Last week Bryan Danielson announced that he wouldn’t be competing at Forbidden Door, and the internet immediately started speculating on who his replacement could be. Claudio Castagnoli was one name that kept coming up in conversations on social media. On Sunday night the mystery replacement was indeed revealed to be Claudio and he faced off against Zack Sabre Jr. at the crossover event.
Fightful Select is reporting that it’s not known if Claudio put pen to paper prior to Forbidden Door, but the terms of his deal with All Elite Wrestling are set to be long-term. It’s also being reported that AEW had already created merchandise and promotional material for Claudio.
Ahead of his AEW debut Claudio had been training at Flatbacks in Orlando. It’s being said that he was seen throughout the night backstage at Forbidden Door.
Claudio making his first appearance for AEW at Forbidden Door was not the original plan for his debut with the company. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.