Tony Khan gives backstage insight into Claudio Castignoli’s AEW debut


Tony Khan had Claudio Castagnoli under contract before any wrestler in AEW knew that Swiss Superman would turn his way into the company.

Castagnoli stunned the Chicago crowd at the AEW Forbidden Door on Sunday with a win against the NJPW star as Brian Danielson’s hand-picked opponent for Jack Saber Jr. During the post-show media scandal, AEW president Khan was asked by Denis Salcedo about how Castagnoli became the “all elite”.

“It was actually the day after [Los Angeles KIA] Forum, then it would have been June 2, I called,” Khan said. “I had interests, of course there were mutual interests, but at the time, I thought there was a good chance.”

Khan had two plans for the former Cesaro as to how he was going to make his debut, but an injury to Brian Danielson helped him put an extra knock on the forbidden door. This also prompted Khan to announce a bigger event next month.

“I wasn’t sure if he would be here or Death Before Dishonor,” he revealed, using the question as an opportunity to announce the next Ring of Honor event. “If Brian made it back, [there was] There’s a good chance they might have started in Death Before Dishonor, and it must have been a good moment there, but I think for the crowd here, it’s something special.

Khan recalled a phone conversation she had with Danielson while in St. Louis for the “AEW Dynamite” and “AEW Rampage” tapings. American Dragon initially said he was feeling great, but was later stifled, saying he wasn’t feeling 100%.

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“As soon as he said that, I didn’t want to take another chance, so he mentioned Claudio,” Khan said. “I said, ‘That’s weird because I have Claudio under contract! I didn’t tell anyone. You’re the first person I mentioned, so I think it’s going to work out really well for all of us’ And you’ll be fine and he’s going to do great.'”

Castanogli’s wrestling week isn’t over, as he prepares to take part in a Blood & Guts match against the Jericho Appreciation Society. Castanogli was revealed to be a member of William Regal’s Blackpool Combat Club and helped JAS out of the ring after his new teammate, Jon Moxley, won the AEW Interim World Heavyweight Championship. He also had a brief confrontation with longtime nemesis Eddie Kingston.

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