It’s a great year to be Brian Cage, whether on Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, indie wrestling scene, All In 2018, Lucha Libre AAA in Mexico or WSW in Australia. “The Machine” is currently one of the most sought-after wrestlers in the business. And also a highly-praised opponent not only the Impact Wrestling roster but also by Creatives and producers. The roster wants to work with him, and backstage he’s described as what the future may hold best for the company. For the first time since its comeback with Impact Wrestling last January, Brian Cage was the guest of one of Impact weekly media calls a few days ago. As the current X-Division Champion and a pretty busy man, it was interesting to hear him talk about his expectations for himself, the company and the business itself.
What makes a Big Man a Luchador
Brian Cage was pretty happy to announce his schedule was stacked until the end of the year. The gigantic muscled man has this unique ability to do some insane moves only Luchadors can. Fans of Lucha Underground already knew it way before he made his debut with Impact Wrestling. His character in the Temple helped him forge the character he has developed on Impact and brought to an international audience.”Lucha Underground, as far as working on television, obviously helps bring you that aspect because you work off as many indy shows, you want as much experience you want for, working TV is a little different than working a normal house show. That helps a lot with just timing the structure of your matches and the cameras and the what-have-you. There is room for improvement for everybody always in some regard. But I definitely would like to bring more out and my character and in my overall appearance.
Until we heard his voice for the first time on Impact Wrestling less than 10 days ago, Cage was depicted as a winning and destructive Machine. The Weapon X would come to the ring, wrestle and that was all. “We kind of thought, well maybe we’ll kind of keep you mysterious or kind of just somewhere in the middle between like face and heel. So this segment just kind of impromptu happened and it kind of added a little bit of appeal and a mysterious attribute to it. But I feel like now it’s gone on to all and we needed to do that.” When you become one of the faces of one of the major wrestling companies airing on national television and all over the world, you can’t only be a face, you also have to be a voice.
Brian Cage is definitely seizing the moment he’s been living. The business has changed and Cage couldn’t ask any better than being a wrestler right now. “It’s a great time to be a wrestler. I’m not sure exactly what’s the switch was but obviously, there’s been a yeast that created a huge thriving market with some independents and obviously all these other outside companies like Ring of Honor, Lucha underground, Impact Wrestling. WWE is always going to be around, but there’s just so many different outlets and type of wrestling and I feel like there are so many fans that enjoy all these different products and different venues. And the fact that we kind of slowly meshed together somewhat and working together has been an awesome attribute for everyone like Impact vs. Lucha Underground event or the Jericho Cruise. We have these huge opportunities with multiple networks and pay-per-views, all at the same time. I mean it’s unreal and it’s unheard of, but it’s fantastic that it’s happening.”
Brian Cage was a student and friend of the late Chris Kanyon and, to hear him, he would probably not be standing in all these rings around the world without the unconditional support of the former 2-time WCW Tag Team Champion. “His overall friendship really just motivated me. He helped me get into Deep South Wrestling uncontracted. He was just such a good and giving guy and helped so many of us. I really don’t think he gets credit enough for that and for the help of certain people’s careers and for even how talented he was. When I’m on TV, much of my gears have his logos. When he officially retired, he let me become Mortis, his character. After the first match I did as Mortis, I sent him a copy of it and this text back and all capitals was “absolutely phenomenal job as Mortis, please keep doing it.” It meant the world to me at a very early stage of my career, I thought I could have retired the next day and be pretty satisfied with what I’d accomplished.” But Kanyon was not the only Chris that influence him. “The three people that I always had the desire to create a hybrid of were the three Chris, Chris Kanyon, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit.”
The X-Division Champion
At Slammiversary XVI, Brian Cage became the 87th X-Division Champion. A title that epitomized what Impact Wrestling has been about since its very beginning. So was my question. “This title to me is what Impact Wrestling is all about. It’s what put Impact Wrestling on the map and what started it and its original incarnation. That’s really what separated itself from any other title or any other company. To me, this was the main goal and the title I wanted to go for out of the gate. People would ask me about the idea of ever going to Impact Wrestling long before I was here. I always said I’d love to just be part of the X-Division. The X-Division has always been about “no limits” rather than “weight limits”. And funny enough, Matt Sydal happened to be the champion when I came here and that was actually one of the top people I wanted to work. With never having never worked with him before and him being a phenomenal athlete in his own right, so the fact I got to work with Sydal and claim the title with a win-win for me.”
In becoming the X-Division Champion, Cage’s walking in the footsteps of wrestling icons, like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, current Impact Wrestling Champion Austin Aries, among many others. And there’s nothing he wants to change of it. “I’m trying to make it not better because I think it’s always been great but definitely trying to bring a new league of its own on there. Everyone keeps asking me about Option C flying up to since Austin Aries is the World Champion. The way I see it is I want to make the X-Division so awesome and so entertaining, as there are just so many awesome athletes right now in Impact Wrestling, that the World Title would become option C because I have option A. And I think that’s going to be through the quality and the entertainment and the matches set going forward.”
He confessed that AJ Styles has been his lifelong dream match, but on Impact right now, he would love to work with Moose. If Brian Cage worked for TNA/Impact Wrestling a few years ago, his current ride in the Impact Zone seems to be a joy for him. His comeback was “spoiled” by the company as his name has become so huge in the business Impact Wrestling could only be proud of welcoming him back. So Cage was. “I think it’s been phenomenal. Until I got fully onboard and since I’ve been contracted, I can’t have zero complaints I’ve loved, everything looks good to work with and I’ve been excited to be part of others things that are around and definitely bringing forth a much better and more well-received product.”
Last Thursday, at ReDefined Special Event, he defended his title against Fénix, a man he’s been working with for years in AAA and Lucha Underground, but quite strangely he has never wrestled in a one-on-one situation. “I was really excited for this matchup. Many people are shocked it was the first-ever meeting as we’ve laced up before in AAA or Lucha Underground and even PWG. But it’s never happened.” Brian Cage can be proud of a match that was a real pleasure to watch.
What makes the X-Division such an interesting place to be a part of is the fact everybody is welcomed. Which means for Brian Cage a load of potential contenders can come for the title. And he’ll be waiting for them patiently, destructing them one after another. Brian Cage is currently where he has always wanted to be, on the top of Impact Wrestling food chain.
All pics and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling