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SURPRISING WWE DEPARTURE AFTER FAILURE TO COME TO TERMS ON NEW DEAL

By Mike Johnson on 2022-02-24 15:28:00

WWE star Cesaro has quietly exited WWE after his current contract expired, PWInsider.com has confirmed.    He last performed for WWE on 2/11, losing to Happy Corbin on an episode of Friday Night Smackdown.

We are told the two sides had been in negotiations but had not come to terms on a new agreement.  One source noted that WWE did offer Cesaro an extension on his current deal but that was turned down.   

This would be a case of Cesaro's contract expiring, so there would be no 90-day non compete.  Cesaro had been slated to be at tomorrow's Smackdown taping in Hershey, PA, but will obviously no longer be there as his deal expired earlier this week.

Cesaro, 41, had been with WWE since 2011 when he inked a developmental deal with then-WWE developmental territory FCW.  Over the course of his run with the company, Cesaro won the first-ever Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30 and had a run with the WWE United States Championship as well as Raw and Smackdown Title runs with Sheamus, Shinsuke Nakamura and Tyson Kidd.  He defeated Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania 37 in Tampa last year.

While Cesaro had a long run, he was also consistently underutilized during his WWE tenure.  Among fellow talents, he's universally considered one of the best and toughest in-ring performers by any definition of the word.  He can likely punch his own ticket anywhere he chooses to land, whether that be coming to terms with WWE at a later time or competing elsewhere.  He would obviously be in high demand in a number of places.

Prior to his WWE run, the Swiss star, under his real name Claudio Castagnoli, had a tremendous run as one half of the Kings of Wrestling with Chris Hero in Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling NOAH, CZW and CHIKARA.   He had a nice run in Europe, obviously, as well.

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