The hype going into Revolution on Sunday was that a hall of fame-worthy, game-changing wrestler was signing with AEW. Christian ended up being the mystery signee and will use the name Christian Cage going forward. The 47-year-old star signed with the promotion one month after a well-received surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble. Reportedly, Christian was either close to or already signed a contract with WWE.
While many feel Christian is a hall of fame-worthy talent, being a game-changer, on the other hand, doesn’t track.
It is never a bad idea to sign up talent. Christian has been an excellent worker throughout his career, and his showing in the Royal Rumble match indicates he can still go. He’s been involved in some of WWE’s most memorable moments and can get a good match out of most people. Seven years removed from a career-ending concussion, Christian apparently wants to end things on his terms.
However, despite a brief and entertaining run as World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown, Christian never starred in a leading role where it mattered. It’s not that he isn’t good enough to be a main event player, but often, perception is reality. Many casual fans look at Christian as Edge’s sidekick. It’s not true, but that’s the narrative WWE has inadvertently pushed for years.
Diehard fans know differently, which is what helps Christian in AEW. While he’s not going to move the rating needle on Wednesday nights, he will greatly improve their overall product quality. AEW has too many acts on television that botch things in the ring and on the microphone. There is a lack of quality control, and Christian will augment that process as a talented all-around performer.
I hate saying Christian is not a game-changer. His match Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2011, is one of my all-time favorites. Still, perception and age are strong marks against him being the star that gets AEW over the one million viewer mark. AEW is better off for having Christian on their roster but not better in the way they advertised.
A lot of people predicted Christian was the mystery signee, and they were right and disappointed.