The tag team division in the WWE is probably stronger than it ever been in years with teams like The Shield, The Usos, The Rhodes Brothers and The Real Americans. With WWE coming to Montreal this Sunday, I had the chance to interview two members of these teams. For this first part, Antonio Cesaro talks about the Real Americans, the giant swing, Wrestlemania, his matches with Sami Zayn, and who he will wrestle in Montreal on January 12.

The Real Americans, Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, managed by Zeb Colter, have been one of the best tag teams in the WWE in 2013. The two of them have great physiques and the gimmick worked pretty much all year. One can argued that The Shield or The Rhodes Brothers has been the best tag team last year, but The Real Americans, even without winning the titles, have been up there with them.

The always intense Antonio Cesaro. Photos by Mike Mastrandrea

Cesaro agrees there has been a revival of the tag team division. “We’re a big part of that revival,” Cesaro told SLAM! Wrestling. “We compete in a high level and I think that we are the most dominating team in the WWE and we should be WWE tag team champions soon. It’s lots of fun and you can really tell we like beating people up.”

The just finished 2013 was Cesaro first full year with the main roster, and it had its ups and downs. Many thought he was being punished by the creative team, in the dog house as they say, and he didn’t appear at WrestleMania even though he was the U.S. champion.

“I don’t think there were any reasons, but I don’t know. I was very disappointed,” admitted Cesaro. “Especially because I had one of the greatest run as U.S. champion. I had very good title defence matches. He lost the title after 240 days to Kofi Kingston a week after Mania.

Being one of the four main tag teams and knowing that WWE wants to develop the division in 2014, New Orleans will probably see Cesaro make his Wrestlemania debut.

“With the Real Americans, I hope on working Wrestlemania XXX. You know, it’s every WWE Superstar’s goal to work at Mania,” he added.

A giant swing in front of 70,000 fans would be something for the native of Switzerland. The move has been around from his days the independent circuit, when he wrestled under his real name of Claudio Castagnoli.

Cesaro delivers the Giant Swing.

“I have been doing this for quite some time, eight or nine years, going back to the indies, but I was just not doing it in the WWE. I was waiting for the right time and I thought it was now. The Great Khali is without a doubt the biggest guy I did it to.”

Before thinking about Mania, Cesaro will have to come to Montreal, where he actually hasn’t scored a victory yet since debuting for the WWE. On his last visit, September 6, he was defeated against someone who was making his WWE debut — Montreal’s Sami Zayn, the former El Generico. Cesaro and Zayn, who have known each other for a long time, had quite a few matches together in 2013, including some of the best matches in NXT.

“I’ve know him for quite a long time indeed. I was very excited to work with him,” said Cesaro. “It exposed and showcased our potential to a bigger stage. I love working with new guys on NXT. Sami and I had great chemistry and it was also a program the audience liked to see. On, people had highly regards to our matches. The match in Montreal was one of my favourite matches [of 2013].”

Was it something he or Zayn proposed to the creative team?

“No. The WWE knew we had a history of working together and that we knew each other well. When they told me about the idea, I was like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be part of that!'”

Since the fans, especially in Montreal, liked the match so much, is there a chance to see Cesaro versus Zayn, part II, on January 12?

“As much as I’d like to have a rematch with Sami in Montreal, I’m booked against Goldust and I’m very excited about it. I’m really hoping to put an end to that losing streak.”

WWE will be back at the Bell Centre in Montreal this coming Sunday. Besides the match between Cesaro and Goldust, announced to be there so far are the Unified champion Randy Orton, John Cena, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, Kane, Sin Cara, Dolph Ziggler, Curtis Axel and Ryback. The show is at 5:00pm and tickets are available through


The last time Pat Laprade interviewed Antonio Cesaro was in December 2012, around the same date he did this one. Both agreed that this should be a tradition for them to talk around Christmastime. Pat can be reached at