Christian Cage reflects on his “Murdoch Mysteries” gig, reveals what Hollywood roles he still wants to occupy, applauds Dave Bautista’s acting skills, talks All Elite Wrestling and more.
Cage caught up with ET Canada following his “AEW Dynamite” debut match. his first in seven years. The Canadian-born wrestler was sidelined back in 2014 with concussion-related injuries and risks. “Captain Charisma” is pulling no punches in this latest chapter of his career. He made a surprise appearance at the WWE Royal Rumble in January and thought he would have to adopt a risk-averse style to manage his concussion symptoms. It turns out that was not the case.
“I thought that, so I went up there on my own and WWE sent me to a specialist in Pittsburgh and I went through a really in-depth five-hour testing for these concussions,” he explained. “I saw three or four different specialists. I went to the gym and I did a full 45-minute workout for them. It was very thorough. And both the doctor said the same thing.”
“The doctor that I saw in Pittsburgh, after the tests, he said, ‘I need you to go in the ring if you’re going to do this and not worry about getting concussed again, because if you have anxiety about it, if it’s present in your mind, if it’s what you’re thinking about, that you’re going to get hurt when you get in there, you’re making yourself more susceptible to it. You have to go in there with all the confidence in the world that you’re just as good as you’ve ever been. And as far as all these tests go and all the conversations and everything that you’ve done here, you’re at no greater risk than at any other point in your life of this happening again. Could it happen again? Sure. But you’re not at any bigger risk.'”
“So that gave me all the confidence I needed and honestly, I haven’t even thought about it, not once,” Cage asserted.
Cage has made a successful transition to the broader entertainment industry, serving one season on “Haven” and starring in the well-received “Cagefighter: Worlds Collide” movie. One of his most memorable appearances is a guest role on “Murdoch Mysteries”.
“It was unbelievable. Yeah, I really had a great time and it was one of those shows that I watch,” he shared. “It was obviously a role that I felt I could play. A heavyweight boxer, the heavyweight champion of Toronto. So it was very cool. But to go there and hang out on the set and the way they built the streets of Toronto to that time period was really impressive.”
“Everyone was great. And I just had a great time. And I wish it wasn’t just a one-off. I would have loved to have done more. Who knows at some point I’ll get that opportunity again. But I really enjoy that show. So it was a thrill for me to do it.”
Cage is all-in on his pro-wrestling career; however, he still has an appetite for acting.
“I just like the challenge, you know, and that was one of the things, too, when I stepped away from the ring,” he continued. “That’s what excited me about acting, was working with real actors and working with people that were much better than I was and getting to pick their brain or to sit on the sidelines and watch them do a scene of what it was that they were doing.”
“I would love to do a dramatic role. I would love to do something that would check that box off. That they wouldn’t expect a professional wrestler to be able to do. Something with some depth and some layers, a real drama. I would love to do that.”
For a time, it seemed like a wrestler in movies was a novelty act. These days the likes of Dwayne Johnson, John Cena and Dave Bautista are thriving in Hollywood. For Cage, one stands a touch above the rest.
“They’re all talented in their own way, but I think Dave Bautista really brings something different to each one of his roles,” Cage praised. “Like his range is what’s impressed me more than anything. The range that he can bring to every single role. He has the ability to suck the audience in. He can talk. He can be believable in any role.”
Cage, one of Canada’s most prolific wrestlers, also shared his Mount Rushmore (for a lack of a better term) of Canadian grapplers.
“Bret Hart has to be up there, obviously, I would put Edge on that. I think we can put Trish Stratus on there. She’s a Canadian icon as far as wrestling goes. And then last I’m going to put Owen Hart on there just because I love him.”
Cage’s list of accolades includes WWE World Heavyweight Champion (2 times), WWE World Tag Team Champion (nine times), WWE Intercontinental Champion (4 times), ECW World Champion (twice), NWA World Heavyweight Champion (twice), a two-time recipient of PWI‘s Match of the Year and the no. 7 ranked wrestler of 2007. This time around, he simply wants to be his best self.
“If I couldn’t come back and be what I was, if not better, I wouldn’t even attempt this. And for me, the only goal that I have is to put on quality matches and to be able to write this final chapter myself. It never sat well with me that I was told that this was done. So now that I’ve been kind of gifted this opportunity to rewrite this final chapter on my own, I don’t take that lightly.”
“I’m going to go out there and whether I’m working in main events, I’m working for championships, whether I become the champion, that’s all icing on the cake,” he concluded. “But for me just to go out there and have quality matches and, at the same time, elevate and help teach the younger generation coming up and make sure that they’re set up for success in the future.”