Before he made a name for himself in Lucha Underground, IMPACT Wrestling, and AEW, Brian Cage was in WWE’s developmental system. He signed with the company in 2008 and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling.

Brian Cage says he enjoyed his time in FCW. He also says his release in 2009 came as a total surprise to him.

“Getting released was such a shocker to me,” Cage told the Going Broadway Podcast. “I remember – this doesn’t do anything for me – but literally, everyone was, besides behind the scenes, they all were, they came in and they said that one of us was going on the road. And like, literally everyone thought it was me just for how well I was doing, how I was killing it. And I also knew I was up for a raise. So I’m at the gym and they just talk about that, all the coaches at FCW, and how one of us is going on the road next week.

“So I’m at the gym and I miss a call,” Cage continued. “I’m like, ‘Oh sh-t. Is this my raise? Am I going on the road? Maybe it’s both’. So I’m like ecstatic and I call him back right away. I’m like, ‘Oh hey.’  He goes, ‘Oh, hey Brian. How are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m doing alright.’ Like I’m trying to kayfabe my excitement. And he goes, ‘Oh, that’s great, that’s great.’ And he goes, ‘so, I’ve got some, I’ve got some bad news. Kind of hard part of the job’. And I’m like, ‘what are you talking about?’ Like still like, I have no idea because I’m still thinking it’s, you know, totally another side of the fence. And he goes, ‘Yeah, so we’re going to have to come to terms with your release’. And this is the phone and I’m like, {pulls the phone away from his ear to look at it}, and I look at it to make sure it’s the right number that I’m talking to. And again, I’m not trying to be like a smart a– or whatever. This, I’m just legitimate shocked.”

Brian Cage says he was later offered a chance to return to WWE. He says the company reached out to him about possible roles on Tough Enough and the third season of the original version of NXT. In the end, neither of those opportunities materialized. Cage says he no longer has any aspirations to work for WWE.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Going Broadway Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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