WWE veteran and multi-time champion Christian Cage was on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Cage talked about why he signed with AEW over WWE, and he revealed which former AEW World Champion convinced him to consider AEW.

“It’s no secret people saw me return a few weeks previous at the Royal Rumble and maybe assumed that’s where I was going to end up, and Jon Moxley is a really good friend of mine,” Cage said. “And he and I were talking a lot over the course of me attempting to come back, and he kind of put that bug in my ears telling me all about his positive experiences in AEW and what he felt I can bring to the table there.

“He said, ‘Look man, you’re free agent. You’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t at least have a conversation with Tony [Khan],’ and he was right. And I did owe that to myself and to my career to do that, and I had a two-hour conversation with Tony. I told Jon, ‘Yeah, go ahead and tell him if he wants talk, I would love to have a conversation with him.’ 30 minutes later, I got a text from Tony.

“Probably seven years previous, I’d met Tony through a mutual friend, and we had dinner. And we hung out for a few hours, and it just blew my mind back then what an encyclopedia he was of wrestling knowledge. And he was telling me about things about my career that I didn’t remember myself.”

Cage recalled his Revolution debut. He revealed what AEW EVP Cody Rhodes told him to give him a confidence boost before his debut.

“I get there straight onto a bus. It’s nerve-racking,” Cage admitted. “You’re like, will anybody even care that I’m here. You had those kind of thoughts that kind of go through your head a little bit, and it was funny I never put this into perspective, but Cody came on the bus to talk to me briefly. This made me feel great.

“He said, ‘It’s a big deal that you’re here,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah?’ And he said, ‘Put this into perspective. For guys like you and I, it was Hogan. It was Andre. It was Macho, Man. It was Ted DiBiase. All these these superstars. The majority of the talent in that locker room that is what you are to them that same way,’ and I was like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t really think about it like that.’ So that just kind of put me in a whole different headspace as far as going out there.

“It gave me some confidence. Not that I was lacking confidence, but I was like, okay. Yeah, cool. I made the right decision, and it was neat to walk through that common area and see all the faces kind of light up when I walked through. That was very cool moment and really meant a lot to me.”

Cage returned to the ring for the first time in seven years. He talks about what it means for him to come back after being forced to retire.

“It reinvigorates me as well to know that I made the right choice as far as even coming back to the ring,” Cage said. “The way that my career ended 7 years previous never really sat well with me. You’d like to have a say in when it’s time to go, and I didn’t have that. I was told. I accepted it, but it didn’t sit well with me, and then when I kind of started to put the work in, and did all the testing and all those sorts of things to get the clearance to come back, it just lit something under me.

“And I was like, yeah, I’m going to do this, and I’m going to close this chapter on my own, whatever that is. Whether it’s one match, I come back and get to say, I did it on my own terms or whether I come back for three years or five years, or whatever it is, I’m going to do this on my own terms. That was pretty exciting.”

Cage debuted in AEW to his old TNA theme. He talked about the process to how that came together.

“I had a couple of conversations with Tony about it, and I was like, man, that music was kind of synonymous with Christian Cage. Can we update it and make it our own? Also, you want something that’s going to be recognizable to people, and I feel like that music still was very much. Kind of put a little spin on it and he agreed, and he sent me a couple samples of it. And we all agreed that was the way to go, and it was pretty cool.”

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