What Caused Cesaro to Leave WWE

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Photo Credit: WWE

Claudio Castagnoli is on quite a run. Since his debut for All Elite Wrestling in June, the wrestling technician has joined the Blackpool Combat Club, become Ring of Honor World Champion, and had a number of memorable matches against the likes of Zack Sabre Jr., Jake Hager, and Konosuke Takeshita.

During a live interview at Starrcast on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Castagnoli spoke about his departure from WWE earlier this year. “I felt for a while that I needed a change, and then leading up to it there were just a bunch of signs, a bunch of stuff that different people said … that just kind of helped me make up my mind,” Castagnoli said. “One of the things … was Johnny Gargano’s last promo in ‘NXT’ where he said to ‘just always bet on yourself.’ That was just like maybe the last straw … He was 100% right.”

Castagnoli elaborated by saying he didn’t want to make a big deal out of leaving WWE for a number of reasons, including preserving the element of surprise when he showed up in another company.

“When Cody left for the first time, he made that list of who he wanted to wrestle, and then after that everybody made that list,” Castagnoli said. “I just want to do it different. I’m kind of against the grain a lot. … I felt it was better that way because I figured if I want to keep wrestling and I pop up somewhere it’s a bigger surprise, and I feel wrestling is all about moments.”

Castagnoli made his surprise debut for AEW in at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view, serving as a last-minute replacement for the injured Bryan Danielson. The debut took place four months after Castagnoli’s final match for WWE, against Happy Corbin.

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