**The following article contains spoilers for Friday’s (July 15) edition of AEW Rampage**
Details have emerged on the original plans for Claudio Castagnoli’s AEW debut.
Castagnoli made his first appearance for the promotion at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, unveiled as the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club, and Bryan Danielson’s replacement for a match against Zack Sabre Jr.
Both Tony Khan and Castagnoli have confirmed that there were initially other plans for the star’s AEW debut.
Per Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Castagnoli was to debut for Tony Khan’s promotions with a ROH World Title feud against Jonathan Gresham.
Noting that this bout will be the ROH Death Before Dishonor main event, Meltzer said:
“Jonathan Gresham vs. Claudio Castagnoli will headline the show for the ROH title. When Khan signed Castagnoli, it was actually to debut in this spot, but he ended up replacing the injured Bryan Danielson and is now an AEW regular as part of the Blackpool Combat Club.”
By the sounds of it, Castagnoli’s debut would’ve been similar to Samoa Joe’s, with Joe making his ROH return at Supercard of Honor in April, before appearing on the following week’s episode of AEW Dynamite.
Many ROH storylines have been furthered on AEW TV in recent weeks, so Castagnoli may have made his official AEW debut ahead of Death Before Dishonor.
Castagnoli vs Gresham’s was set up during this week’s AEW Rampage taping, with the angle set to air on Friday’s show. More at this link.
The former ‘Cesaro’ is currently undefeated in AEW, most recently defeating Jake Hager on Wednesday’s edition of Dynamite: Fyter Fest. Stay up to date with AEW win/loss records for 2022 using our tracker right here.
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