Claudio Castagnoli Reveals Why He Decided To Jump Ship From WWE To AEW, More

During an appearance on Chris Van Vliet’s “Insight” podcast at Starrcast V, newly-crowned Ring of Honor World Champion Claudio Castagnoli commented on why he decided to jump ship from WWE to AEW, how Johnny Gargano’s final promo in WWE NXT 2.0 played a big role in his decision to leave the company, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On leaving WWE and how Johnny Gargano’s final NXT promo impacted him: “A lot of thought, actually. I may have felt for a while that I needed a change. Leading up to it, there were a bunch of signs. A bunch of stuff that different people said where they may have not even realized that they said it that kind of helped me make up my mind. One of the things was Johnny Gargano’s last promo in NXT where he said to ‘always bet on yourself.’ That was like maybe the last straw. ‘Yup, he’s 100% right.’ It was a lot of things leading up to it. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because a lot of people do. When Cody left the first time, he made that list of who he wanted to wrestle. After that, everybody made a list. It was the new favorite thing.

“I wanted to do it differently. I’m against the grain a lot. ‘Everybody is doing this, let me try to do this over here.’ I felt it was better that way because I figured if I want to keep wrestling and I pop up somewhere, it’s going to be a bigger surprise. Wrestling is all about moments and if I would have been like, ‘Alright, I’m leaving,’ then people would have known and it would have been, ‘Okay, I’m gonna show up somewhere.’ If it’s quiet then it’s ‘what’s going to happen? When is it going to happen?’ That’s the beauty in wrestling. You want to be surprised. Yes, you want to know, but you also love being surprised. To me, that’s a very important thing. You do know, maybe, but there’s always that doubt. That’s what makes magic happen. I feel I’m more action than talking.”

On the biggest reasons he decided to leave WWE for AEW: “There was a couple. One of the things was, there are so many people that I want to be in the ring with at AEW and Ring of Honor. I have matches for the next years that I want to do. While there are still guys in WWE that I haven’t wrestled that I want to wrestle, that number is less than at AEW. At my core, I always want to improve and get better and have new challenges. When I first went from Ring of Honor to WWE, I didn’t do so to be on TV or anything. For me, it was the logical next step. I had done a lot in Ring of Honor, what’s the next step and next challenge, the best guys. Same thing here, what’s the next step, the next challenge? AEW has been awesome. I had pretty much the best first month I could have dreamt of.”

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(h/t – Fightful)

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