Tony Khan comments on AEW’s signing of Claudio Castagnoli At AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Claudio Castagnoli (formerly Cesaro in WWE) made his AEW debut, replacing Bryan Danielson in his scheduled bout against Zack Sabre Jr. Claudio left WWE in February when his contract expired and had been out of the spotlight since his WWE departure. During the Forbidden Door post-show media scrum, AEW President Tony Khan said that he reached out to Claudio before knowing for sure that Danielson would be missing the event. “I asked him about coming in before I knew for sure that Bryan was out, though I had a pretty good idea that Punk would be out. I could tell there would be a lot of changes. We already had a lot of injured people, I had no idea we would have even more on the run-up to the show. It was the day after the Forum, so June 2, I called and had interest, there was definitely mutual interest. At that point, I felt there was a good chance. I wasn’t sure if it would be here or another thing or Death Before Dishonor, July 23, on pay-per-view in Lowell, Massachusetts. Ring of Honor’s return event. I figured there was a chance that if Bryan made it back, there was a good chance that he would have started at Death Before Dishonor and it would have been a great moment there. As long as Bryan is okay, that’s the most important thing. It was a great moment to have at Forbidden Door. I talked to Bryan on the phone last weekend and he told me that he wasn’t feeling 100%. As soon as he said that, we’re eight days from the pay-per-view, ‘if you’re not feeling 100%, don’t even think about wrestling on the pay-per-view or Blood & Guts’ because he had been feeling well. I talked to him in St. Louis and he was feeling great and he was so optimistic and was that fired up Bryan Danielson. He wanted to go. I didn’t want to take another chance as soon as he said (he wasn’t feeling 100%). He mentioned Claudio and I said, ‘that’s funny, I have Claudio under contract.’ I had told anybody. It worked out before for all of us,” Khan said. Fightful Select has more details on Claudio signing with AEW. If you missed anything from Forbidden Door, you can catch up by checking out Fightful’s live coverage and post-show review. If you use the quote above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.