How talent within WWE reportedly reacted to Cesaro signing with AEW

As seen at the 2022 AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door PPV, Claudio Castagnoli (formerly Cesaro) made his AEW debut following the expiration of his WWE contract earlier this year.

According to Dave Meltzer of, there were reportedly “a lot of talent in WWE” that were shocked about Castagnoli signing with AEW and it was said to have been a “very big deal” with a lot of the talent. Meltzer noted that the reaction was due to the size of the offer WWE gave him. Meltzer wrote the following…

“The feeling is AEW must have matched or topped it and in WWE, the feeling was that AEW was no longer doing that and that Castagnoli could have made a very substantial amount of money in WWE even though there was little chance of a push.”

It was also speculated that a factor in Castagnoli signing with AEW was to show everyone that he’s a “top talent” while he is still physically able to do so.