Professional wrestling is not a new form of entertainment by any means. It has entertained the masses for years and will hopefully continue to do so for a long time. Some wrestlers have transcended pop culture and become household names long after their in-ring time. Some have had careers that span decades in the ring. In the case of Christian Cage, his career spanned the 1990’s and 2000’s. Known for his innovative tag matches with partner Edge, they feuded heavily with The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boys. He took a step away from WWE in the 2000s and joined IMPACT Wrestling (known as TNA Wrestling at the time). After returning to WWE he had to retire due to injuries in 2014. Now in 2021 Christian Cage is back in the spotlight.
As 2021 comes to a close, let’s examine the career resurgence that Cage had. The year was eventful and saw him compete for WWE, AEW, and IMPACT Wrestling. He has teamed with young talent, feuded with The Elite, and even won and retired a championship in IMPACT. Let’s take a deeper look at what 2021 looked like for Christian Cage.
Christian Cage 2021: A Career Resurgence
The Return To The Ring
In March of 2014 Christian won a fatal four-way match to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. Unfortunately for Christian, he would never capitalize on the opportunity. This would be the final match he would wrestle for years. After suffering a concussion, Christian would be sidelined for the foreseeable future. Due to his history of concussions, he was forced to retire from in-ring competition. Cage had no shortage of high-flying and exciting moments within a WWE ring. His Tables-Ladders-Chairs matches often resulted in moments that had fans on their feet. He would retire from WWE with an impressive track record including multiple singles and tag team title runs. The retirement would not be permanent, however.
On the June 8th, 2020 edition of Monday Night Raw Christian returned to host “The Peep Show“. His guest was non-other than his long-time tag partner Edge who was locked in a heated feud with Randy Orton. Orton challenged Christian to an unsanctioned match the following week on Raw which gave Christian his first match since 2014. Christian was hit below the belt by Ric Flair and took a punt kick from Orton that ended the match quickly. Cage returned the favor to Orton by interfering with his match against Drew McIntyre at Clash of Champions.
Christian’s final appearance in WWE was the 2021 Royal Rumble. He entered at spot number 24 and was eliminated by Seth Rollins. This was the final WWE match for Christian Cage, but his 2021 was far from over.
Going All Elite
As AEW headed towards their first pay-per-view of 2021, a night of surprises was promised. One of those was the signing of Christian Cage, who made an entrance into Daily’s Place that called back to his time in TNA. As the familiar-sounding music and countdown that TNA fans of the 2000s immediately recognized took over Daily’s Place, Christian Cage was officially All Elite.
After winning his debut match against fellow veteran Frankie Kazarian, Cage turned his attention to the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing. He had a great showing in the match, making it down to the final two. He was eliminated by Jungle Boy who would later team with Cage as part of a feud with The Elite. With Jungle Boy under his wing, Cage would go on to have an undefeated streak in AEW. He climbed the rankings and quickly found himself in a position to challenge AEW World Champion Kenny Omega.
The AEW Title was not the only one held by Omega at that time. Omega was also the IMPACT Wrestling World Champion as part of a partnership with the promotion. Cage was a mainstay in IMPACT after making his debut in 2005. He is no stranger to the promotion and was soon about to make his way back to the promotion he called home from 2005-2008.
Making An IMPACT
As the first-ever episode of AEW Rampage came together, Cage would quickly find himself back in the spotlight of IMPACT Wrestling. As Don Callis joined Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks in the ring after the trio defeated the team of Dante Martin, Matt Sydal, and Mike Sydal Cage would make his way to the ring with some news.
Cage let The Elite know that he would challenge Omega for the IMPACT Title at the first episode of Rampage and would challenge him again for the AEW Title at All Out. He was quickly joined in the ring by Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Cage had taken the duo under his wing in AEW and the feud with The Elite was starting to boil over. Cage being the veteran of tag team wrestling he is, found backup in a team that was making waves in AEW.
Omega and Cage battled hard for the IMPACT Title. The Young Bucks attempted to get involved and slide Omega a chair. Cage is no stranger to using a chair in a match as he and Edge were known for using the conchairto move during their many tag team matches in WWE. The plan would backfire on The Elite as Cage captured the IMPACT title and returned to IMPACT Wrestling.
Cage officially retired the TNA World Heavyweight Title, which made the IMPACT World Title the sole primary title in the promotion. The act was very symbolic as Cage held the NWA World Title twice during his time with TNA. IMPACT had jurisdiction of the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title from 2002-2007 which covered the bulk of Cage’s time there. Although his contributions to the promotion were significant, he did not hold the TNA World Heavyweight Title until 2021. The fans welcomed Cage back to the IMPACT Zone with open arms as he defended the IMPACT World Title before losing the belt to Josh Alexander at Bound For Glory. Cage’s final match in IMPACT for 2021 felt fitting as he main evented the biggest night of the year of IMPACT Wrestling.
Feud With The Elite
Cage went into All Out 2021 with a chance to defeat Kenny Omega twice in a row for two different titles. Cage walked into the main event of one of AEW’s biggest shows of the year with the goal of walking out a double champion. Although he was not able to defeat Omega, another chapter in the feud between himself and The Elite began that night.
After Omega defeated Christian, the rest of The Elite began to beatdown Cage. Jurassic Express hit the ring in an attempt to help Cage but they were quickly outnumbered. The lights went down in the NOW Arena and Adam Cole made his AEW debut. He made his way to the ring and for a moment it looked like Cole may be there to help Cage. This was not the case as he quickly kicked Jungle Boy in the head, and reunited with his former Bullet Club stablemates.
This was just the latest chapter in the feud as the Wednesday before on Dynamite Cage was left beaten in the steel cage after an all-out assault from The Elite. Cage and The Jurassic Express were clearly fed up with the antics of The Elite. Cage went back to his tag team roots and teamed with The Jurassic Express against The Superkliq at AEW Grandslam. They were defeated and challenged Omega and The Young Bucks a couple of weeks later on Dynamite.
Fed up with the attitude of The Elite, the team of Cage and Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus took on The Superkliq at Full Gear in a falls count anywhere match. The match was brutal and was reminiscent of the wars between The Hardy Boys, The Dudley Boyz, and Edge and Christian. Cage took to the crowd and jumped off of an alcove landing hard on the concrete. The match ended on the entrance ramp where Cage encouraged Jungle Boy to hit a conchairto, much to the apprehension of Jungle Boy. With a victory in the falls count any match it looks as though the trouble with The Elite may be left in 2021 for Christian Cage and company.
2021 and Beyond For Christian Cage
With The Elite seemingly behind him, Cage can focus on new things in 2021. Cage seems to like having Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus under his wing. Will we see the mentor relationship grow in 2022? Jungle Boy seemed apprehensive to use a dangerous move like the conchairto until Cage edged him on. Perhaps Cage will continue to bring out a more aggressive side of Jungle Boy in 2022.
Will Cage find more young talent to take under his wing? There is no shortage of young talent in the AEW locker room that could benefit from the veteran knowledge of Cage. Only time will tell. One thing for certain is that it is great to see Cage back in a ring doing what he loves. With AEW having a memorable 2021, the sky is the limit for Cage and his continued career resurgence in 2022.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. 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. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.