claudio castagnoli
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Claudio Castagnoli Reflects On NJPW Debut, Calls It A Moment To Remember

ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli shares his thoughts on his NJPW debut.

Castagnolii previously competed at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door in 2022, but NJPW Dominion marked his first time in an NJPW ring. There, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Castagnoli, Moxley, and Shota Umino to retain the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship.

In an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Castagnoli discussed his experience in the match and noted that he was in the moment. He called sharing the ring with Tanahashi a moment he’ll remember.

“I was very focused, and because of that, I was very much in the moment,” Castagnoli said. “I always want to be in the moment from the second I step out into the arena in order to be the best I can be. Standing in the ring with Tanahashi to start my first match in NJPW is definitely a moment to remember for me.”

Castagnoli clashed with Okada, a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion in the bout, and “The Swiss Cyborg” called swinging the NJPW star one of his top swings. As Moxley said in a post-match promo, Castagoli teased that they would return to Japan.

“Swinging Okada, somebody I’ve known for a long time, in Japan, in my first match in NJPW, that is definitely a top swing,” Castagnoli said. “Mox said it yesterday—we have our visas and we’ll be back.”

In the aftermath of the match, Castagnoli also praised Okada, Tanahashi, and Ishii as a unit. He also highlighted the strengths of all three individuals.

“They work surprisingly well together as a unit,” Castagnoli said. “Individually, I was impressed most by Okada’s resilience, Tanahashi’s longevity and Ishii’s fighting spirit.”

Time will tell when Castagnoli will return to Japan. For now, fans will have to wait and see whether he will compete at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2 on June 25.