On the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted, Christian Cage sat down with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone to reflect on his AEW debut and his goals moving forward. Cage made his in-ring return this year for the first time in seven years, and he discussed his Royal Rumble moment with Edge and whether Edge was an influence for him to come back.

“Yeah of course, it was motivation for me, but our injuries were completely different,” Cage noted. “But it was like, If he can do it, maybe, maybe, and I never really had the itch until I watched him go out there. And I got so emotional about it because I’m a control freak, and when you go out there, you can control everything that happens. And I wanted to do so well that I was nervous that I couldn’t control the situation. So I had to walk away, and get my composure and come back, but it kind of did plant those seeds in my brain.

“I put it to the side until about the summer when that unsanctioned came up, and I was like, yeah, I got it to figure this out and see if this is possible. I need to close this on my own terms, but when he hugged me at The Rumble, we didn’t say anything. That wasn’t even a planned hug or anything like that. I did my thing and turned around. He was standing there with a huge smile on his face. Made me smile and we embraced and just kind of went about our business. So it was one of those spontaneous things. It was just a great moment. Can’t write those moments.”

Cage’s appearance in the Royal Rumble was a one-off as he did not appear on WWE TV after. He took fan questions later in the podcast, and he named WWE talent that he would have liked to have feuded with if he did stay with WWE.

“I would say probably Kevin Owens,” Cage stated. “I really like the passion that he has. I like the way that he delivers his promos. I think he’s fearless when he delivers his promos. I think that he’s a fearless competitor in the ring as well. I just like his style. Sami Zayn as well. I thought, especially this character the way it is now, we could have done some pretty special things. So off the top of my head, I would say probably those two guys.”

AEW has shown an openness to work with other promotions to varying degrees. Cage was asked if he is open to facing opponents from other promotions like Impact, NWA and NJPW.

“Right now, I’m focused on AEW, but we’ll see what happens,” Cage said. “I’m not against anything, but obviously, my focus is — I said this to Tony [Khan] after my match. I was very emotional after the match, and I went over and had a private moment with him. And I said, ‘I owe you so much.’ He basically signed me sight on scene.

“Having that moment in The Rumble, it’s not like going in and wrestling a 20, 25, 30-minute match. It’s not the same thing, and from the conversations that we had, he understood what I wanted to do, but the fact of the matter is, I hadn’t proven anything yet, what I can do in the ring or still do. And he still took that chance, and I’ll never forget that. So my loyalty is to Tony Khan and AEW. Whatever happens after that happens.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.