Cezar Bononi AEW Dark
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

Cezar Bononi Had Green Card Troubles And Monetary Woes In NXT

Speaking with fellow NXT alumni Dan Matha on his Spark in the Dark podcast, former developmental standout Cezar Bononi revealed some of the sacrifices he had to endure in order to try to live the dream in Orlando. First signing with WWE in late 2015, the Brazillian powerhouse found it hard to adapt to the money he was making as an NXT wrestler.

“It took me two and a half years to go to an amusement park, living in Orlando because money was so short. it took a long time for them to help me out a little bit. ‘Hey, here’s a raise.’ It took me almost two years. I was getting $600 (a week) for like six months and when I finally got paid off, it felt like a raise because I was getting $750. ‘Oh good, I can buy a TV, but I cannot get cable.'”


Bononi was a regular of the local Florida house show circuit for years, but only rarely made it onto NXT TV as a developmental talent. He was released in the mass talent purge this past April. He revealed on the podcast that his life in America was threatened by his firing.

“I had talked to WWE before about applying for a green card and they never wanted to help me out with that, they said my casework was not strong enough and that it was better for me to stay on a P1 Visa, which meant my wife could not work anyplace and I could only work for WWE. If they fire me, I have to go back to Brazil.”

Cezar did manage to get a B2 Visa in the thirty day period he had after his firing thanks to his exceptional abilities inside the ring. He has since shown up on AEW Dark on several occasions and hopes to continue his wrestling career stateside.

You can watch Cezar’s full appearance on Dan Matha’s Spark in the Dark embedded below:

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Thank you to our friends at Fightful for the above podcast transcriptions!