Claudio Castagnoli

Claudio Castagnoli on “Absolute Spectacle” of Stadium Stampede at AEW All In

Claudio Castagnoli competes alongside the Blackpool Combat Club as well as Santana and Ortiz as they collide with Penta El Zero M, Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, and Eddie Kingston in the return of Stadium Stampede at AEW All In on August 27th.

Castagnoli appeared on Bowks Talking Bouts to discuss the fingerprints of ROH on this card in the context of the reigning world champion’s timeline in that company, getting to uniquely express himself in a gimmick match like this in front of a historic crowd, and so much more. Excerpts from the chat are below.

Claudio Castagnoli

You’ve captured gold in the UK before (IPW UK tag team titles) and have performed there a myriad of times over the years. How does it feel to be returning to the United Kingdom as you prepare to perform on a monumental, historic event like AEW All In?

“I’m very excited. I always felt that whenever I went to Europe, it was like a home game for me. Being part of the biggest wrestling event ever, because it just surpassed the most ticket sales in history, being in Europe that’s just amazing. I always loved the European fans, the English fans. The way they react, the way they chant, the way they enjoy wrestling. They usually don’t get that many pay-per-views whatever you want to call them nowadays. The fact that they’re getting this one, it’s going to be special.”

AEW All In

Stadium Stampede is coming back at AEW All In for the first time since Double or Nothing 2021. As much as you’re a consummate technical wrestler it seems like you really thrive in frameworks like this too.

I remember the Cage of Death back in the day with CZW versus ROH. But even more recently with Blood and Guts. So how does it feel to spread your wings creatively in matches of this persuasion?

“Well, you just mentioned Cage of Death back in the day. So far in AEW, I’ve been part of two Blood and Guts, one Anarchy in the Arena, it’s gonna be a Stadium Stampede. Multiple other kinds of matches. So, it’s fun to show a different side. It’s challenging and it’s interesting to have different kinds of matches.”
Claudio Castagnoli continued, “To me, I always try to be the best all-around that I can be. That helps me get better at that. So, I relish the opportunity. I think especially this one, I mean it’s fun for the crowd. It’s something special, it’s an absolute spectacle to me like Anarchy in the Arena. It’s insane. So, I’m very excited.”


You were talking about the long journey and how certain moments within that journey were kind of arduous and whatnot. I was checking out a previous interview of yours from May 2009 and you were shouting out the Takeshi Morishima match you had in Boston for the ROH title Circa 2007.
You regarded it as a big match, and I mean nowadays you’re the champion of Ring of Honor. So just in saying all that, can you speak to the journey and just some of the hurdles you’ve been able to leap over to get to where you’re at now with AEW All In and going forward concurrently in ROH and All Elite Wrestling?

“That match with (Takeshi) Morishima still means a whole lot to me. That was one of my favorite matches, so. It’s so humbling to look back at all the matches that I’ve had. I was able to, how do I say this? Make all the matches that are special to me and to the fans that watched. There are many matches that I may have forgotten on a given day and then for example you bring it up, the match with Morishima. That match meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to other people.”

Claudio Castagnoli and the Blackpool Combat Club

“I actually just the other day went through all my jerseys, and I found the Boston Red Sox jersey with the name Castagnoli on it that I got from the fans, from the Ring of Honor fans in Boston after my match with Morishima. It’s kind of like Boston has always been really good for me whenever I performed there with whatever promotion. I attribute that to the grassroots following that I carved out for myself in that match with Morishima.”
Claudio Castagnoli continued, “So there’s been a lot of matches like that where people maybe not to say know about it. But certain people do from like live events or whatever it was. To me, it’s the journey that’s so important. That you perform every single day. Every single time you have the opportunity then you try to make something special people will remember because that’s how you get better. That’s what you’re doing.”

All Elite Wrestling

I thought it was cool that you appeared in the movie The Wrestler. I mean I’ve seen The Wrestler quite a few times but I guess for some reason there’s something about that scene where it doesn’t register in my brain that that’s Claudio Castagnoli.
But seeing a still photo from that locker room scene in the film, I’m like oh that is him. Can you give me a bit of the backstory on how that all came about?

“Yeah, that was surreal there. That was in the Ring of Honor taping that they filmed. They filmed like 15 minutes of footage of just Mickey Rourke changing in the locker room and I was right there. So, I’m very happy that one second made it into the movie and that I’m even credited. So, I think that’s incredible. Yeah, another thing that’s really cool that I can look back to and just smile.”

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