With Claudio Castagnoli stunning the wrestling world with his AEW debut at Forbidden Door, there is said to be some shock in WWE that he became All Elite.
Castagnoli spent over a decade as part of WWE where he is best known as Cesaro. In that company, the Swiss star captured the United States Championship and became known as something of a tag team specialist, capturing different versions of tag team gold seven times with three different partners. Despite that success, Cesaro only ever had one match for either WWE or Universal Titles, this coming at WrestleMania Backlash in 2021 where he lost to Roman Reigns.
Claudio Castagnoli called time on his WWE career when his contract expired in February 2022 and had maintained a low profile ever since.
Speculation grew around his immediate future when Bryan Danielson announced he couldn’t compete at Forbidden Door or Blood & Guts but said he had a replacement ready for both shows. Claudio Castagnoli was that replacement and had one of the most successful weeks of his career as he defeated Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door before picking up the win for his team at Blood & Guts.
Many stars of the wrestling world reacted positively to the career move but a new report also outlines some shock within the company that Castagnoli went to AEW rather than re-signing with WWE.
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that a lot of talent in WWE were shocked based on the offer he had received from the company. The feeling with talent is said to be that AEW must have matched WWE’s offer to Castagnoli or surpassed it, with the feeling in WWE said to be that AEW was no longer doing that with contract offers.