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Christian Cage’s ‘father figure’ run might be the best of an already great career

All Elite Wrestling

There aren’t many wrestling hills I’m willing to die on, as the kids on the interwebs say. One is that Heel Biker Taker is the Best Taker. The other is that Christian (Cage) rules.

Adam Copeland is great and all. I’m as excited as most Edge fans that he’s arrived in AEW and seems to be so happy about it he can’t contain his enthusiasm. But his significantly less heralded teammate has always entertained me more than the WWE Hall of Famer.

Celebrations of Christian pop up from time-to-time, usually in response to things like Vince McMahon disliking his face so much he wanted to have WWE production put a blue dot over it. Or the backlash to AEW & Tony Khan hyping his arrival at Revolution 2021.

Real peeps know he’s been great as more than just a kazoo playing sidekick for a long time. His post-Edge teams with Lance Storm and Chris Jericho were more fun than they probably should have been (although the angle with Trish Stratus and Lita that broke up the latter one didn’t age well). They led to his “Captain Charisma” character at the end of his first WWE run, which he elevated for his NWA Heavyweight title run in TNA and the “Christian Coalition” stable.

He’d return to WWE for a stretch that included what, until now, would probably be considered his career peak — the 2011, post-Edge retirement “one. more. match.” World Heavyweight championship feud with Randy Orton. After that, he drifted back down into the midcard as WWE still clearly didn’t see him the same way they saw his famous partner. Eventually, injuries forced him into a temporary retirement as well.

Christian’s Royal Rumble return happened in an empty arena, and led to the AEW debut mentioned above. His initial run for Tony Khan’s fed was solid... and then he turned heel last summer and cut this promo.

My guy has been on a legendary heater ever since.

With his TNT championship run alongside his only friend Luchasaurus, more and more people have been singing the praises of Cage. Just last week, Booker T called him “the most underrated wrestler in the history of the business” on his podcast. Others have pointed out how Christian deserves just as much praise for his frequent reinventions that his old frenemy Jericho often gets.

What’s different this time is that not many people are arguing with those claims.

Christian’s “Father Figure” character is so universally respected he’s finally getting his flowers (something else I’ve seen you youngins say online) from more than just his peers and us peeps. Cage is so great there doesn’t seem to be much desire to ironically cheer his heel gimmick, although wisely casting him opposite fan favorites like Darby Allin, Sting, and now this Rated R Superstar undoubtedly help. But mostly, he’s just too damn fun to boo.

Last night (Oct. 1) at WrestleDream, Christian got the main event. But he was shining all night, like with this cutaway while Antonio Inoki’s grandsons were in the ring for a pre-show dedication:

On the post-show media scrum, Cage would say he’s always watching for anyone with a deceased male elder. He’d also go on to deliver this flawless response to a question from Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez that winked at the past year-plus’ worth of dirt sheet-fueled, behind the scenes drama at AEW while never losing focus on his current on-screen character & storyline:

And that’s not even getting into the match, another rock solid, perfectly paced Christian affair. It got a little busy at the end, but that’s not surprising considering the difficulty level of pulling off a finish with a turn that then sets up a debut. Along the way, he and Darby worked in a fall that I have to imagine Cage has been saving since he first decided he’d wear turtlenecks as part of his heel gimmick.

It’s that combination of skill, talent & smarts that led some of us to start following our Captain 15 or more years ago. Now, as we enjoy all him in his current incarnation, we invite you on our bandwagon.

But we do have to ask... what’s your mom doing tonight?

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