Claudio Castagnoli has opened up more about the AEW departure of William Regal after they worked together in the Blackpool Combat Club.
During his AEW career that started this past March, William Regal became the leader of a group called the Blackpool Combat Club. They use that name because Regal is from Blackpool, England.
While Regal stopped wrestling about a decade ago, he served as a mentor and coach to top AEW stars like former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, and former ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli. The group also added ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta, who is the youngest member of the group at 26 years old.
Now that Regal is confirmed as going back to WWE, which is where he worked for over 20 years, wrestlers like Claudio Castagnoli are thinking about the time they spent with him.
Earlier this week while promoting ROH Final Battle, Claudio said this about Regal:
“I never stop learning from him. He’s the reason I got into WWE in the first place back in 2011, and he was one of the reasons why I really, you know, felt at home when I got to AEW because he was there. I was also the man who ended his career. So, I feel like there’s that connection there. There’s that respect.”
A taped message from Regal aired on the December 7th edition of Dynamite where Regal said that he needed to show them they didn’t need him. Regal said that the reason he did what he did (helping MJF beat Jon Moxley for the AEW World Title) was to teach them the final thing he could ever teach them – always stay one step ahead and make sure you keep your eyes in the back of their head.
During an appearance on Busted Open Radio on December 9th, one day ahead of his ROH World Championship match at Final Battle, Claudio Castagnoli spoke about that special bond he has with Regal while also mentioning the message on Dynamite:
“I will never say goodbye to William Regal because I know I can always see him or talk to him at any point. His Lordship, as we call him in the Blackpool Combat Club, he’s one of the smartest men in professional wrestling and that’s why he left the way he did, to give us that last lesson, that extra edge, that little bit more. It’s what you need sometimes to succeed and I really appreciate that because I was kind of conflicted going into the match after Full Gear. ‘Why can’t I beat Chris Jericho when the title is on the line?'”
“After the message on Wednesday, my confidence went up again. That’s what a mentor like William Regal does. He takes one for the team, literally, to make his team better. To me, he’s always around. I ended the man’s career, that puts you on a different respect level and a different level all together with him. The bond we have, he’s BCC for life and so am I.”
At Full Gear, Claudio Castagnoli will look to regain the ROH World Title that he lost to Chris Jericho three months ago. If Claudio loses, he’ll be forced to join the Jericho Appreciation Society group.