After a few months away from a wrestling ring, some wondered what would come next for Claudio “don’t-call-him-Cesaro” Castagnoli following his decision not to re-sign with WWE. Would he go to AEW, what about NJPW? Goodness, could it have all been a charade, with the Swiss Superman returning to SmackDown as a Maximum Male Model?
Well, if his conversation with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated is of any indication, Castagnoli actually tried his very strong hands at powerlifting, which is apparently a thing a 41-year-old millionaire with a superhero’s physique can do between wrestling matches.
“I was trying to gain weight and be a powerlifter, and that was a very good challenge, but it needed to change once I needed to be in peak ring shape,” Castagnoli says. “Zack Sabre Jr. is a technical master, and that night in Chicago, that was magic. I proved I can still deliver in the ring.”
Yup, you read that correctly, before Castagnoli signed on with AEW as Bryan Danielson’s replacement at Forbidden Door, he was training for a powerlifting meet scheduled for June 27th, but ultimately opted to pivot to getting his body in peak physical shape for a wrestling match against one of the best technical wrestlers in the game.
The results? Well, let’s just say Castagnoli’s addition to AEW has been a resounding success, as he’s undefeated in AEW action, a fantastic addition to the Blackpool Combat Club, and even his theme song produced by Rukus is doing numbers. All things considered, I think Tony Khan has to be very happy Castagnoli chose backbreakers over barbells, as his addition has been a perfect 10.