Dismay as popular WWE star Cesaro exits after talks stall on new contract

Cesaro is the latest big name to leave WWE after talks reportedly broke down on a new contract for the popular star.

Fans of WWE have watched on as a string of major players have left Vince McMahon’s company over the last couple of years.

Through a ruthless series of roster cuts as well as some expiring contracts, the likes of Keith Lee, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Nia Jax, Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt have all moved on in recent months.

Wrestlers, coaches and commentators have all seen their time with WWE come to an end, with a seemingly endless list continuing with a stunning name on Thursday night.

Reports in the States have confirmed that former United States champ Cesaro is the latest to head through the exit door.

The 41-year-old was an immensely popular performer and a technically gifted athlete, his departure after more than a decade said to have left colleagues in ‘dismay.'

PWInsider stated that the Swiss Superman had ‘quietly’ departed, saying: “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 [which prevents stars from immediately signing with a rival].

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“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 amassed a decorated career outside of WWE before signing for the sports entertainment giant, where he went on to win seven tag team championships, and a prestigious Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal in 2014

His partnership with Irishman Sheamus – the pair forming The Bar – was one of his most successful spells, the two memorably winning the Raw tag titles on these shores in Manchester in 2017.

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Reporting on the backstage reaction to the star’s departure, Fightful added: “The immediate reaction from those within the company was disappointment and dismay, as Cesaro has been one of the most universally liked talent on the roster.."

Cesaro battled Roman Reigns for the Universal title in a high-profile bout as recently as May 2021 but has not featured on WWE television prominently for months.

He lost in the early rounds of last autumn’s King of the Ring tournament, and last appeared on Friday Night SmackDown in a losing effort against Happy Corbin on February 11th.

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