Claudio Castagnoli Discusses His Decision To Sign With AEW Over WWE

In his first few weeks in AEW, Claudio Castagnoli has defeated Zack Sabre Jr. at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, won Blood and Guts for the Blackpool Combat Club, defeated Jake Hager in singles action, and is now in line for an ROH World Title shot against Jonathan Gresham at ROH Death Before Dishonor. One could say he is off to a good start in his first run outside of WWE since 2011.

While that hot start is a big reason Castagnoli jumped from WWE to AEW, there's more to it than just that, as he explained to the "Ten Count Wrestling Podcast" on NBC Sports Boston on Monday.

"I've been following AEW for a while," Castagnoli said. "And when it came time for me to just kind of take a step back and look, I felt that I was a better fit at AEW, and there was a lot more for me to do with AEW when it comes to challenges, when it came to people I want to work with. There are just so many people there that I haven't wrestled either at all or in a very, very long time. So, I was kind of like, 'That's what I want to do. That's what I'll have fun doing.'"

Another factor that came into play for Castagnoli when making his decision was the idea that it was time to make a bit of a change in his career.

"I always kind of felt that whenever it was time to move, I've moved on," Castagnoli said. "It was the same before when I was in Ring of Honor. I felt like, 'Now, it's time to take the step towards WWE.' That's what I did, and now, I was like, 'Okay, now I feel like it's time to make the next step,' and I did, and I'm very happy I did."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ten Count Wrestling Podcast and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription