Claudio Castagnoli reflects on his WWE journey and says he’s grateful for all he could accomplish there.
At ROH’s Death Before Dishonor, Claudio Castagnoli finally ascended to the mountaintop and became a world champion. The Swiss Superman’s ROH World Title victory wasn’t without its bumps and bruises, as he’d just returned to wrestling after departing from WWE.
Despite his championship accomplishment, many still feel Claudio should’ve become world champion in WWE after years of proving himself in both the mid-card and tag team division. Although he never won the world title there, Claudio is grateful for what he accomplished during his tenure.
In an interview with “Busted Open Radio,” Castagnoli reflected on his WWE career and admitted that it was always an “uphill battle.” He also said his remaining true to himself allowed him to connect with fans.
“I always feel you have to carry yourself with a certain grace, especially because of what people may expect a professional wrestler to be or to act or to look like. Even if my WWE career was again, an uphill battle … it was a great uphill battle, because to me, even if I never won or will win that big title … I stay true to myself, and I feel that gives me a bigger bond with the wrestling fans.”
While he never won the world title, Claudio did achieve something special at “the grandest stage of them all.” WrestleMania 30 saw him become the first-ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner. The honor is something that the ROH World Champion still holds onto.
“Yes, it would have been awesome and I think I would have made a great champion. But if I look back, I had some amazing moments that you couldn’t fabricate … I won the first-ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal that nobody will ever be able to take away from me, so if it was an uphill battle, I’m very thankful for it, and I’m very glad so many people came on that journey with me … They remember despite me never being a champion, and I think that’s a big accomplishment, as well.”
Claudio Castagnoli quietly departed from WWE on February 24th. He made his AEW debut at AEW X NJPW: Forbidden Door, replacing Bryan Danielson in the match against Zack Sabre Jr.
H/t – Wrestling Inc.