AEW President Tony Khan has confirmed when the Ring Of Honor return event will take place, and also hinted that one of his possible surprises for the event has already been revealed.
The rumour mill went in to a frenzy when Bryan Danielson announced that he wouldn’t be able to compete in his scheduled match against Zack Sabre Jr at Forbidden Door. He also confirmed that the man who was going to step in to his shoes would be a worthwhile replacement.
The Blackpool Combat Club’s latest member was confirmed when Claudio Castagnoli – formerly known in WWE as Cesaro – made his way to the ring for the match, to a huge reception from the Chicago audience.
Speaking at the post-show media scrum, Tony Khan revealed that he hadn’t decided whether Castagnoli would make his debut before Ring Of Honor’s return event on 23rd July, however the injury to Danielson helped make his mind up.
I asked him about coming in before I knew for sure that Bryan was out, though I had a pretty good idea that Punk would be out. I could tell there would be a lot of changes. We already had a lot of injured people, I had no idea we would have even more on the run-up to the show.”
It was the day after the Forum, so June 2nd, I called and had interest, there was definitely mutual interest. At that point, I felt there was a good chance. I wasn’t sure if it would be here or another thing or Death Before Dishonor, July 23, on pay-per-view in Lowell, Massachusetts. Ring of Honor’s return event.
I figured there was a chance that if Bryan made it back, there was a good chance that he would have started at Death Before Dishonor and it would have been a great moment there.
Tony Khan went on to discuss how Danielson himself had suggested Claudio Castagnoli as a replacement, leading to being the first person to know the former United States Champion had put pen to paper.
As long as Bryan is okay, that’s the most important thing. It was a great moment to have at Forbidden Door. I talked to Bryan on the phone last weekend and he told me that he wasn’t feeling 100%. As soon as he said that, we’re eight days from the pay-per-view, ‘if you’re not feeling 100%, don’t even think about wrestling on the pay-per-view or Blood & Guts because he had been feeling well.
I talked to him in St. Louis and he was feeling great and he was so optimistic and was that fired up Bryan Danielson. He wanted to go. I didn’t want to take another chance as soon as he said (he wasn’t feeling 100%). He mentioned Claudio and I said, ‘that’s funny, I have Claudio under contract.’ I hadn’t told anybody. It worked out for all of us.
With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.