ROH: World Champion Claudio Castagnoli has something to say


Claudio Castagnoli is in the midst of his second reign as ROH World Champion. Last July, he won the title for the first time. It was the first time in his 20+ year career that he ever on a world championship. He lost it to “The Ocho” Chris Jericho before winning it again from him at Final Battle 2022.

Castagnoli hasn’t been on ROH much the last few months. When ROH had their final Orlando tapings, Castagnoli was wrestling for NJPW. This took him off TV for four weeks. He was scheduled to wrestle Mark Briscoe at Death Before Dishonor, but Briscoe needed surgery. After competing at AEW Blood & Guts alongside PAC, PAC abandoned his team. This led to a title match two days later on the pay-per-view.

The champion hasn’t been on ROH since successfully defending his title at Death Before Dishonor. On episode 25, Castagnoli addressed the question of whether or not he even cares about ROH or his title. He declared that he does care and just because we don’t see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t watching or scouting. He takes being ROH champion seriously.

After getting an opportunity to face Jericho again, he wasn’t naive. He realized that he said a simple job. “Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do.” He had to learn to let go of what he loved. Claudio asked, “Now, what is it that you love? What is it that you worked your whole life for? What is it that you left everything for? Imagine having to let that go. Having to let that die to take the next step. I had to realize that for all the passion and love that I had for pro wrestling, it was nothing but a burden. My job is to be the Ring of Honor world champion to keep people like Eddie Kingston, like Mark Briscoe, and like PAC, like so many of you on the roster away from this because there’s not many of you that can do what I do.”

Castagnoli laments that he knows what he has to do to remain champion and that is terrifying to him. He wrestled friends and enemies, but there is only competition when he’s in the ring. “You may think it’s sad, but it’s a relief for me. I have no personal attachment. This is just a job. Not just any job, my job and I am really, really, really good at my job.”

Whomever challenges Castagnoli must be prepared to face a laser-focused champion. He is prepared to do whatever is necessary to retain his title and it may take him into a dark place to make it happen. Who is prepared to follow Castagnoli to that place in order to defeat him?

Next. Shane Taylor wins ROH TV title tournament. dark