Claudio Castagnoli shocked the wrestling world when he made his debut for All Elite Wrestling at the co-promoted event AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, defeating New Japan star Zack Sabre Jr. Taking the place of his injured friend Bryan Danielson, Castagnoli also became an official member of the Blackpool Combat Club, featuring former WWE stars William Regal, Jon Moxley, and Danielson, with whom Castagnoli has a checkered past.
Newly crowned interim AEW World Champion Moxley and Castagnoli have faced off on numerous occasions during their time in WWE, most infamously at No Mercy 2017, when Castagnoli lost two of his teeth during a tag team championship match. After winning his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi, Moxley praised the former WWE superstar, calling him “one of the best professional wrestlers in the world.”
The champ also spoke about the BCC and detailed Castagnoli’s status with the group during the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door post-show media scrum. While doing so, Moxley also subtly mentioned he and Castagnoli’s former employer, WWE.
“It’s the best thing, man. That’s another thing, The Blackpool Combat Club came together at a perfect time and it’s just so good for me, it just fits so perfectly,” Moxley said. “For instance, Claudio, I mean, it wasn’t even a question. It’s a real thing, it’s not an act we’re putting on. He’s a real student of Regal and he’s a real training partner of mine, a former training partner for years. We were in developmental together and we traveled together a lot.
“I said something once about ‘hey, we have to bleed together if you’re gonna be on my team,’ I wrestled Claudio a million times. I have busted him open on multiple occasions. You can go back and watch that sh*t on Peacock, I knocked his f***ing teeth right down his throat and he wore adult braces for two years. So we’ve been there, we’ve been down the road together. He’s legitimately a part of the group.”
As far as what’s next for the new interim champion, he and his BCC members along with Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz will be involved in “Blood and Guts” against the Jericho Appreciation Society on this Wednesday’s Dynamite from Detroit, Michigan at Little Caesars Arena.
“I just want to keep getting better. I feel like right now is also a jumping-off point, this feels like the baseline I’ve been trying to get to, what I’ve been picturing in my mind for three years and it’s all starting to become a reality,” Moxley said, regarding what’s next for him and the Blackpool Combat Club. “So here’s the baseline starting off point, imagine how good we could get. I’m surrounded by guys. I love to train, I love to learn, I love to get better, try stuff out, I love helping other guys.”
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