When Brian Cage made his debut, in fact, his re-debut, with Impact Wrestling, in January 2018, mostly Lucha Underground fans and the US indie wrestling fans knew about him. The Impact fans didn’t know how good this man was. “The Machine” is not like any other, a Luchador hidden in the body and muscles of a giant. Brian Cage has been everywhere this year but, most importantly, he was in the Impact Zone, teaming up with Fénix and Pentagon Junior in their war against oVe, winning the X-Division Champion, and now being the challenger for the World Championship.
SteelChair Magazine had the chance to talk to Brian Cage last week. He talked about his ride with Impact Wrestling, his X-Division run, Homecoming and his upcoming match against Johnny Impact, and why cashing in Option C was so important to him.
When I talked to you a few months ago, during an Impact media call, just after you became X-Division Champion, you said you wanted to make the X-Division something “so awesome and so entertaining”. Do you think you succeeded in doing it in the short amount of time you were the X-Division Champion?
No, honestly, I don’t think I did. I actually would have wanted the right to defend it more than I did. The fact is Sami Callihan and oVe kind of overtook a couple of things I wanted to get done. But it is what it is, I can’t change that now. I have had an awesome time throughout the year, being the X-Division Champion. I could have remained it but I never got an opportunity at “the big one”. There’s no better way to end what has been the best year that I’ve ever got in wrestling by starting off the new year as the Impact World Champion. Part of the reason why I decided to cash in and go for the world title was for that very reason.
During this same media call, we were also talking about Option C. At this time, X-Division was your Option A, but you seized and cashed in this opportunity. The same way you wanted to make something special of the X-Division title, what kind of World Champion do you want to be?
Everyone wants to be the World Champion once, to be the guy. I want to win it, hold it and defend it. I want to be a memorable Champion, be remembered, and see my name go down in the history books. Now, to go there, I want to make the match of the night against Johnny Impact. Obviously, my plan is to walk out with the gold around my waist and be the same reigning, undefeated, competitive World Champion as I was as X-Division Champion, and then hold on to it for as long as I can, to definitely put my name on top of the list of all-time Greats as Impact World Champion.
You’re cashing in Option C against Johnny Impact, who considers you as a friend and someone he respects, as he told me.
Johnny and I are very good friends, but I don’t see any issue in taking the World title from a friend. You have to put your personal feelings aside when you’re in a business where everyone wants to be the Champion and everyone wants to be on the top of it. If beating him ruins our friendship, so be it. But I don’t see him doing that, I don’t see him being deceptive on our friendship. But it is what it is, I don’t think it matters. Quite frankly, on a personal side note, I think it’s going to make the match more entertaining and more exciting, to beat Johnny Impact. He is a hell of an athlete, I know what he’s about, I know what he can add to the mix. So I’m sure you’re not going to be disappointed because it will be an awesome match.
You came back on Impact on January 2018, during the same tapings session when Austin Aries came back and won the World title. What are your thoughts on your year on Impact Wrestling?
My year couldn’t have been any better, for myself, for the wrestling business, Impact included. It has just been the best year professionally and financially I’ve ever had. I think, in pro wrestling in general, it’s just been an extraordinary year for everyone, all involved. I think 2019 is going to be more of what you experienced from 2018, in all forms of wrestling. I’ve killed it in 2018 and it’s funny that, almost a year later from my re-debut on Impact Wrestling, I have an opportunity for the World title. And it’s also the return to Nashville, with Homecoming, everything is going back full-circle, with coming back to the Asylum for my one-year anniversary mark. 2018 may have been the best year I’ve ever had, I will begin 2019 walking out as the World Champion. Hold on to 2019, I’m going to make it a much better year than 2018 was.
Even if you were working hard on the indie scene and on Lucha Underground, it seems like many people found out about you. Impact shed new light on you, thanks to the national television effect. How do you feel to be under this new spotlight?
Impact definitely helped shine a lot of new light on me and introduce me to new audiences and new crowds, the ones that didn’t know about me because they never saw me in Lucha Underground or in an indie pro wrestling show. I thought at some time it helped Impact. I was one of the factors, as many, to help turn Impact around and help make it be cool again. I’m glad to be a part of it, I was on the fence a little bit about coming to Impact and I am super glad that I did it. I think it’s been a very wise decision and it’s only profited me and expanded me and given me great opportunities, so I am very thankful and glad that I made that decision.
One of my very first memories of you is when you were wearing the gauntlet and crushed the eye of Lorenzo Lamas, with your foot, during Season 3 of Lucha Underground. It was just disgusting, but brilliant at the same time. Season 4 came to an end a few weeks ago. What are your thoughts on it?
I thought Season 4 was equally great. I know it was much shorter than all the three previous seasons and it was shot in a kind of a hurry. I think it’s probably my least favourite season, I did enjoy what I did there with Pentagon Junior but the previous seasons were way cooler, way more unique. The fact is I was injured during a part of Season 3 when they were doing the tournament for the Cueto Cup, and I had to go out of it, instead of being in the finals. I was really disappointed but, at the same time, I had to do this scene when I kill the Councilman Delgado and crush his eye with my foot. When they told me about, I said: “Ok, that’s a pretty sweet scene, I’ll do that.” As you said, that’s one of the most memorable scenes of Season 3, one that everyone has been talking about.
The Ultimate X Match is back at “Homecoming”. Is it the kind of match you want to be a part of one day? What are your thoughts on the 4 guys involved that will compete for the X-Division title?
I would love to a part of the Ultimate X Match. I think it’s a very creative match, one of the TNA original matches, it goes back to the beginning of Impact Wrestling and nobody else has really done it before. There’s been a lot of great stuff in part of that match because everything could happen in that match. I’m glad this match will be back at Homecoming PPV. All the four guys that will compete in this match, they are awesome. In my personal opinion, I would look forward and expect Rich Swann to come out on top and become the new X-Division Champion.
Who are the wrestlers you haven’t worked with yet on Impact yet but you really want to?
I’ve never wrestled Austin Aries, I don’t know if he’s going to come back or not, but I would really love to work with him. Eddie Edwards for the moment is pretty busy with Moose but I want to have a match with him. Fénix and Pentagon Junior, we worked together on Impact not against each other. I think I have unfinished business with Moose. I wish I could work with Sami Callihan some more. The Rascalz are awesome, they’re very talented, we could do some pretty awesome matches together.
You have been one of the guys that has never been afraid to wrestle women. Why have you been doing it and not being afraid of pushing that boundary? Intergender matches are still very taboo.
I’ve never been afraid of doing some intergender matches, I do have some experience on it, but the few matches that I took part in were a combination of many factors working together to have them take place. The promotion, the city, the person you’re working with, the reasons of the match. There’s a lot of factors that are kind of going through it to make it happen. I don’t think intergender wrestling is taboo, and glad girls have gotten the opportunity. I feel I shouldn’t be in very many intergender matches though, unless there is something there to make sense of it. And it’s not a matter of females and males. If Rich Swann can’t pick me up or knock me off my feet, and is a hundred pounds lighter, than how can a girl 25 or more pounds lighter? Lets take out gender all together, a 125-pound athlete wouldn’t look legit in facing a 280-pound athlete. I don’t see Nia Jax facing Brock Lesnar. Demetrius Johnson may be a pound for pound best in MMA, but he’d get eaten by Brock. I don’t have any problem doing mixed tag matches or intergender matches, as far as the believability is there.
Follow Brian Cage on Twitter @MrGMSI_BCage. All pics and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling.