Backstage News On Cesaro’s WWE Departure – As noted earlier, it was revealed that Cesaro has quietly exited WWE after the two sides were in contract negotiations but unable to come to agreement on a new deal. Cesaro’s contract ended up expiring, so he is now a free agent and is able to work with anyone he wants. There is no non-compete clause because the deal just expired.
In an update, Fightful Select reports that the immediate reaction to the departure from people within WWE was disappointment and dismay as Cesaro was one of the most universally liked talent on the roster.
It was as far back as October when Cesaro began talking to some of his co-workers about possibly leaving WWE when his deal came up in February, telling them he wasn’t sure if he’d be hanging around. Sources noted that Cesaro didn’t necessarily provide a reason for leaving when saying his goodbyes to some, but others indicated “reasonable disappointment” on his part with how he was used, things he was left out of, and spots he didn’t get to fill. There were WWE sources that spoke highly of Cesaro’s professionalism in handling his last match, the February 11 SmackDown loss to Happy Baron Corbin, and how he finished up with the company.
Cesaro’s departure is not a case of WWE not wanting him there. He was reportedly offered a new contract, but WWE sources say it was rejected.
It was also said that there’s still a real possibility that Cesaro ends up re-signing with WWE, until he signs with someone else. Numerous sources within WWE report that the departure does not appear to be a “door completely closed” situation, and that Cesaro did not burn his bridge.
We noted earlier how Cesaro was originally scheduled to be at Friday’s SmackDown. The updated report notes that there were plans to use Cesaro at other upcoming shows, but at the time of the departure there were no longterm creative plans for the veteran wrestler. It was also said that there was no indication Cesaro was going to re-sign, and therefore WWE had no incentive to push him accordingly.
Cesaro signed with WWE in 2011 after a successful run on the indies and ROH. He leaves WWE a five-time RAW/WWE Tag Team Champion, a two-time SmackDown Tag Team Champion, and a one-time WWE United States Champion. He also won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
There has been no update on if Cesaro has heard from AEW, Impact Wrestling or NJPW since news of his departure broke this afternoon, but we will keep you updated.