Claudio Castagnoli Explains Why He Left WWE

Claudio Castagnoli

Claudio Castagnoli has commented that it was a tough decision to leave WWE, but there were a number of factors which led to him making the move to AEW.

Following a glittering independent career Claudio Castagnoli, under the ring name Cesaro, finally joined WWE in 2011. After earning plenty of accolades with the company including United States and Tag Team gold, he allowed his contract to expire in February 2022 and quickly moved on to a new challenge with All Elite Wrestling.

In a discussion with Dallas Morning News, Claudio Castagnoli has admitted that he felt he was getting in to a rut in WWE whilst there was the opportunity to wrestle lots of new opponents in AEW, which helped influence his decision to make the switch.

I was just kind of at a crossroads, I would say. I was looking for a new challenge. I wanted to do something with my career that I wasn’t going to just be complacent. And I always said that I always need the challenge, I want to be able to move up, I want to be able to get better.

I felt like I got into a rut towards the end of the last year I was there maybe. And I just felt it was time for me to move on, and to look for some new challenges. And when I looked at who I would want to step in the ring with, there was a lot of people in AEW that I have not stepped in the ring with.

There would have been a lot for me still to accomplish in WWE, as well. So it was a tough decision, but I made the decision that I wanted to go to AEW because I felt that there was a lot of young talent, a lot of talent that I haven’t had the chance to be in the ring with for an extended amount of time. So that’s how I wanted to end up, and that’s what it ended up being. And I’m very happy about it.

Claudio Castagnoli made his official AEW debut in June 2022 at Forbidden Door, the crossover event with NJPW, when he was the mystery replacement for the injured Bryan Danielson for his scheduled match against Zack Sabre Jr.