Chris Hero Reflects On Long History With AEW Star Claudio Castagnoli

Earlier this year, Chris Hero was officially brought aboard as a producer for All Elite Wrestling. In addition to his weekly backstage duties, Hero's arrival to AEW also granted him the opportunity to reunite with his former tag team partner, Claudio Castagnoli. Together, the duo served as members of the Kings of Wrestling stable, where they branched out to create their own tag team under the same name. During a recent episode of "AEW Unrestricted," Hero opened up about his long history with Castagnoli.

"I met Claudio Castagnoli in January of 2002. I probably would have met him the night prior at a show in Germany but it was a show in Switzerland for the Swiss Wrestling Federation and he teamed with his partner Ares. They were Swiss Money Holding. They were these Swiss Bankers and then I got to spend some time with Claudio and his partner," Hero said.

Around the time of their initial encounter, Hero noted that the European wrestling scene was void of several veteran presences, which compelled him to step up and hold training seminars across the continent himself. There, Hero supplied his knowledge to many up-and-coming performers, one of which was Castagnoli, whom Hero labeled as "one of the most dedicated" attendees he worked with. After Hero's seminar wrapped up, the two kept in touch through AOL's instant messaging service.

Taking Their Friendship To The Road

In 2004, Castagnoli won the Green Card Lottery, which allowed him to make the official move to the United States later that September. Upon Castagnoli's transition to the United States, Hero noted that they two began traveling together on the road for wrestling shows, eventually forming their own tag team.

"We parlayed a thing that started in Chikara, and then we brought it to CZW. We brought it, eventually, to Ring of Honor. We were the Kings of Wrestling. From there, we had a series of matches with Roderick Strong and Austin Aries. We won the [ROH] tag belts. We wrestled the Briscoe [Brothers]. We just had a lot of fun matches," Hero said.

After a successful run on the independent scene and in Ring of Honor, Castagnoli and Hero inked contracts with WWE in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Hero later exited WWE in 2013, before returning for another three-year run beginning in late 2016. Now, two former tag team partners reside under the banner of AEW. 

If you use quotes in this article, please credit "AEW Unrestricted" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.