Christian Cage Details Final Days In WWE, Journey To Getting Cleared By Doctors For Full-Time AEW Return


As noted, Christian Cage recently joined fellow AEW star Chris Jericho as the guest on a recent installment of his wildly popular pro wrestling podcast, "Talk Is Jericho," for an in-depth interview detailing his surprise return at the WWE Royal Rumble back in January and how it led to his full-time surprise return in All Elite Wrestling at their AEW Revolution 2021 pay-per-view.

In addition to the highlights from the interview that we have posted here previously, "Captain Charisma" also spoke with "Le Champion" about such topics as training in Edge's personal ring with Beth Phoenix in preparation for his surprise Royal Rumble return back in January, how he told WWE he was cleared to return but how that ultimately led to him signing and debuting in AEW, plus much more.

Featured below are some of the additional highlights from the new full-length Christian Cage interview on Chris Jericho's "Talk Is Jericho" podcast.

On his journey in getting cleared to compete and make his in-ring return for AEW: “Adam (Edge) got cleared. I know it’s a different injury, but he never thought he was gonna be able to come back. Who’s to say they won’t clear me at this point in time? It’s been seven years. I made my own appointments, and just went on my own and figured, if I go, they tell me they think I can do this, then I’ve opened up doors, and if they say no, you should probably stay retired, then I’m in no different situation than I was when I woke up in the morning. That’s what I did. I went to the University of South Florida and saw a specialist there, and I went through the physical training, went through the testing on the computer. They even said the testing had advanced some, obviously since I took it last, and when I sat in with the doctor, after I did all the tests, he was like, ‘Man, your test scores were great. You were average or above average on everything. You didn’t fail. You weren’t below average on any of these scores. Your physical tests were great, so let’s have a conversation.’ We started talking, and eventually we got to the point that he asked me, ‘What is it that you want to do?’ And I said, ‘I would like to go back and finish my career on my own terms, but I’m obviously not going to do it if it’s going to put my health at risk,’ and he said, ‘I think you can do this. I don’t think you’re thinking irrationally at all. From everything that we’ve talked about, all these test scores, everything’s laid out here, you can do this if it’s what you want to do.’ And that was like, wow, pretty surreal moment.”

On telling WWE that he was cleared to compete, the company telling him to keep it a secret and how he visited a doctor in Pittsburgh to undergo additional testing and what he was told in regards to concussions: “I brought it to to WWE’s attention that I had got this clearance, and obviously, they were very excited about it and was told they wanted to keep it close to the vest. Quietly, [they] sent me up to Pittsburgh, I believe, towards the end of October. They sent me up there, and same thing, I just went through tests, but it was a harder test. It was more thorough tests, and it was probably about five hours long to be honest. And I saw about three or four different specialists for different things. Did a full in the gym physical workout. It was very very thorough, and the doctor said the same thing as the doctor here at USF said. Exact same thing but one thing I found interesting that he said was, ‘Did you find yourself, when you were getting concussed more, did you find yourself getting anxious and thinking about it a lot?’ I said, ‘Of course. Yeah.’ He said, ‘I need to stop thinking about concussions. If you have that anxiety and that fear, you’re making yourself more susceptible to it,’ which I didn’t even realize. He said, ‘You need to go step in that ring with no fear, and you need to step in there with the realization that you’re at no greater risk now than you’ve ever been in any point in your life of getting a concussion. Could you get another one? Sure, but you’re not in any greater risk than you were at any other point in your life. Go in there with every confidence that you’re going to be fine because if we go in there with that anxiety and that fear, you’re making yourself more susceptible.’ And that’s all I had to hear.”

On hearing rumors that he would be a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match this past January and when WWE finally contacted him to be in the match for sure: “All these months pass and we get through the holidays, and I’d heard a little bit of a rumbling of maybe something in the Rumble, but then, no, it’s not going to happen. And that was probably a month out. I really think about it again and then the Rumble is on a Sunday night, and Friday night, about 7:30 p.m., I get a phone call saying, ‘We don’t think there’s a big enough surprise in this Rumble. Would you want to come back and do it?’ And I thought about it for a second, and all the things kind of go through your head. I don’t have any kind of deal or anything like that, and it’s like, you know what, I’ve always bet on myself anyway.”

On training in Edge's personal ring with Beth Phoenix and how long it had been since he had been in the squared circle prior to that and how much of a secret his Royal Rumble appearance would be: “I legit hadn’t been in the ring since June when I was at Edge’s place, and before that, it had been seven years. I go, hopefully, it’s like riding a bike, and I’ll just pick it right back. They obviously have rings backstage. I was like, maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a ring and just hit the ropes, but there was people in those rings all day, so I couldn’t even do it because I’m the surprise. Legit, I didn’t get changed till the match before the Rumble was in, and I got changed, walked down. Everybody in the hall is like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I was just there hanging out for the day. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for me to be around. I was there three weeks previous doing some stuff for The Network. It’s not like I’m not around, so people are used to seeing me around. ‘Oh, we see another guy,’ and then I kind of laugh it off and then walk out. When the match actually started, I knew I would have about 40 – 45 minutes before I had to be in there. I got in the ring, hit the ropes about five times, took about five bumps just to get that initial shock in your system. I was like, alright, that’s gonna have to do it.”

On his ThunderDome experience in WWE and whether or not he ever got to speak with Vince McMahon: “Well, it was obviously not the same day, but it was still cool because you more so see faces on the screen than you could with a live crowd. There’s noise, and you can see the reactions of the people on the screens, which was cool. I’d done a couple of things in the Performance Center. Obviously, with that unsanctioned match where it was super weird where there’s nothing there, and it’s strange, but it was as good of an environment as you possibly could put without an actual crowd being there, so I appreciated that. And it was a good feeling. It felt great, and I thought I was going to be nervous before I walked through that curtain. I stood there, and I was cool as a cucumber man. I was like, I was born to do this. There’s nothing to be nervous. I put the work in other than getting the ring. It wasn’t like going out having a singles match. The Rumble, it’s a different kind of animal so went out there, and thankfully, it went good and it got a lot of positive feedback. People saying you looked like you never missed a step, which was great, and that gave me some more confidence and just kind of rolled from there. He (McMahon) was not there. I never saw him again after that.”

Check out the complete interview at WestwoodOnePodcasts.com. H/T to WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the above quotes.

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