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Christian explains how and why he jumped from WWE to AEW

All Elite Wrestling

Fresh off his reveal at Revolution, and ahead of his first time on an AEW mic this Wednesday (Mar. 10) on Dynamite, Christian Cage sat down with Renee Paquette to talk about where he’s at and what led him to sign with All Elite Wrestling.

On the latest edition of Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, Christian revealed that when his old colleague Paul “Big Show” Wight started hyping his AEW arrival as the “biggest scoop ever” - he hadn’t even inked a deal.

“Honestly, this is 100% honest, on Wednesday [March 3], there was nothing signed. It was a shock to me when I heard it [Wight’s announcement]. But obviously, I think Tony [Khan] and I hit it off pretty quick, and we felt comfortable enough that we were definitely gonna get something done and work together at that point.”

The former NWA & WWE World Heavyweight champion detailed the process by which he returned to the ring for the first time in seven years at Royal Rumble in January of this year. Frustrated that he wasn’t allowed to be touched when he worked Raw as part of Edge’s feud with Randy Orton last summer, he went to a concussion specialist at the University of South Florida to see how his brain had healed from the injuries that forced him into retirement back in 2014.

Doctors told him he “crushed” the battery of tests, and they had no concerns about him returning to the ring. He then set out to get in shape, eating better with help from the company his best friend Edge uses for meal prep and working out on the sly in his garage. The jump to AEW wasn’t planned, but was encouraged by Renee’s husband Jon Moxley. And not just by interviews full of praise for Cage:

“It all happened really quick. I wasn’t sure I was going to go [to AEW] after [the Rumble], and all the talks that I had [with WWE] were very cordial... And obviously, I’m good friends with you and your husband Jon [Moxley], and he talked to me and had his opinions and stuff like that, made me think that like, ‘Okay, I’m doing myself a disservice if I don’t at least explore all my options.’ And at this final stage of my career, I ended up having a conversation with Tony and it escalated very quickly. It went very fast. Within a week, it was a done deal.”

Renee also got Christian to talk about the thought process that led him to make the call to sign with AEW instead of WWE:

“Of course. Whenever there’s some sort of decision like that, a life-altering decision, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about this, but what I really needed was the best platform for me to, I kind of got a second lease on life here with this, to showcase that but also help. Where could I help also the next generation? And that’s kind of what I felt here at AEW. In my initial talks with Tony, the first conversation we had, we talked for two hours. And from that initial conversation I was like, ‘Man, I didn’t think it would go that well.’ And it came together pretty quickly after that. We hit it off, kind of had the same feeling as far as where he saw me, and what I could do, and what I could bring to the table, and how I could help the roster and help myself and help the show. And there’s something intriguing about that to me, and I like a challenge. It was not an easy decision, but it also wasn’t a hard decision, if that makes sense...

“There was something intriguing about being able to be a little more hands-on with everything and having that challenge as well. It just felt like the right situation. And there’s nothing wrong with WWE and the way they do things... I needed this for me at this point.”

Sounds like he made the right call, all things considered. We’ll start to find out for sure tomorrow night.