Claudio Castagnoli is a journeyman wrestler with a mighty impressive resume. He began wrestling in his native Switzerland in 2000, forming a popular tag team known as Swiss Money Holding. Known as "The Most Money Making Man," Claudio wrestled all over Europe before coming to America to wrestle for a few independent promotions. After a return to Europe, Claudio made the decision to move to America and begin wrestling full-time in the United States. He's been a fixture of independent wrestling ever since, and had been co-head trainer of the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory with Mike Quackenbush since 2007.
Most recently, Claudio has received his largest exposure to date wrestling for Ring of Honor across the country and on PPV. His smarmy character is indeed "Very European" and he can be seen Monday nights on ROH on HDNet. He's been embroiled in a bitter feud with Brent Albright and has been assisting Prince Nana's international stable The Embassy.
Out of the ring, Claudio appears to be the most genuinely happy man in the world. A sample of his Twitter feed includes the following:
"Cereal, coffee and soon the gym. What more could you wish for?"
"If you're feeling lazy today, pick yourself up and do something! You'll feel great afterwards :-)"
Claudio was kind enough to take some time to talk to Cageside Seats about what inspires him and keeps him going.What was the moment or event that made you decide that wrestling was what you wanted to dedicate yourself to?
When I got the chance to move to the US.
- What was the transition like from wrestling for European audiences to wrestling for American audiences?
- Are there significant differences between wrestling in Europe and wrestling in the US? Do you need to make adjustments to your style or preparation depending on where you’re wrestling?
No, my style is pretty versatile so I fit in quite well.
- How did the "Very European" personality come about?
- Do you ever have any desire to put a distance between who you are in the ring and where you’re from?
- How would you compare the "Very European" Claudio Castagnoli to "The Most Money Making Man" Claudio Castagnoli?
- You’re well-known for having one of the best physiques and conditioning in all of professional wrestling. Can you tell us about your workout regimen and diet?
- How does working for ROH in 2009 differ from working for ROH in 2006?
- How do you feel the relationship with HDNet has helped ROH?
- You’ve spent much of the year involved in feuds with Colt Cabana and Brent Albright. Do you prefer to be involved in these type extended feuds, or do you prefer to mix it up more often with different opponents?
- Based on your Twitter feed, you seem like you may be the happiest man alive. What’s the source of your boundless joy?
- Who are some of your favorite opponents or partners?
- Are there any wrestlers that you would love to work with or against?
- What are your views of the current WWE and TNA products?
- What are your ultimate goals in the business? When all is said and done, what will you have wanted to accomplish?
- You’ve been one of the head trainers at the CHIKARA Wrestle Factory since 2007. How does it feel to be considered a mentor for so many young wrestlers?
- What do you think is the most vital thing for new wrestlers to learn?
- Considering your involvement with the Wrestle Factory, does it ever get difficult splitting your time between teaching, training, and working for other promotions?
- What is your favorite match you’ve ever wrestled?
- What is your all-time favorite match (or matches) as a wrestling fan?
- What milestones do you see yourself reaching in 2010?
Thanks to Claudio for his time. You can visit www.claudiocastagnoli.com for tons of information on Claudio, links to his MySpace and Twitter pages, merch, recipes and tons more.
Check out Claudio at wrestling event near you or on Monday nights on ROH on HDNet!