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CHRISTIAN CAGE DISCUSSES JUMPING TO TNA, THE CAPTAIN CHARISMA NAME, WWE CREATIVE FRUSTRATION, NEVER GETTING HIS MATCH WITH JOHN CENA, JERICHO & MORE
by Chris Murray @ 2:20:00 PM on 12/1/2005

Between The Ropes
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com

On Wednesday night, November 30, former WWE superstar and now TNA headliner Christian Cage joined hosts Brian Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito DeNucci on Between The Ropes on Central Florida's Sports Radio 740 The Team for his first media interview since leaving WWE to sign with TNA Wrestling.

"It's been great. It's been a great experience. I can't say enough about it." - Christian Cage's opening marks regarding his time so far with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Christian said his decision to leave WWE was a difficult time in his life in general. He said regardless of whether TNA was a career option or not, he had already decided to leave WWE when his contract came due. Having TNA around and the promotion's interest in offering him a deal made the decision to leave easier.

He said departing WWE was something he needed to do at that point in his life. He needed to make a change. Professionally and personally, it was time to move on. He made it clear several times that he isn't bitter about his tenure in WWE and leaving there. He made a lot of good friends and accomplished a lot of personal dreams in eight years with the organization.

The decision to leave was an accumulation of many factors, including frustration with how he was utilized creatively. He said the majority of his eight-year career there was great, but at the end he was frustrated. He also cited a need for a break after 250 days on the road a year for eight consecutive years. He mentioned that he's made and saved a lot of money, which obviously made the decision easier. The fact that he also got to leave on his own terms made it a sound decision in his mind.

Christian said he always gave 100% no matter what the situation was when he went through the curtain. He felt his talents would always speak for themselves and the fans seemed to be getting behind him and wanted to see him at a certain level, but he couldn't speculate on why it never translated into a bigger push because he really doesn't know.

He referred to TNA as a "blank canvas" with opportunities to work with so much fresh talent like Monty Brown, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Abyss along the mix of known guys like Rhino and Team 3-D. He hasn't gotten to wrestle Jeff Jarrett in six or seven years and is looking forward to getting in there with all of those new guys and bringing some passion back to his career.

Comparing the locker room mood in TNA to WWE, he commented that the mood is very upbeat in TNA with the feeling that something special is happening.

Christian said he knew from day he signed his first contract that he was still going to be able to use the 'Christian Cage' name. Regarding the 'Captain Charisma' name, he said doesn't know what happened in WWE because he did a trademark search after he left and it was available so he trademarked it. He never got a clarification on what happened to the 'Captain Charisma' t-shirts in WWE. People were buying the shirts and one day they were removed.

He said he has no plans to work indie dates at this point, mainly because he left WWE because of the hectic road schedule and he doesn't want to work so much as an independent. He said the schedule combined with all of the crazy ladder matches and cage matches over the years took a great toll on his body. He talked about suffering from shoulder problems in his final weeks in WWE that prohibited him from working out and forced cortisone shots to mask the pain. He had trouble even moving his arm after waking up in the morning. Since leaving WWE and the brutal road schedule behind, the shoulder has healed to the point where he has been able to lift weights again and the normal aches and pains subsided as soon as a week after being out of the ring.

When asked about the build for a John Cena program that never fully materialized, he said he was surprised WWE didn't pull the trigger. He talked about how he first brought up Cena's name at Madison Square Garden and it got a good reaction because Cena was so over. He kept doing it anytime he had a chance and the fans started responding to it and WWE added him to the triple threat match with Cena and Jericho, but the big singles match with Cena never happened once he was drafted to Smackdown and he was disappointed because he was looking forward to it.

Christian brought up the period when he shifted away from his tag-team role with Edge into a singles performer and how his career languished for a while. "At that point when I first split with Edge, it's funny because I had been teaming with Edge for such a long time and I was a tag-team guy for three or four years straight and I saw it as a tag-team guy. And it's a different situation when you're out there with a guy you know. We knew each other's moves. We knew where the other one was in the ring at all times. And when you're doing interviews, promos, and backstage vignettes, you can play off each other. It's easy and it's comfortable and it's familiar. And then all of a sudden when you become a singles guy, you don't have that anymore. So now you're trying to find a new personality, a new way to interact, a new way to get your character across, and things like that and I had a really hard time with that when I first split. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself. So I wouldn't even say that it was WWE burying me or getting lost in the mix or whatever, I think it was me. I think at that time I put too much pressure on myself to succeed. One day I just had to look in the mirror and say to myself 'what's the problem.' I basically figured out I'm not letting myself have fun. I'm not letting myself do the things that made me want to get into this business and perform for the fans in the first place. That's what I got to start doing and when I start doing that, everything is going to fall into place. And that's what I started to do and it started to work for me. It was really within me."

He credited Chris Jericho for helping him a lot and considers him one of his best friends in the business and some of the best moments in his career were with Jericho.

When asked about leaving WWE, he said he feels he left WWE on professional terms, going as far as to work an extra day that was not in his contract. "I feel honestly like I was professional about it. I wrestled every day that was in my contract. I even showed up an extra day when I wasn't contractually obligated to do so."

He said rumors of WWE lowballing him were NOT true. "The funny thing too is that I know there were a lot of rumors that I was getting lowballed on my contract and that sort of thing and that might have weighed in on my decision and that was absolutely not the case. They were very generous with me with renegotiating. There was no lowball or anything like that."

Regarding the rumors of upgraded airline tickets being the sticking point in his renegotiations with WWE, Christian noted that he did express interest in obtaining first class airline tickets as part of his new WWE contract, but it was not a make or break provision. "The plane tickets were an issue for me. It was not a make or break deal with plane tickets. I just felt with the amount of miles I put on my body and the amount of time that I had been in the company and so forth, I just wanted a little bit better travel. Like I said, eight years on the road, 250 days a year, being gone and the way my body was feeling and the fatigue I was feeling at the time, it was something that would maybe make the travel a little easier for me. Like I said, it wasn't make or break for the deal. It wasn't like I was demanding first class tickets or anything like that. It's nothing like that at all."

Christian briefly touched on his upcoming movie role early next year. He said acting was an avenue he wanted to pursue for a long time, even before he got into wrestling. He didn't want to get into specifics about the movie role because everything isn't confirmed, but he knows the name of the movie and the people in the movie, but isn't exactly sure what he'll be doing.

To wrap it up, Christian told the story of how the big sunglasses gimmick came about. He and Edge were eating at a Denny's in California late one night when a kid wearing oversized 'bug' sunglasses came up asking for an autograph. Christian asked about the goofy glasses and the kid offered to give them to him. He didn't want to just take them so he paid the kid $15 for the pair and wore them on television the next night and it took off from there. When he recently moved, he came across his giant bin of about 70 pairs of oversized sunglasses that he still owns. He also joked he's dabbled in some kazoo, but hasn't played in a couple of years.

Christian Cage will be in action for TNA at the Turning Point pay-per-view on Sunday, December 11, 2005 from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida where he will battle 'The Alpha Male' Monty Brown. 


Credit: www.pwinsider.com