Claudio Castagnoli has recently discussed his New Japan Pro-Wrestling debut.
Castagnoli, the reigning ROH World Champion, is currently with All Elite Wrestling, but the company’s working relationship with NJPW brought him to Japan for NJPW Dominion on 6/4. There, he teamed up with Blackpool Combat Club stablemate Jon Moxley and Shota Umino to challenge Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship.
Speaking with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Castanoli reflected on the match and stated that standing in an NJPW ring with Tanahashi was a moment to remember.
“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,” Castagnoli said.
Castaganoli also looked back on swinging Okada, one of NJPW’s leading stars, and called it a top swing. He referenced Jon Moxley’s promo, in which he noted that they would be back, and reiterated the message.
“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,” he said.
The ROH World Champion also noted that his journey over the past year has felt right; from joining AEW and the Blackpool Combat Club to coming to Japan, it has all felt natural, and he made it clear that he’s having fun. Castagnoli stated that the Blackpool Combat Club’s authenticity translates, and that’s what the faction is built on.
“Joining AEW just felt right, and being in the BCC just feels right. Yesterday, when I stepped in a NJPW ring, it just felt right. We in the BCC are having fun and that authenticity translates. You can’t fake passion, and I feel it’s the thing that the BCC is built on,” Castagnoli said.
Check out our coverage of NJPW Dominion.
Claudio’s stablemate Bryan Danielson also made a challenge to Kazuchika Okada.
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