Claudio Castagnoli is one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet, and anyone who’s seen him work knows that’s not an understatement. From his unmatched strength to his incredible bell-to-bell style, Castagnoli has created a 20+ year legacy that’s spanned several companies and countries.

But the only thing that’s never been on the former Cesaro’s incredible resume includes an elusive World Championship reign. Since joining All Elite Wrestling at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Castagnoli has made it clear he’s left WWE to put his legacy into his own hands and shared his goals in AEW with “Sports Illustrated”.

“This is my pursuit—the main event and the world heavyweight championship,” Castagnoli says. “I’ve seen that pursuit destroy people. Those sacrifices ate them up, always seeking one more run. I’ve never sacrificed my authenticity or integrity.

“My destiny is my journey. I want to take fans on that ride, and hopefully win the world title along the way.”

Jake Hager, who is currently feuding with Castagnoli, called him out for his lack of World Championships while with the WWE. The former Jack Swagger was a two-time world champion with the WWE, with one of his reigns coming during his time with ECW in 2009.

Unfortunately for the former Cesaro, he recently had his first main event push with the WWE in 2021, 10 years since signing with the compan. He would end up losing to Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania Backlash and never received another shot at the title. That led to Castagnoli being left off January’s Royal Rumble entirely, likely a major determining factor in his departure from WWE.

Since joining AEW, Castagnoli has made a major impact, winning the “Blood and Guts” match during the June 29th episode of “Dynamite”. Though he’s only appeared in a few matches since debuting, the former Cesaro is headed to the main event at ROH Death Before Dishonor to challenge Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Title. Perhaps he will finally be able to reach the top of a roster and represent the promotion as the ROH World Champion.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sports Illustrated with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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