The last time Claudio Castagnoli was asked about Vince McMahon and why he and WWE parted ways, or rather why Castagnoli chose to leave WWE, he took the high road and was a gentleman.
Many knew what Vince McMahon thought of him: Specifically he felt that Castagnoli, or rather Cesaro, as he was known in WWE, lacked a certain sort of charisma.
Many over the years came to Castagnoli’s defense and for great reason. Claudio Castagnoli is and always was a genius pro wrestler, an epic athlete, strong and spoiler alert, but boy was he charismatic, to right off the bat disagree with McMahon.
He had that European flair that definitely goes a long way and he had a massive portion of the audience behind him, and that was whether he was a heel or face.
Even Mick Foley begged McMahon to give Castagnoli a run at the top, but it never happened. Foley actually begged—got on his knees and addressed McMahon on The Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin, but as stated, to no avail.
According to cultaholic.com, McMahon made the comments about Claudio lacking charisma specifically back in 2014, although he apparently applauded his physique. Gee…thanks, I guess.
Well, Castagnoli, still very politely, has decided to open up a tad more on how he feels about how Vince McMahon felt about him. He made the following comments at Starrcast V:
“I thought he was wrong. I feel charisma comes in different forms, shapes, sizes. Not everybody has that over-the-top Ultimate Warrior, shaking the ropes, crazy yelling, screaming type of charisma. Not that I’m sitting here telling you how awesome my charisma is, but I felt I had a connection with the fans in the United States and all over the world…
While other people are known for long promos that are translated in many languages and doesn’t always come across, my stuff was about the in-ring work and people can connect with that. It may take a bit longer, but I did connect with a lot of fans and they were behind me. I don’t know if it’s not what he was looking for, but in the end, it brought me here and you guys are here to see me.”via fightful.com
And so we see his side of the story that much clearer.
For me, I figured Castagnoli was unhappy at WWE soon after Backlash last year, in which he lost to Roman Reigns…a match that I argue to this day he should have won instead.
It was shortly after New Year’s that he posted a photo on his Instagram, he looking out at a beautiful body of water with mountains in the background, and he captioned the photo: “Recharge. Reflect. New year.”
I knew something was brewing and not just the coffee he loves so much.
And sure enough, he was gone from WWE, just like that. But after some time off, he debuted in AEW and in a short amount of time he has been involved in numerous main events and high spots of AEW programming, and he has just won his first World Title in the ROH Championship, winning it at Death Before Dishonor. Looks like Vincent Kennedy McMahon was wrong about that too, eh?