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NotJayTabb

Chris Hero vs Cesaro

Kings of Wrestling collide  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is better:

    • Chris Hero
      8
    • Cesaro
      6


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So, I was thinking about this during the watch party on Saturday, two guys who came up on the indys at the same time, formed a formidable tag team, then both went to the WWE with differing levels of success. I think they're an interesting comparison.

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This is an interesting comparison and one I'd like to elaborate further when I get the chance. 

From 2004 to 2010 I think there was a considerable difference in their input. Claudio was quite clearly the weaker of the workers but was definitely helped in tag matches where his cool stuff could shine and he didn't need to be reliant on his own structure or controls. Sure, he had some good "output" in his indie singles career but that was more against super workers than anything else. I don't think Claudio did anything as good as Hero in that Necro match from the watch party (and that wasn't elite or anything, either). Towards the end of their run Claudio was pulling ahead and by 2012 he was quite clearly the better of the two. In the previous decade, Cesaro is ahead of Hero in terms of consistency and range as well as having much higher lows (I'd take his stuff vs RVD in 2014/2015 over Hero's 50/50 no-selling against smaller guys like Fenix).

Notably, they both made a lot of their case working vastly inferior workers but I'd put Cesaro down at getting the most out of his opponents (that Main Event match against Kofi is surreal). They're also workers that have a lot of hidden gems tucked away on C-shows (Main Event for Cesaro and NXT UK for Hero) and live events so I think their consistency case might be lost on most, which is a shame. That said, I do think Cesaro is the most consistent TV worker since Rey's mid 2000s Smackdown run and I think that is a big factor in why I'm so high on him. Many people are going to point out "what are his all-time level matches?" and I agree that he doesn't have a litany of slamdunk MotD's to his credit but he's never been in that position until recently (if that) and he does still have a laundry list of truly great matches (his 2013 is insane). He's not an output candidate at all but, as an input consideration, he's almost impossible to deny as one of the best in the world for the past decade, in my eyes. 

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I have a difficult time evaluating Cesaro, because I haven't been a week-to-week WWE watcher in a long time. I have a broad sense that he's elevated a lot of crap material, but I don't have a good idea how much or what that means. He's a great physical talent and never bad,  but I remember people calling him the best in the world around 2014/2015, and I don't know why. I'm not even saying he wasn't; I just don't have a distinct image of him or the company from that time. Hero has meant more to me at all points of their respective careers, even as a guy pulling interesting matches out of a dead-end run in NXT UK. His 2016 was an indy monument and will carry more weight with me than anything Cesaro has done. I wouldn't describe Hero as consistent, exactly, but he's always found his way back to relevance. I find his spotty journey more interesting than the rock-solid resume Cesaro has built in a company I don't care about. That doesn't seem like the fairest way to compare gifted contemporaries, but I'm not sure how to get away from it. 

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This is an interesting one indeed. I have sort of always found Cesaro's output to come up short vs his talent. He is unbelievably talented in terms of his strength, body control, physical timing, and I would argue his storytelling. That all said, I - more often than not - come away slightly lower on his matches than I expect to be.  Part of that is definitely the company and how they use him, but I often felt this way before he came to the WWE as well. Cesaro has had bigger stages, but probably fewer oportunties to stand out as a true great. Childs put it best with regard to hero. He always finds his way to relevance. He has a better mind for the entirety of wrestling I think and that bleeds into his match. Additionally, I'm not sure I would ever put Cesaro as the best wrestler in the world in a given year. Hero would push for that honor in 2015 and 2016 I think.

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I like Cesaro and think he might have done way more with more opportunity, but I also feel like he's never completely crossed the line from impressive to engaging. And I would say Chris Hero has done that.

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I think that the biggest difference is that Hero is more willing to venture into the epic and grandiose side of things, which is where you get some of his high-end stuff, which Cesaro has virtually none of, but some of his worst stuff too, like every almost every indie tag match Hero has ever had.

I think you can see it in Cesaro's recent match with Roman, his first big main event shot, and its good, but you don't ever get a sense that Cesaro, the in-ring character, is reacting to the moment in a way that he should be, like he fights through the pain of the arm by continuing with the match, but his face doesn't really tell that story, his reactions don't really tell that story. Hero, for all his faults, in that sort of situation, would have gotten that element across.

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