Claudio Castagnoli

Nicknames: Very European, The Swiss Stalwart

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 235lbs

From: The United Banks of Switzerland

ROH Debut: 2005

Years Pro: 10

Trained By: SigMasta Rappo, Dave Taylor, Chris Hero, Mike Quackenbush, Jorge ‘Skayde’ Rivera

Allies: Chris Hero, Shane Hagadorn, Sara Del Rey

Rivals: The Briscoes, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team

Career Highlights: ROH World Tag Team Champion (x2, Current), (2007) Race to the Top Tournament Winner

Finishers: Ricola Bomb, Swiss Death, Stretch Muffler, Alpamare Waterslide

Signature Moves: Bicycle Kick, UFO, Giant Swing, European Uppercut, Gutwrench Suplex

Personality/Gimmick

Extremely proud of his European heritage, Claudio is of the firm belief it makes him better than Americans, beside his partner in the Kings of Wrestling, Chris Hero, whom he likely gets along with so well due to the arrogance of both men. He is equally proud of being the largest man on the ROH roster, feeding his belief he can defeat anyone in the company with ease.

Style

Trained in his native Switzerland, Claudio has extensive knowledge of European style mat wrestling, although he is rarely forced to use it as his sheer power allows him to dominate most wrestlers. His main weapon is the devastating European Uppercut, which he throws from a variety of positions. He possesses startling agility for a man of his size to compliment his strength.

Career Summary

Claudio debuted in 2005, immediately going after ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness, claiming his knowledge of European wrestling would allow him to defeat the champion. He never managed to win the title however. Soon Claudio’s long-time partner Chris Hero would arrive in ROH as part of the CZW Invasion, and at first Claudio remained loyal to ROH, but soon he betrayed the company to reunite the Kings of Wrestling. The Kings managed to keep a spot in ROH after the end of the invasion thanks to stealing and later winning the ROH World Tag Team titles.

Two months after losing the belts, Claudio signed a deal with the WWE and briefly left ROH, but returned after Visa issues. Now a singles wrestler, Claudio found much success after winning the 2007 Race to the Top Tournament and challenging Takeshi Morishima for the ROH World Championship. He would then have a brief feud with his former partner in an attempt to get his hands on Hero’s manager Larry Sweeney but was unsuccessful in this goal. Claudio went on to defeat Bryan Danielson during his chase of Nigel McGuinness and the world title, but frustrated with his inability to win the belt, he violently lashed out against Danielson and feuded with him, whilst maintaining and on and off alliance with Nigel called the European Union.

Though never an official member, Claudio became an ally of Prince Nana’s Embassy faction, helping them in their feuds with Colt Cabana and Brent Albright. However nearly a year later he would shock the world by reuniting with Chris Hero to assault the tag team champions, the Briscoes. A few months later they would win the belts and have since torn through the tag team division whilst warring with the Briscoes.

Current Storylines

The Kings believe they have nothing to prove to the Briscoes and have refused to face them in further title matches after defeating them on several occasions. Instead they are seeking for new competition and demand ROH supplies it. One team that have stepped up to the plate is Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team who the Kings defeated in a closely contested match. Despite their hesitancy to step in the ring with the Briscoes, Jim Cornette has forced them to in the form of a 6-Man Tag Team Match also involving Shane Hagadorn and the Briscoes’ father, Mike, whom Hero knocked out months previously.

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