With AEW in Ottawa Saturday, Patriarch Christian Cage talks the talk

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The warning came early: Christian Cage would be speaking “fully in character” two days in advance of All Elite Wrestling’s TV show, Collision, Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre.

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So, it was no surprise in our phone interview, Christian Cage, real name Jay Reso, went into no-holds-barred full heel mode, self-promotional hype at warp speed.

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We hear nothing about his brilliant professional wrestling legacy that started as a childhood friend of Adam Copeland (the former Edge in WWE).

We hear nothing about the early retirement because of injuries and concussions, then the grind, the hard work and determination it took him to get back and be so good at what he does, amazingly enough, at the age of 50.

We hear nothing about his appreciation for where he is in life and in the wrestling ring.

That’s all part of the legacy for Jay Reso. But that’s not what Christian Cage wants to talk about.

On this day, it’s full spin, full-on bad guy, a wrestler fans love to hate. In today’s blurred lines of professional wrestling where bad is sometimes good, some fans will love him.

On X, he said a couple of months ago: “I’m a level above god level.” Before that: “I am THE best wrestler in the world.”

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Asked about it, he boasted: “I’m obviously the biggest star in AEW, I’ve basically been carrying this company on my back for the better part of the last year. I’m the holder of the most prestigious championship in the company, the TNT championship. I’ve taken it from the trash – it was left for dead – and I’ve made it the most important championship in this company, if not the industry. Anybody that shares space with me, I elevate them, I make them into bigger stars. I’m a level above god level, I am the best wrestler in the world … and I stand by that.”

And how would he describe his current role?

“Christian Cage is simply a guy that tells the truth,” he said. “I’m in a world of fake, phony people. I’m the one legit person. I’m going to tell it like it is every time. If I tell you I’m going to win a match, I’m going to win. If I tell you I’m going to take somebody out, I’m going to do it.”

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Finding success as a wrestler isn’t just about doing flips and fancy moves. Being able to bring emotions out of the audience with a microphone in hand is a star maker. And that’s what Jay Reso/Christian Cage is: A star.

For those who aren’t up to speed, AEW is, in many ways, a superior product to WWE with better wrestling and better entertainment value.

And that brings us to Saturday’s Ottawa show. Christian Cage, as it turns out, won’t be here. So, what about that?

“I spent a lot of time in Ottawa as a youth,” he said. “I know what a cesspool it is … liars, politicians. I can understand why (wrestling fans in Ottawa) would be let down (that I’m not there). I think people would actually appreciate my honesty, something that hasn’t happened a lot in the capital city of Canada.”

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The Patriarchy, an All Elite Wrestling faction, features (left to right) Shayna Wayne, Killswitch, Nick Wayne and leader Christian Cage. (All Elite Wrestling Photo)
The Patriarchy, an All Elite Wrestling faction, features (left to right) Shayna Wayne, Killswitch, Nick Wayne and leader Christian Cage. (All Elite Wrestling Photo)

He’s known as The Patriarch in his current gimmick, leading a group called The Patriarchy (which features wrestlers Killswitch and Nick Wayne). Cage is the group’s “father figure.”

“I take lost souls and I give them direction,” he said. “Look at a young man like Nick Wayne, I saw the raw talent this kid has and he needs to harness that. I see things in Nick I saw in myself at that very same age. I see greatness in him. His level now is way beyond where it was since he fell under the learning tree of Christian Cage.

“(Killswitch) is a monster. He’s the most complete big man in the business, it took me for him to realize that. I take people and help them realize their potential. I’m their father. I guide them.”

In a world where athleticism and physicality are blended in with over-the-top, soap opera-like storytelling, Christian Cage is all about the angle. The current script has him feuding with Copeland, his buddy going way back to high school in Orangeville, a bit north of Toronto.

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Cage is asked about Copeland, who he’ll face in an I Quit match next Wednesday in Toronto, at AEW’s Dynamite TV show. They are/storyline were, after all, best of friends. How did that go off the rails?

“He saw what I was doing in AEW and he was jealous,” said Cage. “He wanted to steal the spotlight from me, like he’s done our entire career. I refuse to let that happen. I’m a bigger star at this stage than Adam Copeland. I’m a bigger star than anybody else in this business. He tried to leech off that, reform our tag team. How about all those years when he was handed the world and I was pushed aside? All of a sudden he sees I’m on top. The fact of the matter is he needs me more than I need him.”

And about returning to Toronto, where he spent so much time learning how to be a wrestler? How does he think he’ll be treated by the fans?

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“I don’t care, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I said it the last time I was in Toronto: Toronto breeds losers. You saw last year in the (NHL) playoffs, the Maple Leafs won one round after so many years and they celebrate like they’ve won the Stanley Cup. It’s embarrassing. I’m the only true champion from that city.”

So what will happen in Wednesday’s match, where the winner is decided when the opponent concedes?

Said Christian Cage, “I will never say the words, ‘I quit.’”

Still in “full character,” he’s asked what’s ahead for him.

“I’m attracted to gold, I love gold,” he said. “Maybe I won’t be happy until I have every singles championship in AEW. Maybe I will send Nick Wayne and Killswitch after the tag titles and I’ll take all the singles titles for myself.”

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Just one match – Bounty Hunter Bryan Keith vs. Kyle O’Reilly (the Canadian from B.C. who hasn’t wrestled since June of 2022 after he underwent neck fusion surgery, then suffered a post-surgical complication) – has been announced so far for the Ottawa show, which begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca.

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