Claudio Castagnoli officially became All Elite after his debut on AEW X NJPW: Forbidden Door pay-per-view on Sunday as Brian Danielson’s opponent for Zack Saber Jr. In his debut Castagnoli became a new member of Blackpool Combat. Club and will compete this Wednesday as part of William Regal’s faction in Blood & Guts.
Prior to his AEW debut in Forbidden Door, Castagnoli was a member of the WWE roster for 11 years under the pseudonym Cesaro. He left the company at the end of February after the expiration of the contract. Since then, many have been wondering when Castagnoli will be in the ring next and where he will appear. Castagnoli has also worked with other wrestling promotions Ring of Honor, PWG and Chikara throughout his career.
Castagnoli made his AEW debut on Forbidden Door as a mysterious rival to Zack Saber Jr. Castagnoli was selected to replace the injured Brian Danielson, whom Saber Jr. initially called up for the match. Danielson promised that Saber Jr.’s mysterious opponent in the Forbidden Door was a technical specialist in the ring, and Castagnoli’s reputation as one of the best professional wrestlers in the world confirmed the correctness of Danielson’s statement. Both Castagnoli and Saber Jr. demonstrated their great skills on Sunday, but Castagnoli won.
Having made his debut in Forbidden Door, Castagnoli also became a new member of the Blackpool Fighting Club, which already includes Danielson, Wheeler Utah and the current interim AEW world champion John Moxley. Castagnoli will make his Dynamite debut on Wednesday, where he will compete alongside Utah, Moxley, Santana, Ortiz and Eddie Kingston in Blood & Guts. They will compete with the Jericho Appreciation Society, which includes Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager. This will be the second Blood & Guts match for Jericho, Hager, Guevara, Santana and Ortiz at AEW, where they previously teamed up after losing to The Pinnacle.
Castagnoli is a former Ring of Honor world tag team champion, and given the purchase of the company by AEW President Tony Khan, Castagnoli may be looking for more ROH gold. Castagnoli is also a former WWE tag team champion, WWE USA Champion and winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale. Even after winning several WWE championships, the company’s attitude towards Castagnoli was sharply criticized, since many believed that he had the makings of a main character and a future world champion. By joining the Blackpool Fighting Club, Castagnoli hopes to change that.
The Jericho Appreciation Society will gain an advantage over Blood & Guts after Jericho, Guevara and Minoru Suzuki defeat Kingston, Utah and Shota Umino at the Forbidden Door. At the end of the pay-per-view, Jericho and Garcia attacked Moxley, which led to a fight between the two Blood & Guts teams, where Castagnoli appeared for the second time that night. Despite the advantage of the Jericho Appreciation Society heading to Dynamite, the Blackpool Fighting Club will be at home in such a brutal match as Blood & Guts, and Castagnoli will have several accounts of his own, including with his teammate Eddie Kingston.
AEW Dynamite will be broadcast from Detroit, Michigan, on June 29, 2022 at 20:00 Moscow time. Eastern time.