Danny Cage operates the most famous wrestling school outside of the WWE Performance Center as he runs The Monster Factory in New Jersey. He recently had an opportunity to visit the WWE PC which he talked about when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"It's something that I've always wanted to do. I was in talks with them a couple of years ago when Riddle had his tryout and things didn't work out. Once I was done with ROH, I hit up a couple of people and they put me in touch with Matt Bloom…and I came down there and it was awesome," said Cage.
"I couldn't ask for more but I still wanted more, you know what I mean? I would have loved to stay for another week or two; it was a really great experience. Everyone I met there was awesome and professional."
Cage was then asked about what surprised him the most at the PC.
"I've never been there or trained there before. I didn't know what they were doing other than they have seven rings and people train there. I would talk to our guys about what they did, but we've been training pretty much this way before the PC even opened," stated Cage.
"I started the way Monster Factory trains in 2012 with multiple rings, amateur mats and utilizing the weight room. It was really cool to see the seven rings, people reporting to the weight room and promo classes. Top to bottom there were millions of things going on and all of these working parts with everybody doing something…It was really cool."
What WWE looks for in a potential Superstar is often different than what other promotions look for as Cage explained.
For years WWE just wanted fresh faces. Then the thing was big time athletes and then it's we wanna establish independent talent. Now I think it's like a hodge podge of everything," said Cage. "They want the fresh faces, the new indie talent, the people making noise and the people who have potential and grab them up beforehand."
There are varying levels of experience at the PC and Cage focused on working mainly with the novices of pro wrestling.
"I was working with the greener talent because we were there at a very different week than usual because that was the Raw Reunion show and also SmackDown," said Cage. "That was in Tampa and Miami so a lot of talent from the PC wasn't there.
"Then on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday loop the more established talent was in the Carolinas and Georgia area."
WWE has its own notable group of coaches and Cage talked about the other coaches he worked with while there.
"It was cool because Pat Buck was there and he was a guest coach there which was awesome because I've been communicating with him for years. We've been using his talent and he's been using our talent. We always talked online and I walked in on the first day and all of a sudden he walked in," Cage said before adding that Robbie Brookside, Norman Smiley, Road Dogg and Matt Bloom were all there as well.
"It was really cool. It was one of those things where you can't believe it was happening but at the same time, I had prepared my whole life for it without even really preparing for it."
Cage was there to lend his expertise to the aspiring wrestlers but he also learned something as well which he talked about.
"Basically [I learned] not to sweat the little things. Too many times I'll sweat that somebody's not showing up or didn't show up to our non-mandatory open ring. I think I worry too much instead of putting it on the talent as it's their responsibility," said Cage who admitted that he's often critical of himself and that helps him and The Monster Factory improve and not stay stagnant.
"You can't stay comfortable in pro wrestling."
Cage was asked what talents impressed him at the PC and while he was hesitant to mention any names, he eventually singled out one wrestler.
"I'm not gonna say any names because I don't know if their names are gonna be different or if this is who they wanna be known as," said Cage. "I know there was a couple I worked with on the open ring day and he was picked up by Brisco. His name was Denzel and he's got a great personality and was an amateur wrestler. I knew right away he was a Brisco Boy because the Briscos, those are the amateur athletes and stuff like that.
"I saw the way he was carrying himself and I used to be an amateur wrestler so I could tell. I said, 'You're a Brisco Boy, aren't you?' He's like, 'Yeah I am!' So I hit up Gerry and said I wanted to work with him and we went over different ways to throw amateur wrestling into the pro wrestling world and also add more to his character."
Danny Cage serves as the owner and head trainer for the "World Famous" Monster Factory pro wrestling academy. For more information about the Monster Factory please visit www.monsterfactory.org.
Cage's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Cage discusses his recent stint guest coaching at the WWE Performance Center, heated arguments he's had with Matt Riddle during training, Matt Riddle's least favorite part of training, why Monster Factory and ROH's relationship didn't work out, the current state of ROH, the launch of AEW, training superfan Izzy and more.