A longtime WWE superstar has hit the market as a free agent.
PW Insider reported on Thursday that Cesaro has officially left the company following the expiration of his contract. This report was also confirmed by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com. PWI reported that the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a new deal and the company’s offer of an extension, presumably past Wrestlemania, was struck down.
Cesaro, real name Claudio Castagnoli, arrived to the WWE in 2011 after spending several years working for several promotions on the independent circuit. After about a year in the developmental system, he made his main roster debut in 2012 and spent the next decade as one of the more decorated tag team wrestlers in recent memory. Teaming up with the likes of Tyson Kidd, Shinsuke Nakamura, and most notably Sheamus as part of The Bar, he became a seven-time tag team champion in the company. He also had a handful of singles accolades, including a run with the United States Championship and becoming the inaugural winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale at Wrestlemania 30.
While he’s in-ring abilities were among the best in the WWE, his lack of promo skills arguably limited his ability to rise up the card. He got the opportunity to work with both Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in programs last spring but was quickly shuffled back down the card afterwards. His last appearance was a loss to Happy Corbin on Smackdown two weeks ago.
There’s always a possibility that he could work out a new deal and return to the company post Wrestlemania. But as is the case, there are now multiple options with AEW, Impact, and New Japan Pro Wrestling always scouting for new talent on the market.