The WWE has lost a lot of talent in the past couple of years, both through releases and through athletes opting out, though very few exits were as surprising to fans as longtime superstar Cesaro. The veteran was widely considered one of the company's greatest in-ring talents throughout his run, though he never had the opportunity to elevate to the level of other main-event superstars. Fans hoped that his exit from the WWE meant he’d get a chance to prove himself a top draw for another wrestling organization, with the assumption being that he’d end up over at AEW. Well, Cesaro finally made his debut for the company's latest pay-per-view event, and fans and fellow wrestlers absolutely loved it.
Ahead of the AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door PPV, rumors made it sound like Cesaro might be among the night's more surprising entrants, but that didn’t diminish the crowd's massive wall of noise and hype when he emerged from backstage. As AEW’s official video from the event showed, the wrestler was set to face Zack Sabre Jr., but first had to square off against a lengthy thunderous roar. Cesaro basked in the adoration of the audience as the commentators revealed his AEW run will be under his given name, Claudio Castagnoli. Check it out!
#ZSJ's opponent is none other than Claudio Castagnoli @ClaudioCSRO, the newest member of the #BlackpoolCombatClub, here at #ForbiddenDoor! Order the PPV right now! #AEWxNJPW pic.twitter.com/uZdC9x5eFGJune 27, 2022
The online wrestling community was just as thrilled as everyone in attendance at the event, especially with the reveal Claudio Castagnoli will be in a stable alongside other prominent former WWE superstars. As the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club, Castagnoli is now partnered up alongside Bryan Danielson (formerly Daniel Bryan), Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose), and legendary wrestling figurehead William Regal. Suffice to say, that’s a lot of wrestling talent within one faction, and fans can’t wait to see what's next, as evidenced by Twitter reactions aplenty.
Claudio (Cesaro) is here and he's the newest member of BCC!!HOLY FKNG SH*T!!! 🤯🤯#ForbiddenDoor #AEWxNJPW pic.twitter.com/cxplU2uGcxJune 27, 2022
Wrestling fans weren’t the only ones thrilled to see Claudio Castagnoli making his debut in the AEW, as many within the wrestling community itself hopped on social media to shared their reactions. New Day’s Xavier Woods, who worked a lot with Cesaro both in WWE and on his gaming channel UpUpDownDown, sent out the following tweet not long after the entrance:
LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOJune 27, 2022
Xavier Woods’ tweet was a bit less specific than those of other fans and WWE superstars, perhaps to avoid any potential backlash caused by openly admitting on their social media channels that they’re watching an AEW event. Considering how things are going behind the scenes at WWE, it's probably always better to play things safe these days.
One person who wasn’t too subtle about it, however, was WWE’s Becky Lynch, who posted a screenshot of Cesaro's big moment on her Twitter account:
pic.twitter.com/uxORRbuRHBJune 27, 2022
Even Naomi, who hasn’t been involved in the WWE since she relinquished the SmackDown tag-team titles and walked out with Sasha Banks, had to show some love for Claudio Castagnoli. Naomi kept it short and sweet but made it clear she’s happy to see him in AEW:
.@ClaudioCSRO that’s the tweet 😍June 27, 2022
Claudio Castagnoli had a solid run in the WWE as Cesaro, but it feels like he'll have more chances to do bigger and better thinsg within the AEW. Hopefully, the company rides that white-hot momentum he sparked with his debut, giving him a chance to prove to the world he has what it takes to perform on wrestling’s grandest stages. With the stable he’s currently a part of, it hard to deny the feeling that great things are on the way.
AEW: Dynamite airs on TBS on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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