Claudio Castagnoli Reflects On His NJPW Debut – AEW Star and current reigning ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli wrestled at NJPW Dominion, where he teamed with his Blackpool Combat Club brothers (Jon Moxley & Shota Umino) to take on Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hiroshi Tanahashi for the NEVER Six-Man Tag Team titles. Unfortunately, Claudio’s first NJPW matchup would be a loss.
However, that didn’t stop the Swiss-Superman from enjoying his experience in NJPW. He recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about the match and getting to work with three of Japan’s top wrestlers.
I was very focused, and because of that, I was very much in the moment. 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.
At one point in the match Claudio delivered his signature swing to Okada, a man he’s known for quite a while and a swing he believes he’ll never forget.
Swinging Okada, somebody I’ve known for a long time, in Japan, in my first match in NJPW, that is definitely a top swing. Mox said it yesterday—we have our visas and we’ll be back.
Claudio was massively complimentary of his opponents, adding that they work incredibly well as a unit.
They work surprisingly well together as a unit. Individually, I was impressed most by Okada’s resilience, Tanahashi’s longevity and Ishii’s fighting spirit.
Claudio Castagnoli Reflects On His NJPW Debut