Posts Tagged ‘Claudio Castagnoli’

Chris Jericho is your new Ring of Honor World Champion, defeating Claudio Castagnoli for the title at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam Wednesday night.

Jericho captured the title with the help of a low blow, followed by a Judas Effect, ending Castagnoli’s two-month reign. The announcers rightly sold it as a dark cloud being cast on the ROH title, considering a self-avowed sports entertainer cheated to win a championship that symbolizes honorable competition.

Castagnoli seemed to be getting the upper hand when Jericho resorted to grabbing Floyd, his bat, and then capitalized when the referee’s view was obstructed.

Afterward, the Wizard celebrated with the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society, although ROH Pure Champion Daniel Garcia looked less than thrilled to congratulate Jericho after taking a shortcut. That could be the next wrinkle in the tenuous relationship between the two stablemates.

Claudio won the ROH title, his first world championship, in July at Death Before Dishonor, defeating Jonathan Gresham. For Jericho, this is his eighth world championship, including six WWE world titles and the AEW World Championship.

Teaming with Claudio Castagnoli reignited Sheamus’ love of pro wrestling.

The WWE star told ITR that his zest for the biz had waned when he started working alongside the then-Cesaro as ‘The Bar’ in 2016. Claudio’s skills and passion for wrestling helped to restore Sheamus’ own passion, and that’s why they ended up clicking as a team.

Sheamus recently earned plaudits for his performance opposite current Intercontinental Champion Gunther on WWE’s Clash At The Castle special in the UK – the Irishman received a standing ovation from the Cardiff crowd, and he clearly enjoyed how physical the bout was.

That’s the kind of energy Castagnoli breathed back into his bones during their stint together as ‘The Bar’. Sheamus admitted during the interview that working with Cesaro was “great” for him. He also “learned a lot” from the Swiss technician during matches.

Together, Sheamus and Cesaro became four-time Raw Tag-Team Champions. They also held the SmackDown versions on one occasion, and had hot matches with everyone from The Hardys to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.

With many wrestling fans pondering whether Daniel Garcia could be the latest addition to the Blackpool Combat Club, BCC member Claudio Castagnoli has suggested Serena Deeb as a potential new recruit for the group.

Speaking on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, the current ROH World Champion offered up Deeb as someone he’d like to see join the ranks of William Regal’s batch of brutal bruisers.

As Castagnoli detailed:

“I think Blackpool Combat Club could use a female. I’ll pick Serena Deeb, probably. I think she would be a good fit for the Blackpool Combat Club.”

A former NWA Women’s World Champion, Deeb has been with AEW since September 2020 and has challenged for both the AEW Women’s Title and the ROH Women’s Title.

Regarded as one of the best technical wrestlers on the planet, period, the Professor certainly fits the bill for what the Blackpool Combat Club is about. Of course, whether Claudio gets his way and Serena enters the BCC fold, that remains to be seen.

For now, at least, the Blackpool Combat Club consists of Castagnoli, Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta, with the aforementioned Regal and his Blackpool roots steering the ship for this fan favourite faction.

While current ROH Champion and Blackpool Combat Club member Claudio Castagnoli is more than content under the AEW umbrella, his time in WWE as Cesaro wasn’t exactly fruitless. During his decade-long run, the Swiss superstar was a multi-time tag-team champion, United States Champion, and held his own in a main-event-level feud with Roman Reigns in 2021. He’ll also forever be associated with his former partner Sheamus for their lengthy alliance as The Bar. The duo was born out of begrudging respect following their epic 2016 rivalry, and they would subsequently capture the “Raw” and “SmackDown” tag belts a collective five times. And as Castagnoli recently reflected on AEW’s “Unrestricted” podcast, that stretch alongside the Irish backbreaker was the most fun he’d had in WWE — bar none.

“We became best friends over those years,” said Castagnoli. “We had a great time, especially internationally and going to football stadiums and stuff like that.”  

He acknowledged that he and Sheamus would bicker lovingly like brothers, which he feels only added to the connection they forged with each other and audiences. “If something is authentic, it will connect with the fans,” he explained. “That’s the stuff you cannot fabricate. That’s the magic.” Summing it up in a lament familiar to any dedicated wrestling fan, Castagnoli continued, “How do you explain that to someone who doesn’t like or watch wrestling? You can’t.” 

Worry not for Claudio, however. He has fit in just fine with AEW. As he told Bleacher Report back in August of the Blackpool Combat Club, “I’ve only known Wheeler Yuta for about a month, but it feels way longer. Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and William Regal, His Lordship, I’ve known for such a long time, and it fits like a glove. It’s really awesome. It’s really fun. It just worked.” Having that a world title around his waist probably doesn’t hurt.

“Hangman” Adam Page has wrestled a lot of top stars during his AEW tenure, including Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, and Kenny Omega in AEW World Championship matches. But even with all those opponents on his resume, there’s still more top talent Page would like to face in the promotion before all is said and done.

In an appearance at GalaxyCon Raleigh 2022, which was captured by All Elite Hub, Page was asked who he would most like to wrestle in AEW, and at first, he couldn’t come up with a singular answer.

“Whoever they tell me at 5 p.m.,” Page joked. “I don’t know. There’s so many people that wrestle for AEW now, it’s a little hard for me to keep up and come up with who I want to wrestle on the main roster. I guess all of them, because I probably haven’t wrestled most of them.”

As he thought on it a little bit more, however, Page did come up with an ideal dream opponent in the form of an AEW star who recently joined the promotion.

“I guess if I’m thinking about people who recently joined AEW, because that’s the easiest way to think about who I haven’t wrestled, and I know I haven’t wrestled Claudio Castagnoli,” Page said. “I would love that. That would be cool.”

