Top WWE Star Pays Homage To Claudio Castagnoli At Live Event

Xavier Woods and Claudio Castagnoli share quite the history. Besides wrestling each other on countless occasions, especially during The Bar's storied rivalry with The New Day, they were once members of an online gaming group called "Da Party" along with Adam Cole and Tyler Breeze.

As such, Woods paying homage to Castagnoli shouldn't come as a surprise.

At the "Sunday Stunner" live event held in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Woods applied the signature Claudio headlock during The New Day's match against The Usos. After the show, Woods acknowledged he was making a reference to his good friend.

According to ProFightDB, Woods and Castagnoli were in a WWE ring together a whopping 87 times, dating back to their time in FCW in 2011. This includes their battles a few years ago when Castagnoli & Shinsuke Nakamura held the SmackDown Tag Team Titles briefly, until losing them to Woods & Kofi Kingston on the October 9, 2020 "SmackDown" episode.

The last time Woods and Castagnoli shared the ring was during a dark 14-Man Tag Team Lumberjack Match after the November 22, 2021 episode of "WWE Raw" at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. On that night, Woods, the former Cesaro, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton, Ricochet & Riddle defeated Theory, Happy Corbin, The Usos, Kevin Owens, Madcap Moss & Sheamus to send the crowd home happy.

While The New Day is expected to wrestle The Viking Raiders at the upcoming SummerSlam premium live event, Castagnoli has his eyes set on becoming the ROH World Champion later this month. As announced earlier, Castagnoli will challenge Jonathan Gresham for the title at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on Saturday, July 23.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Castagnoli spoke on the significance of winning a World Title for the first time in his career.

"This is my pursuit—the main event and the world heavyweight championship," Claudio Castagnoli said. "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."