Christian made his return to WWE at the Royal Rumble, a moment that left fans surprised after his career was cut short due to a history of concussions. As exciting as his WWE return was, they are not the only major company Christian has worked for. From 2005 to 2008, Christian was a mainstay in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the name Christian Cage. Let’s look back at Christian’s TNA Debut.
Prelude: End of Christian’s WWE Run
Christian’s WWE contract expired on October 31st, 2005. He appeared as a voting option for Taboo Tuesday on November 1st, fulfilling his obligation to the company to face the team of Snitsky and Chris Masters. However, Christian lost the vote to Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio. “Captain Charisma’s” final televised match for this WWE run aired on the November 4th episode of Smackdown. He teamed with John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) in a losing effort against the team of Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio. This would be the final WWE appearance for Christian until his 2009 return to the company.
Christian’s TNA Debut
TNA presented their Genesis pay-per-view on November 14th, 2005, live from the Impact Zone. The promotion had been teasing a major announcement for the event. After the second match of the card finished, commentators Mike Tenay and Don West explained the events leading up to the main event for the card of Jeff Jarrett and AMW against Team 3D and Rhino. Tenay then received word the biggest jump in TNA history was on his way to the Impact Zone. The camera cut backstage to someone walking out of a dressing room. It then cut back to the Impact Zone as the lights went out and a countdown from 10 appeared on the screen. When the countdown was over, the name Christian Cage appeared on the screen. The crowd erupted as “Captain Charisma” made his way to the ring.
Christian cut a promo explaining why he made the jump to TNA. He made it known that he was in TNA because he wanted to be a part of what the company was doing, not because he had been fired from WWE. He then called out the NWA Heavyweight Champion, Jeff Jarrett, calling the title “the most important and prized possession in the sport.” After making his intentions for the title known, Christian dropped his catchphrase of “that’s how I roll.” Before he could leave the ring, Team Canada’s music hit, and Scott D’Amore and Bobby Roode entered the ring.
Team Canada Tries to Steal Christian’s TNA Debut
Scott D’Amore cut a promo on Christian, trying to sway him to join Team Canada. As Christian tried to question D’Amore, Bobby Roode cut Christian off. Roode explained that Christian had the opportunity to walk in and take advantage of the work they had done for the past three years. He laid the ultimatum to Christian that he’s either with them or against them as the exchange heated up. D’Amore stepped in between the two, offering Christian a Team Canada t-shirt. The Canada native examined the shirt before telling D’Amore he needed some time to think it over. Team Canada gave Christian until the end of the night to decide.
After Team 3D and Rhino defeated Jeff Jarrett and AMW in the main event, Jarrett smashed his signature guitar over the head of Rhino. Team Canada then joined on the beatdown of Team 3D and Rhino, prompting Christian Cage to hit the ring. Christian rejected the offer of Team Canada by attacking Scott D’Amore, cementing himself as a face.
Christian started 2006 in a high-profile match with Sting against Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown. He went on to defeat Jeff Jarrett and capture the NWA Heavyweight Championship at Against All Odds in February of 2006. This would be the first of two runs with the title.
Christan was a mainstay in TNA, often near the main event scene. Christian’s TNA debut gave the promotion some name recognition, a trend that continued with the debut of Sting in 2006. Although he is no longer with the company, his run with the company is a staple of 2000s TNA Wrestling.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for the latest wrestling content. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!