Team championships twice. Their final tag team title run–of 364 days–is the longest in Ring of Honor Wrestling history.
Aside from being a tag team specialist, Castagnoli has earned considerable praise as a singles competitor. He made a serious run for the ROH World title against Takeshi Morishima and Nigel McGuinness. Yet it wasn’t until 2010 at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s The Curse of Guerrilla Island that Castagnoli would win his first major singles title in the United States — the PWG World championship.
On September 16, 2011, Castagnoli signed with WWE and was sent to FCW under his new name – Antonio Cesaro. Armed with the Very European Uppercut, Gotch Style Neutralizer cradle piledriver, and, the move that defies gravity, UFO Spinning Argentine backbreaker rack (with no hands), Antonio Cesaro is a force to be reckoned with in the WWE.
Wish to learn more about SmackDown’s newest superstar? Check out Claudio Castagnoli’s interview with Colt Cabana on Art of Wrestling. [listen now]
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