Claudio Castagnoli Comments On Tony Khan's Hugs At AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door

Hugs are shared between humans to express affection, but two embraces took place last month during the AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door post-show media scrum that caught a lot of attention. AEW President and CEO, Tony Khan, tightly clutched both Claudio Castagnoli and Kazuchika Okada following their appearances in front of the media, and now, the Blackpool Combat Club's latest recruit has spoken about the viral image of his particular cuddle with the boss.

"It's so strange," Castagnoli told the "Ten Count Wrestling Podcast" by NBC Sports Boston. "... It was like, a quick hug ... You know when you see your friend, and you give like, a high-five, and then a pat on the back kind of hug? ... It was screen captured and then I guess people ran with it. Hey, it's just two bros hugging, you know?"

Castagnoli made his AEW debut at the first-ever Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26, co-presented by All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling. The Swiss-born wrestler replaced an injured Bryan Danielson and picked up the victory against Zack Sabre Jr. while simultaneously aligning with the Blackpool Combat Club. Three days later, on AEW "Dynamite," Castagnoli joined his fellow teammates, interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta, along with Eddie Kingston and Santana & Ortiz, in defeating The Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, & Sammy Guevara) in the second Blood and Guts match in AEW history.

Before joining AEW, Castagnoli worked for WWE between 2011 and 2022 and found major success as a tag team wrestler – similar to his run with Ring of Honor between 2005 and 2011 where his only major championship success came as reigning ROH World Tag Team Champions with Chris Hero as The Kings of Wrestling. Under the ring name of Cesaro, Castagnoli won the "Raw" Tag Team Championship four times (once with Tyson Kidd and three times with Sheamus as The Bar) and captured the "SmackDown" Tag Team Championship on two occasions (once again with Sheamus as The Bar and once with Shinsuke Nakamura). Castagnoli had a single reign with the WWE United States Championship and also won the André the Giant Memorial Trophy as a solo competitor at WrestleMania 30.

Castagnoli is set to return to Ring of Honor to challenge Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Championship at Death Before Dishonor this Saturday, July 23. Ring of Honor is currently owned by the man Castagnoli received a hug from at the Forbidden Door post-show media scrum, Tony Khan. AEW's head honcho announced that he had purchased the promotion during an episode of AEW "Dynamite" on March 2.

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