Brian Cage feels core AEW audience hates on him 'a little bit': "I almost feel like they feel I’m on the wrong team"

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/07/07/brian-cage-feels-core-aew-audience-hates-on-him-a-little-bit-i-almost-feel-like-they-feel-im-on-the-wrong-team/

Cage has been with AEW for three years. 

The 100th episode of AEW Rampage is airing tonight on TNT and as a part of the Blind Eliminator tag team tournament, Brian Cage is tagging with Big Bill to face Matt Sydal and Trent Beretta.

Ahead of the match airing, Cage joined David LaGreca and Thunder Rosa on Busted Open Radio and as the conversation rolled on, Cage was asked if he feels underappreciated in general. He said in certain regards, he does and when it comes to AEW, he gets the feeling that the core audience hates on him ‘a little bit’. 

LaGreca listed Cage’s attributes and strong points and Cage feels a lot of those ‘scream WWE’ so he thinks the core AEW audience feel like he’s playing on the wrong team. 

In certain regards, yes (I do feel underappreciated in wrestling) but also, I feel like with especially our core audience at AEW, I feel like they almost hate on me a little bit because of all of those attributes you just said about me. I almost feel like that screams WWE, right? So I almost feel in some regards, people are always anti-me, like, ugh, he doesn’t belong here, he’s too jacked, he does this, which are all positives in my book but I almost feel like they feel I’m on the wrong team and you know, I can toot my own horn and be like, okay, well maybe that’s just because they can’t be me and they’d rather attach onto a Darby Allin or something who they could live more vicariously through as opposed to someone like me so…

Cage is a member of Mogul Embassy with Swerve Strickland, Kaun, Prince Nana and Toa Liona. The trio of Cage, Kaun and Liona are ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions. Brian expressed that he’s enjoying working with Nana and he adds value to the overall on-screen presentation.

He went on to share that comradery amongst the group members has naturally developed off-screen.

(Prince) Nana’s great, Nana’s great. I love the guy, he’s phenomenal and you know what too? I actually was just watching a match with Nana with Melissa (Santos) actually as well who does brighten the room and steal the camera. But she even said, ‘Man, Nana’s really good at what he does’ which is really special because in this day and age, being just a manager is a lost art and it’s not really necessarily needed or anyone who’s a valet or a manager, whatever is usually a wrestler themselves and I know Nana was a wrestler but I feel Nana does bring something to the table that is needed, that is appreciated, that does add value. He’s not just another person out there just to be out there, you know what I mean? And yeah, he’s a great dude, I enjoy him tremendously and even that whole Embassy and Mogul Embassy faction as well, there’s definitely more of an actual legit comradery amongst us as well that just kind of naturally formed. We’re at catering together or go to the gym together. Maybe Nana doesn’t go to the gym but (Cage laughed)… he holds us down. He holds our table down for us to join him later.

Ring of Honor’s next pay-per-view is Death Before Dishonor on July 21st and the headlining bout is Claudio Castagnoli defending the ROH World Championship against Mark Briscoe. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Busted Open Radio with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

Besides Wai Ting, I’ve never really heard anyone rave about him. He is jacked and has a high-flying moveset belying his body type. Otherwise, he doesn’t have much of a character, which is as much his fault as it is AEW’s for failing to establish him in three years.

However, the same mismatch of body type and moveset is why it’s so hard to get into his matches. First of all, in his own words he’s touted his ability as someone who can “do the moves” he does, which is secondary to match psychology. But, to that point, how do you structure a match around him? He’s too mobile to be a lumbering heel to bump around for, and too big to sell for someone else his size.

At the risk of hating on him, I don’t believe WWE has much interest in him if they haven’t taken a flyer on him already. Dude’s 39 and he ain’t no LA Knight on the mic or AJ Styles in the ring to overcome his age.

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Precisely how I feel as well. He’s this big jacked up guy with no personality who wants to fly around and be a little lucha guy with no personality and it just looks ridiculous. Even among AEW’s XXL jobber class I’d rather watch someone like the Butcher or the inadequately named Big Bill. They do a much better job getting the other guys over, in my opinion.

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I feel like in 2000, Brian Cage would have been “it”. He feels like somebody in line with the likes of Sean O’Hare, Chuck Palumbo, and Mark Jindrak. Or somebody all of us as teens would have made as a CAW in a game. Big, jacked, all the cool moves.

He’s fully competent. But in 2023… He just doesn’t seem unique or special or even interesting.

Good for him for being successful enough. But on a major stage as a player, it feels like Impact is his ceiling.

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He is so talented, but I’ve said it before, he’s AEWs version of Riddick Moss. While he has the in ring talent, his character work is like a 2/10.

Like @MarkP said, he feels like a guy I would have created in my wrestlemania 2000 game.

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Cage is just like everybody else who can just do moves and not work a coherent story-based match, cut a promo, or exude any kind of notable charisma. Except most of those guys don’t look like him, so they (and others) blame it on being too small.

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