Wrestling in 2021 is nuts, my friends. Cease your complaints about little things you don’t like and take a moment to appreciate the good things—like Christian Cage in AEW!
On the March 3 edition of Dynamite, Paul Wight announced that he had a “scoop” on who the next big AEW signing would be. So, who was it going to be?
There were plenty of fans who thought it could’ve been Christian after returning to the ring at WWE’s Royal Rumble, though many also guessed Kurt Angle, who had recently posted a hype video.
On the day of Revolution, many on Twitter suspected it’d be Kazuchika Okada, who had just made an early exit in the 2021 New Japan Cup. There was also some minor buzz about it possibly even being Chris Hero. It turns out that one of the biggest selling points of Revolution was the forthcoming signing announcement.
Fans that bought the pay-per-view (or pirated it, maybe) were promised a Hall of Fame-worthy signing and an explosive main event, and we got one out out of the two, which isn’t bad.
And Christian Cage is a Hall of Famer, in a more general sense of the word. Despite the fact that I’m a massive fan of the guy, I actually hate the “Christian deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame” narrative because I hate the WWE Hall of Fame; it’s sort of a crock of shit. It’s hard to regard it as legitimate if it’s just one old man deciding who’s in and who isn’t once per year, and probably filling a quota while doing so. There’s no 60% vote required like for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, nor even a requirement for time spent competing, like the baseball Hall of Fame does. The main reason Christian was never inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame is because Vince McMahon doesn’t view him as a Hall-of-Famer. But guess what? He is. And if you don’t think he is, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your own (wrong) opinion.
Let’s look at Christian Cage’s resumé:
- Participated in the historic first three TLC matches.
- Not my favorite matches ever, but their significance in pro-wrestling and even popular culture is significant.
- Two WWE World Heavyweight Championship reigns
- Held them for not nearly as long as they should have.
- Nine WWE Tag Team Championship reigns.
- Grand Slam & Triple Crown Champion in WWE.
- Two NWA World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
- Randy Orton’s best opponent.
- Fight me.
- Would’ve had feud of the year in 2011 with Randy Orton if not for John Cena vs. CM Punk, a pantheon feud.
- WON Tag Team of the Year in 2000 with Edge, a team that undoubtedly influenced so many modern teams.
- Joined his former tag team partner Edge as well as Daniel Bryan in defying injury-related retirements and returned to the ring.
- This isn’t really a statistic or an achievement, but genuinely rarely has a bad match.
That reads like a Hall of Fame resume to me.
When I look at the All Elite roster, I have a lot of mixed feelings, but when it comes to the younger talents like MJF, Britt Baker, Will Hobbs, Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy, Jade Cargill and Wardlow, I feel super-optimistic. I’ve invested in stock in each of them. I can’t help but feel that having Christian in the All Elite locker room will do nothing but help them, either, as they’re on the way to reaching the peak of their abilities. Despite the wild and sometimes just stupid stuff he did around the turn of the millennium in those big weapons matches, he’s always been one of the smoothest, most sound workers around with barely any holes in his game. Christian has for a long time been one of those guys who you most appreciate when you put your phone down and really concentrate on what he does in the ring.
On the March 10 episode of Dynamite, Christian Cage and Kenny Omega got into it, and then Christian picked up the AEW World Championship and gave a “I might fuck around and challenge that stooge for this belt” look to the crowd. Imagine being in a coma since 2017, waking up today and asking your buddies what’s been happening in wrestling and you’re told following: “Kenny Omega is going to defend the All Elite Wrestling World Championship against Christian Cage.” You’d probably end up back in the coma.
I very much feel like this will end up being the Double or Nothing main event, while AEW does sometimes fail to follow up on stuff, this feels too big to not follow up on. It could be a polarizing match-up, but who’s a bigger opponent for Kenny Omega right now to main event AEW’s biggest show? I think we’re good on Omega vs. Moxley for a couple of years. I’d legitimately groan if it was Omega vs. Jericho again. It’s too soon for Omega vs. Hangman. Omega vs. PAC is close to overdone.
It might not be the match-up to end all match-ups, but with the right build I think Omega vs Christian could be a historic match, and a very good one at that. I couldn’t imagine it happening any later than All Out this year.
For all the positive feelings I have about Christian Cage being AEW’s latest signing, there’s some downsides. One of the biggest is that I don’t know if we’ll ever see an Edge & Christian tag team match again. When the two reunited in the Royal Rumble, it was one of the most wholesome wrestling moments in recent memory. It’s a massive bummer we won’t see them together again soon. However, in the grand scheme of things, I think it is very safe to assume that Christian’s AEW run will be a helluva lot more interesting and memorable than what he would’ve done in WWE. That’s not to mention how much better his promos would be. What ultimately makes this signing so good is that he doesn’t need to be in the ring every single week in order for his presence to positively impact the All Elite roster.
I’ll leave you with my top nine dream matches for Christian Cage in All Elite. One for each time he was a tag team champion in WWE.
- Adam Page
- Kenny Omega
- w/ “brother” Brian Cage vs. FTR
- Will Hobbs
- Darby Allin
- Ricky Starks
- Shawn Spears