Christian Cage signing with AEW after returning to the ring at the 2021 Royal Rumble will undoubtedly go down as one of the biggest surprises of the year.
After making a surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble Match and sharing an embrace with best-friend Edge, it was widely expected that Christian would continue to work with WWE. However, Captain Charisma had other ideas, signing with AEW just a couple of months later.
Of course Christian’s most recent move isn’t the only time he has left WWE. Back in 2005, the tag team legend let his WWE contract expire, before signing with TNA. Using the name Christian Cage, the Canadian star quickly established himself at the top of the card, winning the world championship on two occasions.
In a recent interview with ET Canada’s Shakiel Mahjouri, the veteran reflected on that time in his career, saying that it was time for him to establish himself as the ‘top guy’ in a company.
“When I left in 2005 it was more to better myself and prove a point. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. I felt like I needed to get away in order to come back and be better than I was. I needed to step away and prove that I could work and wrestle at the top of the card and carry a show. And I felt like, if I stayed in WWE, I wasn’t necessarily going to get that opportunity no matter what reactions, or the quality of matches that I was putting on. So I kind of needed to bet on myself, get out of their face for a little while go and prove, even if it was on a smaller scale, that I could do that, and I think I did. Then I came back.”
Cage added that leaving WWE this time around was a completely different situation. Mainly because he wasn’t contracted to WWE, and hadn’t been for many years.
“This time is a little bit different. I didn’t leave WWE because I wasn’t under contract with WWE. I hadn’t been under contract with WWE in probably six, seven, years at this point in time, so it was a choice that I made. I needed the best platform for me at this stage of my career where I felt I can go out and do my best work, and also elevate the next generation that’s coming up behind me.”
During the conversation, Cage also revealed that he discussed his move to AEW with Edge. Christian said that as his best friend, Edge supported the move as it is what was best for his career.
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