Claudio Castagnoli’s Match With Former WWE Star Saved Them From Being Fired

Claudio Castagnoli spent about 10 years on WWE’s main roster under the name Antonio Cesaro — shortened to Cesaro in 2014. Prior to making his main roster debut, Castagnoli worked in WWE’s developmental brand, which at the time was known as Florida Championship Wrestling, “FCW” for short. Castagnoli had his first televised match on September 22, 2011, against Mike Dalton, who would come to known as the selfie-taking Tyler Breeze. Castagnoli recently discussed helping Breeze keep his job with WWE based on their match.

“I just got [FCW] and I wrestled my first match ever against him on FWV TV,” Castagnoli said on “Insight with Chris Van Vliet.” “I don’t think they were very high on him at that time, which I don’t know, and the Uppercut he was talking about was when I pop the guy up and I Uppercut them on the way down and he just took it like a madman and went super high in the sky and I took his head off … I uppercutted his head off, but saved his job in the process because they were not high on him before.”

Castagnoli’s efforts were not in vain, as Breeze wound up being with WWE from 2011 until his eventual release from the company in 2021. During his time with the company, Breeze won the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship, the FCW Florida Tag Team Championships alongside Leakee — who went on to become Roman Reigns — and most recently won the “NXT” Tag Team Championships alongside Fandango in 2020.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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