Christian Cage wasn’t expecting AEW debut to be promoted, thought he’d just show up

Christian Cage joins Renee Paquette's Oral Sessions podcast to discuss his arrival to AEW, getting cleared and tons more.

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

Christian Cage debuted for All Elite Wrestling at their Revolution pay-per-view this past Sunday. The announcement of a major talent signing to AEW was promoted on the lead-up to Revolution by Paul Wight (The Big Show) and AEW President Tony Khan. Khan stated in media appearances that the talent was one of his favorite wrestlers, was Hall Of Fame-worthy among other complements that increased curiosity about who the individual could be.

Following Revolution, Renee Paquette brought Christian onto her ‘Oral Sessions’ podcast to talk about his debut for the company and what led him to this point. Christian was not aware that his eventual signing would be promoted in such manner and he thought it was going to be a complete surprise. He added that when Paul Wight made the announcement on 3/3, nothing had been signed between himself and AEW.

I didn’t know. I didn’t know and yeah, as far as I knew at that point in time, it was gonna be a complete secret and I would just show up and be a surprise. I didn’t know there was gonna be any kind of — honestly, just 100 percent honest, on Wednesday, there was nothing signed. So, it was a shock to me when I heard it but obviously, I think Tony [Khan] and I hit it off pretty quick and we felt comfortable enough that we were gonna get something done and work together at that point.

After almost seven years away from active in-ring competition, Christian returned to WWE at the 2021 Royal Rumble pay-per-view and was part of the final five in the match alongside Edge, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman and Randy Orton. He said he was not nervous about the Rumble but was nervous about the AEW appearance and mentioned that he did question if he would live up to the hype surrounding the announcement.

Let me be honest with you, so when I did the Royal Rumble like what? A month ago at this point, I was not nervous at all and I hadn’t wrestled in seven years. When I walked out of that trailer last night, I was nervous. I don’t know. It’s because you’re in a new environment. The show started at 8 o’clock and I think I got to the venue after 7 0’clock definitely, straight onto a bus and didn’t get a chance to see anybody or meet anybody and you’re just kind of like the new kid in class and it’s kind of — this announcement had been hyped up and kind of took on a life of its own and you’re kind of like, ‘Oh my God, am I even gonna live up to what people are expecting here?’ And so yeah, it was just all these nerves and the anticipation of getting out there and kind of getting it started.

Concussion issues kept Christian on the shelf. He detailed the process of getting cleared and it started with the unsanctioned match he had with Randy Orton on Raw in 2020. Christian was not pleased with the fact that he couldn’t get physically touched in the match so he decided to visit a concussion specialist in South Florida.

When he took the tests, he passed all of them and the specialist alerted him that it’s not a crazy idea to start thinking about a return to wrestling.

The whole thing kind of started when I had the unsanctioned match with Randy [Orton] where I couldn’t get physically touched and it was a real thing and I was like, ‘Really? This is where I’m at that I can’t get touched?’ And so I kind of took it upon myself and I made my own appointment and all those sorts of things and I went to — there’s a place in Tampa called the University of South Florida Concussion Center and I saw them before I was retiring and all those sorts of things so it’s all the same doctor. I made the appointment, went in on my own, didn’t tell anybody I was doing it. My thought process was, ‘If I go in and they tell me that they think I’m good, it opens new doors. If they say no, you shouldn’t do this, I’m in no different situation than I was when I woke up that morning.’ So I went in, did the tests and I sat down with the doctor after and he’s like, ‘You crushed these tests.’ It was earlier than [October]. It was like June, end of June and he’s like, ‘You’re average or above average on all these tests scores. You didn’t fail in anything and then all your physical scores were good’ and then we just had a conversation, I just told him where my head was at and I was like, ‘If you think I’m crazy and you don’t think I should do this, that’s fine. I just needed to know’ and he’s like, ‘I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I think you can do this.’

At the age of 47 and having tallied up decades of experience in wrestling, Christian feels that he’s one of the best to ever step inside of a ring and added that he’s coming back to prove that.

I’m coming back to prove that I’m one of the best, in my mind to ever — I hate saying these kind of things but I feel like I’m one of the best to ever do this and that’s what I was born to do so… I’m coming back to prove that and to prove to the fans and in a weird sense, my body’s kind of been preserved for seven years. Yeah, I’m seven years older but also, I haven’t put any damage on my body in seven years and I think that’s saying something.

Along with Christian’s debut at Revolution, former IMPACT Tag Team Champion Ethan Page signed with AEW and debuted in the Face Of The Revolution Ladder match that was won by Scorpio Sky.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Oral Sessions podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 7808 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.