Castagnoli is, of course, the current Ring of Honor World Champion, having defeated Jonathan Gresham to win the title at ROH Death Before Dishonor in July. He most recently made his first defense at AEW Battle of the Belts III, where he defeated Konosuke Takeshita.

Claudio Castagnoli thought for sure he was “on that verge a couple of times”.

The former Cesaro was, of course, referring to the idea that WWE might pull the trigger, get behind him and make him WWE World Champion at some point. Claudio could feel fan support swelling more than once, and he figured he was about to receive a mega-push akin to Becky Lynch’s when she found fame as ‘The Man’.

It didn’t happen, so Castagnoli eventually let his company deal tick down and hauled ass to AEW. Since joining Tony Khan’s league, Claudio has become a key member of the ROH rebuild and even won Ring Of Honor’s own World Championship by beating Jonathan Gresham at Death Before Dishonor.

That elusive WWE Title run wasn’t destined to be, but Castagnoli told Chris Van Vliet’s ‘Insight’ show he figured it’d surely happen eventually. Whilst he’s not bitter about things and looks back on the bulk of his WWE career fondly, Claudio does think that he became “red hot and undeniable” several times during his run.

Vince McMahon disagreed – there’s a case to be made that the ex-WWE boss was never going to give Cesaro that belt.

AEW announced on the latest edition of Rampage that Claudio Castagnoli will defend his newly-won ROH World Title against Konosuke Takeshita at Battle Of The Belts III on 6 August.

The event, which is also billed as “Saturday Fight Night”, will mark Claudio’s first title defence since winning the strap from Jonathan Gresham at ROH’s Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view – this is also Takeshita’s first ever crack at the prestigious belt.

On paper, this certainly feels like a higher-profile bout than anything Tony Khan booked for the first two Battle Of The Belts specials. They’ve felt a little…lacking to date, and the idea could definitely use some inspiration.

Castagnoli vs. Takeshita could be just the tonic BOTB needs.

AEW will tape the card at the Van Del Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday 5 August. That same night, Khan’s group will also shoot a live episode of Rampage. Then, 24 hours later, Battle Of The Belts III will air for viewers back home.

Both previous BOTB shows have featured three title matches, so it makes sense to believe that AEW will add another couple to bolster Claudio vs. Konosuke.

Ring of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view kicked off with a new ROH World Champion.

AEW star and Blackpool Combat Club member Claudio Castagnoli defeated Jonathan Gresham to become the new ROH World Champion.

This win marks Claudio Castagnoli’s first ROH World Title reign. During his first run with ROH, Castagnoli held the ROH World Tag Team Championship twice with Chris Hero.

Before losing the title tonight, Gresham had been the champion since defeating Jay Lethal at Final Battle in December 2021.

In his first few weeks in AEW, Claudio Castagnoli has defeated Zack Sabre Jr. at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, won Blood and Guts for the Blackpool Combat Club, defeated Jake Hager in singles action, and is now in line for an ROH World Title shot against Jonathan Gresham at ROH Death Before Dishonor. One could say he is off to a good start in his first run outside of WWE since 2011.

While that hot start is a big reason Castagnoli jumped from WWE to AEW, there’s more to it than just that, as he explained to the “Ten Count Wrestling Podcast” on NBC Sports Boston on Monday.

“I’ve been following AEW for a while,” Castagnoli said. “And when it came time for me to just kind of take a step back and look, I felt that I was a better fit at AEW, and there was a lot more for me to do with AEW when it comes to challenges, when it came to people I want to work with. There are just so many people there that I haven’t wrestled either at all or in a very, very long time. So, I was kind of like, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s what I’ll have fun doing.’”

Another factor that came into play for Castagnoli when making his decision was the idea that it was time to make a bit of a change in his career.

“I always kind of felt that whenever it was time to move, I’ve moved on,” Castagnoli said. “It was the same before when I was in Ring of Honor. I felt like, ‘Now, it’s time to take the step towards WWE.’ That’s what I did, and now, I was like, ‘Okay, now I feel like it’s time to make the next step,’ and I did, and I’m very happy I did.”

Ring of Honor World Champion Jonathan Gresham now knows who he will face at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, and it’s a big name from ROH’s past.

It was announced during Friday night’s episode of “AEW Rampage” that Claudio Castagnoli will get the title shot against Gresham. Castagnoli confronted Gresham earlier in the episode after Gresham’s successfully defended his title against Lee Moriarty.

Gresham boasted he would be appearing on AEW programming every week going forward. He vowed to outclass and outwrestle all of the favorites of the AEW audience. Gresham declared himself “the best hold-for-hold wrestler in the world”. Gresham’s new manager Tully Blanchard continued to hype up his client until they were interrupted by Castagnoli.

Castagnoli wrestled in Ring of Honor between 2005 and 2011. He won the ROH World Tag Team Championship on two occasions with his longtime partner Chris Hero as The Kings of Wrestling. However, singles gold eluded Castagnoli in ROH.

Castagnoli spent more than a decade in WWE before leaving the company after his contract expired earlier this year. He made his AEW debut as the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view as the surprised opponent for Zack Sabre Jr. Filling in for the injured Bryan Danielson, Castagnoli got the win.

Just days later, Castagnoli forced Matt Menard to submit to the Sharpshooter to win the Blood & Guts match between the BCC and the Jericho Appreciation Society. Castagnoli scored another win in AEW on this past Wednesday’s “Dynamite” when he defeated Jake Hager.

Gresham has held the ROH World Championship for more than 200 days. His trajectory took an unexpected turn during last Friday’s episode of “Rampage” when he turned on Moriarty during a tag team match and revealed himself as the newest member of Tully Blanchard Enterprises. The stable also includes Brian Cage and the recently formed tag team Gates of Agony: Toa Liona and Kaun.