Recently on The Steve Austin Show, current Impact X Division Champion Brian Cage stopped by 317 Gimmick Street for a conversation with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin. Among many other things, Cage explained why he is known as 'Cage' in Lucha Underground when he is 'Brian Cage' everywhere else. Cage talked about how he overcomes the language barrier when he works for AAA and Lucha Underground. Also, Cage shared his thoughts on NXT Superstar Keith Lee.
According to Cage, he is known as 'Cage' on Lucha Underground because the El Rey Network wanted him to change his name and look for the show. Notably, Cage was reluctant to wear a singlet because he did not want to encourage more comparisons to former WWE Superstar Ryback.
"The reason why I'm just 'Cage' in Lucha Underground instead of 'Brian Cage' is because DJ, the writer, Chris DeJoseph, we wanted to keep my name the same. He said, 'hey, the Network kind of wants to change your name. Here are some other ideas.' I'm like, 'these suck. I don't want to change my name.' He was like, 'yeah, I don't want you to either.' So he goes, 'alright, here's the compromise. How about you're just 'Cage' instead of 'Brian Cage'?,' which is the same difference, but whatever and I still own the [intellectual property] to it." Cage continued, "and he goes, 'and they want you to wrestle in a singlet or something different.' I used to just wear trunks, and kickers, and stuff on the indies and everywhere else. So then, they wanted me to wear a singlet. I'm like, 'I don't want to wear a singlet because I already get compared to Ryback a lot of times. Unfortunately, I'd be put over Ryback because, like, as a better worker, but I'm like, I don't want more of a comparison because I'm wearing a singlet as well, but that's what they went with and a lot of people like that. And, actually, I debuted in Impact with a singlet too and everybody hated it. They said, 'go back to your other stuff.'"
When asked how he is able to work with non-English speaking performers, Cage explained that at AAA and Lucha Underground there is always someone bilingual to help with the matches beforehand. Moreover, 'Lucha Lesnar' professed that he can pick up on body language and also rely on his ring smarts to know how matches are unfolding.
"Really, when we're talking backstage, whether it be AAA, or Lucha Underground, or whatever, there's somebody that's bilingual and that's kind of how it [materializes]." Cage said, "that and there are guys that are good and you've worked a few times, so you just know their style and their moves. That's kind of easy. And then, it just becomes body language or even I know the structure of the matches, especially in AAA, so if all of the guys are speaking Spanish, I don't know what's going on, but I know what's going on. People don't understand it, but I'm like, 'I don't understand what they're saying, but I get it. I know what's going to happen. Like, okay, I'm with it.'"
With respect to Keith Lee, Cage admitted that 'The F'n Machine' assumed Lee was not a very good pro wrestler because of his size before ever working with 'The Limitless One'.
"Dude, Keith Lee is amazing." Cage added, "Based on paper, because of my size, a lot of promoters and hole-in-the-wall indies will book me against the local big guy. Not to throw anybody under the bus, but usually most of the big guys can't go the way I can go and usually their big because they're overweight big and then they're heavy as s--t in all the moves. I enjoy making everybody look good, but if they can't go or get blown up, it makes me look bad. I'm like, 'man, I'd rather just work a little guy then.' So anyway, I'm thinking Keith Lee looks like a big guy, he looks pretty overweight. I'm like, 'this guy probably sucks.' It's what I'm thinking right away. I'm judging the book by the cover."
After having a great match with Lee, Cage recommended to the big man that he venture away from Texas to get more bookings.
"Right afterward, I'm like, 'dude, you've been working for the same amount of time that I have and you're only in Texas? You haven't done anything else?' He goes, 'naw, man. I've done some stuff for Ring Of Honor and some WWE tryouts.' I'm like, 'man, you need to get out of Texas. And this was probably right when the indies started to get cooking." Cage recalled, "so he calls me up and he says, 'I'm going to buy my own ticket to go to a bigger show, like, I'm going to go to Championship Wrestling From Hollywood or I'm going to go to Beyond Wrestling, which one do you think I should go to?' I'm like, 'go to Beyond because that has more of a reach throughout the indie market.' He goes there. Kills it. Before he's on his flight back, they already have him booked for the next show. And from that, he started going to the UK and here. And then, he became Keith Lee."
Who's better than Cage? If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show