Christian Cage on telling Edge that he was signing with AEW, watching his first AEW Dynamite match with Edge, his Mount Rushmore of Canadian pro wrestlers, his favorite pro wrestler turned actor

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

ET Canada interview with Christian Cage
Host: ET Canada’s Shakiel Mahjouri
Interview available via YouTube

Who is on your Mount Rushmore of Canadian pro wrestlers? “OK, so man… Bret Hart has to be up there, obviously, I would put Edge on that. I think we can put Trish Stratus on there. She’s a Canadian icon as far as wrestling goes. And then last I’m going to put Owen Hart on there just because I love him… I think other people would expect me to put myself on there.”

What it was like wrestling first true singles match in seven years: “It felt great to get back in there. Honestly, it was a little surreal. I had to kind of pinch myself right before I went out there. One thing that kind of just came to me is I went out there, I stepped through those ropes and I kissed the ring. And that was kind of a symbol of like taking back what I had lost seven years ago. And it was like coming home. As soon as I stepped foot to those ropes, it all comes back. You know, nothing can replicate, no matter how much training you put in, nothing can replicate getting in there and doing it for real. So it was a real test and it was a test against myself and against Frankie and against all these factors of coming back after such a long layoff. But I am always my toughest critic, so I will grade myself a B-plus.”

Working with Frankie Kazarian in AEW debut: “Frankie is outstanding. I really want him to be my first opponent. I’m glad that it did end up being him. I think much like me, I’ve kind of been painted with the brush of being, quote-unquote underrated. People have told me that all the time. You’re underrated, you’re one of the most underrated guys ever, which is great to hear. My response is always, ‘better to be underrated than overrated.’ But to me, I look at a guy like Frankie and Frankie is legit and underrated talent. And I wanted to go out there, as much for me, I want to go out there, improve or remind people just how good he is. And I think that we both elevated each other, win or lose.”

Juxtaposing TNA debut in 2005 to AEW debut in 2021: “When I left in 2005, it was more to bet on myself and to prove a point. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. I felt like I needed to get away in order to come back and be better than I was. I needed to step away and prove that I can work at and wrestle at the top of the card and carry a show. And I felt like if I just stayed in WWE, I wasn’t necessarily going to get that opportunity no matter what reactions or the quality of matches that I was putting on. So I needed to kind of bet on myself, get out of their face for a little while, go and prove that even if it was on a smaller scale that I could do that. And I feel like I did. And then I came back. This time is a little bit different. I didn’t leave WWE because I wasn’t under contract with WWE. I hadn’t been under contract for WWE in probably six, seven years at this point in time. So it was a choice that I made. I needed the best platform for me at this stage of my career where I felt like I could go out and do my best work and also elevate the next generation that is coming up behind me.”

Have you had to amend your style to account for your history of concussions?: “I thought that, so I went up there on my own and WWE sent me to a specialist in Pittsburgh and I went through a really in-depth five-hour testing for these concussions. I saw three or four different specialists. I went to the gym and I did a full 45-minute workout for them. It was very thorough. And both the doctor said the same thing and, in particular, the doctor that I saw in Pittsburgh after the tests, he said, ‘I need you to go in the ring if you’re going to do this and not worry about getting concussed again, because if you have anxiety about it, if it’s present in your mind, if it’s what you’re thinking about, that you’re going to get hurt when you get in there, you’re making yourself more susceptible to it. You have to go in there with all the confidence in the world that you’re just as good as you’ve ever been. And as far as all these tests go and all the conversations and everything that you’ve done here, you’re at no greater risk than at any other point in your life of this happening again. Could it happen again? Sure. But you’re not at any bigger risk.’ So that gave me all the confidence I needed and honestly, I haven’t even thought about it, not once… It’s part of my journey. We have to talk about it.”

Talking to Edge about AEW signing: “I did talk to him about it and told him, you know, where my head was, what I was going to do. And, of course, what you do when you’re best friends, you support each other no matter what. And he understood that we both have some things that we want to accomplish. And we also understand that we have to go where you’re best served. That platform to do what it is that you want to do with the let’s be honest here. We’re both closer to the end of our careers. We both thought they were over. But at this point, we are on limited time. So we have to maximize that time. And that’s kind of just really the only conversations that we’ve had about it.”

Watching his AEW debut match with Edge and Edge’s reaction: “Yeah, I did, actually. So he’s actually staying at my house. Yeah, because obviously Smackdown and Raw are here in Tampa so we watched it together. He was very happy for me and was very complimentary of it. And of course, we always both kind of nitpick and give each other constructive criticism and those sorts of things. But I think, for the most part, he felt the same way that I did. I don’t think it could have gone better for the first one back.”

Acting on ‘Murdoch Mysteries’: “It was unbelievable. Yeah, I really had a great time and it was one of those shows that I watch down here in Florida and it’s called ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ now, but for the longest time, it was on. It was like an art channel, like a really small channel that you had to have like 900 channels on your cable to get this one particular channel. And they changed the name of it to the ‘Artful Detective’. So that’s what it was called here in the U.S. For a few years now it’s called ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ again on whatever channel it’s on. But yeah, it was a lot of fun. And when I got the chance to do the audition for that show, I was very excited. And it was obviously a role that I felt I could play. A heavyweight boxer, the heavyweight champion of Toronto. So it was very cool. But to go there and hang out on the set and the way they built the streets of Toronto to that time period was really impressive. And everyone was great. And I just had a great time. And I wish it wasn’t just a one-off. I would have loved to have done more. Who knows at some point I’ll get that opportunity again. But I really enjoy that show. So it was a thrill for me to do it.”

What other roles would you like to tackle in Hollywood? “I just like the challenge, you know, and that was one of the things, too, when I stepped away from the ring. We’re artists in a sense, we like to create. We’re creative minds and you can tell those stories in the ring. So you’re always trying to find a different creative outlet, which like, you know, we’ve gone to the ‘Edge and Christian Show’ that we wrote and produced the WWE network or the podcast that Edge and I did. ‘E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness. You’re just trying to find different ways to be creative. So I never want to put myself in one box and just say, ‘OK, I’m an actor now,’ because I know that I’m not. But I was working towards [it] and that was a thrilling thing for me too. Like when I got into wrestling, trying to get better every day and working with people that were better than you. Picking their brains. And that’s what excited me about acting, was working with real actors and working with people that were much better than I was and getting to pick their brain or to sit on the sidelines and watch them do a scene of what it was that they were doing. But honestly, I would love to do a dramatic role. I would love to do something that would check that box off. That they wouldn’t expect a professional wrestler to be able to do. Something with some depth and some layers, a real drama. I would love to do that.”

His favorite wrestler-turned-actor – Dwayne Johnson, John Cena or Dave Bautista?: “I mean, they’re all talented in their own way, but I think Dave Bautista really brings something different to each one of his roles. Like his range is what’s impressed me more than anything. The range that he can bring to every single role and that he can. He has the ability to suck the audience in, almost know he can. He can talk. He can be believable in any role. But it’s not that the other guys aren’t. I don’t know. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but it’s something about just fine range is incredible. And that’s so impressive to me.”

What is left on your bucket list now that you’ve signed with AEW?: “Yeah, I mean, right now, just to come back and to compete at a high level. If I couldn’t come back and be what I was, if not better, I wouldn’t even attempt this. And for me, the only goal that I have is to put on quality matches and to be able to write this final chapter myself. It never sat well with me that I was told that this was done. So now that I’ve been kind of gifted this opportunity to rewrite this final chapter on my own, I don’t take that lightly. So I’m going to go out there and whether I’m working in main events, I’m working for championships, whether I become the champion, that’s all icing on the cake. But for me just to go out there and have quality matches and, at the same time, elevate and help teach the younger generation coming up and make sure that they’re set up for success in the future.”


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