I am going to use every ounce of strength I have to resist fanboying over Christian in this piece. Seriously, I could write an MFA Graduate paper on his underrated legacy and how he deserved so much more in wrestling. Regardless, Christian Cage has signed a long-term deal with All Elite Wrestling and it is exactly what both parties needed. AEW gets another star to increase ratings, and Christian can finally let loose once more as “The Instant Classic.” AEW has made some fantastic signings over the past two years, like Jungle Boy, Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, Ethan Page, “The Icon” Sting. However, Christian Cage is the wrestler I am most excited about in AEW since the arrival of Jon Moxley.
I think what makes me most excited is that Christian looks set to return to his excellent TNA character. Remember, Christian Cage is an entirely different animal from Christian. In WWE, Christian had everything great about him stripped away because the brass refused to allow him to get over. In 2005 onwards, Christian got on a different level and shined with fantastic promos. Seriously, go back and watch Captain Charisma’s promo work from 2005-2008. This man became an IWC favorite for a reason.
TNA fans will fondly remember the iconic debut of one Captain Charisma in 2006 when Christian made the jump. He went on to become a two-time NWA World Champion and one of the company’s biggest stars before making his inevitable return to McMahonland. Christian was one of the first notable WWE guys who was stuck in the midcard and reached their true potential by jumping ship to a rival promotion in North America. Christian’s time in TNA was so satisfying because of how Vince would just never believe in him. Remember when he lost the World Heavyweight Title in 2011 to Randy Orton the Smackdown immediately after he won it? Yeah, I was also pissed off.
In WWE, Christian was relegated to the midcard. In TNA, Captain Charisma was the guy. Yeah, there was Kurt Angle, Sting, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe. However, I argue Christian had a bigger aura than all those guys at the time. The glitter jumpsuit, the Evanescence-inspired theme music, the fact he wasn’t pinned for two goddamn years. Christian Cage was royalty in TNA. He was the lone bright spot occasionally in the company’s most mediocre moments.
Like Jericho and Moxley, Christian knows what it’s like to be a top guy. To get insanely over even with the most hardened and stubborn fans. That’s exactly what the young lions in AEW need. They received their wrestling training from Dustin Rhodes & Arn Anderson. They got promo inspiration from Eddie Kingston. They have the workrate ideas from The Elite. The one thing they need now is to probe Christian’s mind on the it factor. Guys such as Batista and Dax Harwood said it themselves. Christian always had “it” and Vince just never realized such.
I’m not campaigning for a Christian Cage title run in 2021, nor am I saying he should go on a winning streak for two goddamn years. I am arguing that Christian is on the same level of signing as Jon Moxley and should be respected on the same level. Jon Moxley proved Vince McMahon wrong by becoming the rival promotion’s number one guy. Just as Christian Cage did a decade prior. Kenny Omega is ushering in Canadian Excellence as World Champion. Similarly, to Christian Cage as the NWA Champion.
With Christian Cage about to get into a program with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, now is the time for a whole new generation of fans to learn just how he rolls. With the right program, Christian can reignite his career for one last run and remind fans that AEW, not Smackdown, is the true land of opportunity. Now give me Team Canada on AEW Dynamite already.