Chris Hero Talks WWE NXT Release, Cesaro’s Evolution As A Top Talent

Chris Hero, who previously performed in WWE NXT as Kassius Ohno, was the featured guest on the most recent PWI Podcast (Episode 26). The wrestler spoke with PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy immediately following an Empire State Wrestling event on August 22.

Asked about his 2013 release from WWE NXT, Hero said that he wasn’t bitter in the least. He expressed gratitude for any opportunity to work as a pro wrestler and to improve upon his skills, noting that he met a lot of interesting and helpful people during his brief run in wrestling’s biggest of big leagues.

“I was there a little a little less that two years and in that time I just learned so much,” Hero said. “I became a better performer; I feel like I became a better person … I came out such a better wrestler, a smarter wrestler … The outcome — yeah, it’s a bit of a disappointment. It’s not what I expected. But, at the same time, I’m still out there every weekend, rocking and rolling wherever it is.”

Chris Hero also discussed his former Kings of Wrestling tag team partner Claudio Castagnoli, who currently performs in WWE as Cesaro. Hero and Murphy both noted that Castagnoli had been signed by WWE once before his current run, with Hero adding that Castagnoli was released from his contract before he could get started working for the company.

“It was a mistake on WWE’s part,” Hero explained. “They didn’t have the system in place that they have now and some things just fell through the cracks. I think if you ask him now, he’d say it was a blessing in disguise. I think he became better because of that. I mean, my situation is completely different but I feel like I’m better having things happen the way they happened.”

Cesaro returned to WWE in 2011, working as a developmental talent in Florida Championship Wrestling and WWE NXT before being called up to the company’s main roster.

Asked if he would someday like to return to WWE, Chris Hero didn’t close the door on the prospect. Then again, the wrestler doesn’t exactly spend his days and nights sitting by the phone waiting for a call from the sports entertainment monolith.

“My career won’t be defined by my two years at NXT or whether or not I get back there. I think my work will be defined by the longevity of my career … I hear the crowd. I’m in the ring. I’m laying on the mat and I can hear the people. And that’s what I want my career to be defined by.”

Since his release from WWE NXT, Chris Hero has competed in a number of independent promotions, including Ring of Honor and EVOLVE. Earlier this year, Chris Hero made history by competing in a 17-match “Infinity Gauntlet,” an event that raised thousands for charity.

[Image via WWE]

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