Former AEW World Tag Team Champion Frankie Kazarian was on the latest AEW Unrestricted podcast with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Kazarian was Christian Cage’s first AEW match, and Kazarian gave his reaction to wrestling Cage.
“Christian is, and I learned this the first time I wrestled him in 2007, a guy that has maybe the highest wrestling IQ that I’ve ever been in the ring with,” Kazarian admitted. “And when I say that, I mean just having mastered professional wrestling, knowing what works, what doesn’t. Whether it be on the fly or just ideas he has in the back, just ring positioning, body placement, just little nuances, the things that go in between the moves that most people don’t ever really get to see.
“The guy just has an outstanding mind for professional wrestling. I cannot sing his praise high enough, and I am so genuinely happy that he’s here with us in AEW and gets to experience this company because as you guys know, and Tony you especially, AEW is so very different behind the scenes than any other wrestling company is or ever has been.”
Kazarian spoke more of how remarkable Cage’s in-ring work still is even after seven years out of the ring. He also spoke on the term “underrated” that many of labeled himself and Cage as.
“Not only did he not lose a step, he might be better than ever, which is unreal,” Kazarian expressed. “I don’t know that I could do that. Seven years being away, I don’t know that I could do that. Professional wrestling is such a very very difficult thing to, first of all, even have the courage to do. We put ourselves out there like nobody else does, and it’s a difficult way to make a living. The industry is tough. I’ve been injured. I’ve been sit on the shelf.
“The longest I’ve been out was seven months, and that was with a torn tricep. And coming back from seven months was nerve-wracking, and physically taxing and mentally challenging. This guy’s been out of the ring for seven years, and to come back in that shape, to have that timing and that much focus, I don’t know that I could do that. He’s a special athlete, and I hope people realize now just how amazing and special Christian Cage is. He’s often been called one of the most underrated wrestlers there’s been, and people have put that tag on me.
“I wear that as a badge of honor. If you’re going to call me ‘underrated’, that’s fine because you’ve called a lot of my heroes underrated. Guys like Christian Cage, guys like Jerry Lynn, guys like Dean Malenko, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude [and] Tito Santana, those guys are my heroes. I’ll wear that with a badge of honor, and again, like I said, I can’t sing his praise high enough. It’s really amazing, and I hope people see the gravity of how special this is for him, for me [and] for AEW.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.