As previously noted, current Impact X Division Champion Brian Cage was recently a guest on The Steve Austin Show. Among many other interesting pro wrestling topics, Cage discussed how he became interested in pro wrestling, what his backup plans were if pro wrestling did not work out for him, and his WWE release.
According to Cage, he has been a fan of the genre since he was five years old. 'Mr. GMSI' divulged that the first WWE pay-per-view he bought was the 1990 Royal Rumble as a 10 year old child.
"I saw [pro] wrestling for the first time when I was, I don't know, five years old." Cage recalled, "my mom went over to see her friend who was staying in town and she was at a hotel, so we went over there. It was just on the TV. I don't know if anybody was watching it and I don't even remember a match or who was on it. I just remember it was there and I was like, 'wow!' And I'd always liked superheroes and comic books, so to me, it was like real life superheroes, so I thought it was awesome and I just started watching it there. And I just remember, like, the first pay-per-view I think we bought was 1990 Royal Rumble. I was five then, so about the time I turned about 10, I was just in love with it and that's all I wanted to do."
With Cage's interest in health and nutrition, his backup plan was to be an athletic trainer.
"I never had any degree or whatever, but I was, even as a kid, like, in the third grade, I remember being very interested in nutrition. I'd always read all the nutrition facts on a bag of a Doritos or whatever cereal I'm having that morning. I was really into fitness. I remember I wanted a Bowflex for so long and I told the gym. I was like, 'oh, that's what I need in my life.' I was just into it. Then I prepping people for contests and I started working the general population too for diets and whatever else. It was just something I got kind of passionate about for a while and [that] I was really into. And I was going to school, too, for kinesiology to be a physical therapist or I really wanted to be an athletic trainer for a team. Like, I always wanted to be a [pro] wrestler, but my Plan B were to do something sports related, like, to be like a trainer for WWE, or to be the production because I always thought their videos were so amazing, all the packages, like that Kurt Angle one when he came back with the Coldplay." Cage added, "I remember that one sunk in, like, 'dude, do this one - it's so awesome.' I'd love to be able to do that stuff. I can't do that. I never really got into that, but the training part of it, that was always kind of like my Plan B until I realized how [many] intern hours, how much schooling, it took to get to that level."
With respect to Cage's cup of coffee with WWE, 'Swolverine' shared that he is not bitter bitter about the situation as he is content with how things are going with his pro wrestling odyssey. Interestingly, Cage thought WWE was calling to give him a promotion and a raise when the office was calling about his release.
"I'm not bitter at all like, 'eff them - I'll never go back.' I'm super happy and content with what I'm doing. And wrestling, like I said, has been so great this year too. I feel like you can be very successful and have a good career outside of [WWE] right now at this point where it's not like they're the be-all-end-all. So yeah, I was there. I loved my time. Things were going great. Actually, I thought someone was getting called up that weekend, and I never thought it was going to be me, and I missed the call from the office. I called them right back because I know I was due for a raise as well, so I call them back and I'm thinking, 'am I getting my raise? Am I going up to the road? Am I getting both? I don't know. This is awesome. Like, here we go.' I call them and I'm like, 'oh, hey.' They're like, 'we need to come to terms on your release.' I literally look at the phone and I'm like, 'do you call the right person?' I was shocked!" Cage laughed, "I was like, 'hold on, this is not at all what the conversation was supposed to be!'"
Apparently, WWE brass based its decision to release 'The Machine' on a bad match he had while he was injured.
"I know after talking to Tom [Prichard], and Norman [Smiley], and stuff later on, I know there was a big indie show where, like, a lot of the talents, and the agents, and stuff were there and so I guess the office watched that show as opposed to the million other shows we were doing. I had torn my groin. I wasn't going to work. They had me in this match." Cage remembered, "so Tom's like, 'hey, you're on the card. You shouldn't be working anyways, but just go out there, go right to heat, [and then] go right to finish. Two-minute like nothing.' I'm like, 'okay, cool.' I hadn't worked this guy before and he hasn't really been there either, but he gets on me, s--tcans me, and I hold on. I go to springboard in and he gives me a big boot. We've done this cutoff before right to heat, turn around, come back, finish. Like, that simple of a match. So he throws me on and I hang on. I hang onto the rope. I jump to springboard in and he throws the boot, but he throws the boot like he's standing in the opposite corner, so when I jump and I can't really jump because my groin is torn, so I'm feeding in to take the boot, and on the springboard, he's not there, so I'm like, 'what do I do now?' and I kind of like fall into the ring. And I get up and he gets on me. And the crowd doesn't really s--t on it, thank God, but apparently they watched that and the office decided, 'naw, we're going to cut him.'"
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Source: The Steve Austin Show