AEW star Brian Cage has recalled his cutting rejection from WWE who told the former FTW Champion that they thought he was “average at best.”
Brian Cage made his AEW debut at Double Or Nothing in 2020 as the surprise entrant in the Casino Ladder Match which he ultimately won. As the cornerstone of Team Taz, Taz crowned Cage as the FTW Champion, a title he held until after he left the group and was defeated by Ricky Starks.
The last time Cage appeared in AEW was in October 2021 and many onlookers were surprised to find that the former IMPACT Wrestling World Champion had re-signed with Tony Khan in the spring of 2022. However, Brian Cage’s future became clearer when he appeared at Ring Of Honor Supercard, now by the side of the legendary Tully Blanchard.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet on his Insight podcast, Brian Cage opened up about his contact with WWE before he signed with Lucha Underground and AAA:
“They did call to say that they were going to do Tough Enough and bring me back for it, but then they took me off of the list. They invited me down and wanted me on NXT, but then they changed their minds again. I asked what happened and they said ‘You are average at best and we are no longer interested.’ They sent that in a text and I was so heated.”
“I kept it as professional as I could, there was a lot I wanted to say. I got back to them saying we might work together again in the future. But actually, that was when my desire to go back to them went away. My life professionally and personally excelled when I let go of that.”
Brian Cage then explained that WWE had reached out to him again following their rejection but he was glad to move on and ultimately end up in AEW:
“They reached out to me several times and people would reach out to them about me. They talked to me a lot of times about try-outs and it never happened. When it finally happened I turned them down because I had just signed with AAA and Lucha Underground.”
“They were shocked that I didn’t want it, and that felt kind of good. There was some small talk, but it never really went anywhere. I ultimately wanted to go to AEW because there were so many people I wanted to work with there. If I stayed at IMPACT, I feel like my ceiling would have been capped.”
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