Claudio Castagnoli recently won his first world title, something he never achieved in WWE, but that wasn’t what was most important to him.
“I always feel you have to carry yourself with a certain grace, especially because of what people may expect a professional wrestler to be or to act or to look like,” Castagnoli said during an appearance on “Busted Open Radio.” “Even if my WWE career was again, an uphill battle … it was a great uphill battle, because to me, even if I never won or will win that big title … I stay true to myself, and I feel that gives me a bigger bond with the wrestling fans.”
Castagnoli has plenty to be proud of during his decade-plus WWE tenure, as he became a seven-time tag team champion, a United States Champion, and participated in some of the greatest matches in the modern era of WWE. But those accolades were just the icing on the cake.
“If I would have won the title, right, that would have been the end of it kind of, you know what I mean?” Castagnoli said. “It would have been like, ‘Hey, he won the title, he’s good now, that’s it,’ and then you have to kind of find what’s next. Everybody’s always looking for that destination, but it is the journey, right? It is the middle of it that’s so awesome, that’s so important. That’s where you make all your friends, that’s where you make all your memories, and people forget that.”
“Yes, it would have been awesome and I think I would have made a great champion,” he continued. “But if I look back, I had some amazing moments that you couldn’t fabricate … I won the first-ever Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal that nobody will ever be able to take away from me, so if it was an uphill battle, I’m very thankful for it, and I’m very glad so many people came on that journey with me … They remember despite me never being a champion, and I think that’s a big accomplishment, as well.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the “Busted Open Radio” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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