Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Loss

[2013-05-01-WWE-Main Event] Antonio Cesaro vs Kofi Kingston

Recommended Posts

THIS is when I would've booked the title change. They got about 20 minutes, and Cesaro brought his fucking working boots in this one, showcasing what has made him one of the top grapplers of the 2010s decade so far. He went to work on Kingston, finally getting some damage on the champion's right knee when it got stuck in the ropes about halfway in the match. But Cesaro didn't make this great all by himself. Kingston put in enough hope spots and did a masterful job with his facial expressions to get babyface sympathy.
 
Cesaro was just tenacious in going after that right knee, locking in a half-crab multiple times, whereas the champion had to dig down deep to overcome the adversity. Once Kingston got his chance, he hit the Trouble in Paradise with that bad leg, much like athletes in other sports do - you give them just one small crack, and they'll run through that door to the narrowest of victories. Excellent gem of a match here. ****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a three segment match. There's an argument to be made that it's Kofi's career singles match but I think that'd be a false argument. What it is instead is an amazing Cesaro performance, one that maximizes Kofi's strengths and minimizes his weaknesses, despite the length.

 

They skip the shine and start with some really compelling matwork/grappling instead. Here, Cesaro is all over him with positioning and attempts at holds, but Kofi's just clinging on at every point like some sort of pro wrestling spider. I don't remember seeing a ton of this stuff in 2013. I don't remember seeing a ton of this stuff EVER in WWE. I don't think I've ever seen it from Kofi before, though I could be wrong. Eventually, Cesaro's strength wins out (with the gutwrench deadlifts out of nowhere) and he takes over.

 

That's most of the rest of the match. Kofi fires back a few times, including once early, where Cesaro takes a powder and Kofi all but dives after him in the moment, with obvious frustration that he lost the advantage that fit into the moment and that I really appreciated. Cesaro's offense is great. It's not about the amount of moves he has but his ability to fill time and keep things gritty and interesting. That said, he does have a lot of stuff and it all looks great, from double stomps, vice locks, to european uppercuts and suplexes.

 

I actually think they're going home in the middle after Kofi fires back (it was all about him getting distance from Cesar) and hits the boom drop but it somehow transitions into Cesaro going after the leg and the third segment is a lot of that, with some of the nastiest half crabs you'll see. The finishing stretch has a lot of call backs and the actual finish is clever and again highlights Kofi's strengths, his immediacy and explosiveness, and ability to hit things from off angles. If you told me this was Kofi's best singles match, I'd believe you. That says a lot for Cesaro, who also has Miz' amongst others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kofi defends the U.S. title against Cesaro. The basic story here is Cesaro grounding Kofi and whenever he finds an opening to use his high flying, Cesaro relies on his freakish strength to cut him off and grind on him again. Eventually he places multiple single leg crabs and just punishes the leg for the whole second half of the match. After reversing a Neutalizer attempt, Kofi finds an opening and hits the TPI to the back of the head for the pin. Good TV match that got enough time, felt like a modern version of a JCP title defense on TV. Man, Kofi was over, what took them so long to push him? But really, this is another feather in Cesaro’s cap, making it compelling all the way trough and showcasing his rival’s strengths ***3/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cesaro cut a passionate promo before the match accusing Kofi of taking his title, his dignity and his identity. He’s pretty fired up. Cole even referenced the fact that he didn’t yodel on his way to the ring because tonight is all about business. Kofi’s initial strategy was a little curious. Rather than try to avoid Cesaro’s grip and hit him quick with his high speed offense, he chose to try and match the stronger man and wear him down from behind. Eventually it actually looks to pay off as Kofi scores a nice armdrag and focuses on Cesaro’s arm. Fast forward a little and Kofi is happily running the ropes but Cesaro catches him in mid air and throws him down like a rag doll.

Cesaro is so great in this match. He’s really aggressive but intelligent too. A heel that combines power and intelligence is a daunting prospect. Kofi does his usual stuff but the crowd is even more into it than usual because Cesaro is doing such a good job at beating Kofi down in a convincing way and so his comebacks feel like a bigger deal. At one point Kofi hits the boom drop and is about to go for Trouble In Paradise but Cesaro rolls under the ropes, hooks Kofi’s leg over the middle rope and pulls his throat down over the top rope. He also manages to lift Kofi all the way off the apron whilst standing on the turnbuckle to deliver a superplex. He catches Kofi 3 times over the course of a few minutes (off the ropes, to the outside, off the top) showing that he’s got quick reactions to go with his brute strength and power but Kofi has a counter for everything. Cesaro hits Kofi with a brutal uppercut before simply JUMPING TWO FOOTED ONTO HIS RIGHT LEG and then follows it up with a boston crab. Ruthless. Kofi escapes but rather than move onto something else Cesaro is committed to making him submit, focusing on catching the leg and returning to the crab with the help of an airplane spin. Kofi reaches the ropes but Cesaro shows his awareness here too by attempting to grab Kofi’s arm. All of these little touches serve a purpose of course – they show that Cesaro is a legitimate threat to Kofi’s title. Finish comes when Kofi reverses a Neutralizer attempt, Cesaro just runs right at him, Kofi ducks and hits a TIP to the back of Cesaro’s head. As JBL said, “Kofi just had one shot and he hit it”.

Crowd was really into it, Cesaro got over how much the title meant to him, the little touches made him look like an invincible foe and even Cole & JBL were excited here. After the match, Cesaro attacks Kofi backstage, squashes him under a big trunk and rips off one of his dreadlocks! 

Likely Kofi's best singles match up until last year's Wrestlemania.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×