Tony Khan Details Original Plans For Claudio Castagnoli Debut

New ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli arrived in AEW as the mystery opponent of Zack Sabre Jr. at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view. However, AEW/ROH owner Tony Khan had a drastically different plan in place for the former Cesaro.

Speaking at the Death Before Dishonor media scrums, Khan revealed Castagnoli was originally slated to debut at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view Saturday but was called in earlier to replace the injured Bryan Danielson for the AEW X NJPW crossover show.

"The original plan was for him to debut here [at Death Before Dishonor]," Khan confirmed. "It would have been a different build to the pay-per-view than what we did, and I think in a way, everything worked out perfectly. We saw tonight [Saturday] in the announcement that Bryan Danielson is back, he's going to return at Fight for the Fallen Wednesday against Daniel Garcia.

"Originally, my vision when we spoke was for Claudio to come back at Ring of Honor and debut as a mystery wrestler. I think there would have been a lot of anticipation for who it was going to be, but I also think that it would have been a great delivery, and I honestly think that if the fans had gotten drawn to the possibility of who it could be, wishing and hoping that it was going to be [Claudio], who I believe was the best free agent wrestler available, it [could have led to more anticpation]."

"I also knew when we spoke there was a possibility that he would come in as the replacement for Bryan at both Forbidden Door and the Blood & Guts match. So, everything worked out great."

When asked why he took the call to start Death Before Dishonor with the Castagnoli vs. Jonathan Gresham ROH World Title Match, Khan revealed the idea was to have "a double main event" with FTR vs. The Briscoes closing out the show.

"I thought it would be setting a tone, creating a great moment, a great opportunity for a classic match," Khan responded. "And of course, with 2/3 falls, it made sense to go with [FTR vs. Briscoes in the main event]. We at least considered putting that up as a double main event. As Ian [Riccaboni] explained on commentary, it was a coin flip, and we decided to go with 2/3 falls. Normally, the world title match is at least in consideration, as it was here, but it was a double main event to open and close the show. Both were great main event matches."

You can watch the entire Death Before Dishonor media scrum below.