Last week on AEW Christian Cage shocked the world by ending his year-long alliance with Jungle Boy by laying him out with a Killswitch and crushing his skull between two chairs.
The turn had been a year in the making and fans were half expecting it to happen, but had no idea when it would come. Months of tension, backstage squabbling and half-serious jabs between Jungle Boy and Christian Cage finally came to a head, when Cage forced Jungle Boy and his partner Luchasaurus into a serious of matches to defend their coveted AEW Tag Team Championships.
Week after week, Cage challenged all manner of teams on behalf of Jurassic Express, forcing them to put their titles on the line week after week in increasingly difficult matches. While at first it seemed like just friendly competition, the frequency of these challenges made Jungle Boy’s suspicions grow and grow.
Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus did lose their titles eventually. In a ladder match against the Young Bucks (which was originally meant to be against Jeff and Matt Hardy), Jurassic Express finally lost the tag team championships, with Christian Cage noticeably absent at ringside.
For somebody so integral to the history of ladder matches, Cage was sorely missed by his team and his expertise could have been useful in the match for his friends for the past year.
The Young Bucks climbed the ladders and became the first ever two time tag champions in AEW. Meanwhile, Christian Cage ran down to the ring after the match. At first he was sympathetic, hugging Jungle Boy and helping carry him to the back. He was the caring friend and father figure Jungle Boy needed in his life. Until he wasn’t.
Christian Cage turning on Jungle Boy
Christian Cage turned, hit his signature Killswitch on Jungle Boy and left him in a heap on the floor. The crowd’s gasps quickly turned to boos as he hit the disgusting con-chair-to on Jungle Boy, crushing his skull between a sandwich of steel chairs in the middle of the ring.
He finished it off by shouting at his family ringside, solidifying himself as a heel in AEW.
Not content with just destroying him physically, Christian Cage took to AEW Dynamite the next night to eviscerate him mentally, tearing down Jungle Boy and explaining the past year they had together and why he did what he did.
He laid down his reasoning. Still sore about the fans cheering as Jungle Boy eliminated him from the Casino Battle Royale at last years Double or Nothing, Cage plotted against Jungle Boy and how to get his revenge, while making up the money from the winner’s purse he lost due to the elimination.
He joined up with Jurassic Express, standing in the background, giving motivational speeches and cashing he checks by being associated with the champions. It was a cruel, dastardly trick, pretending to befriend the dup while slowly plotting when to turn and give Jungle Boy his just desserts.
He also mentioned Luke Perry, the late father of Jack Perry aka Jungle Boy. He claimed that Jungle Boy’s mother was interested in Christian Cage and that the former AEW Tag Team Champions saw him as a father figure. He then said that he never wanted to be a father figure for Perry. He had a father, and he was dead.
This solidified the turn from generic heel promo to evil. Just 3 years on from his father’s death, it seemed too soon for Christian Cage to mention his tragic passing in an AEW ring. Fans could not believe what they had heard and Cage became the most hated man in the building instantly, if he wasn’t already.
A confrontation with Luchasaurus led to the pair walking off together, with the Dinosaur conflicted and viewing Cage as he own father figure (despite being 65 million years old). Jungle Boy was left alone, his only friends abandoning him and his personal life and feelings left in the ring by AEW’s most hated heel (assuming MJF is out) Christian Cage.
Christian Cage Hell Turn
This is the start of what will be an incredible run in AEW for Christian Cage. The former World Heavyweight Champion has proved he can be an incredible heel, both in WWE and TNA. His run in 2011 was arguably his peak in WWE, whilst as the leader of the Christian Coalition made him the top star in TNA during his run there in the mid 2000s.
Few wrestlers can get fans to hate them. AEW fans love to play along, to boo the heels and cheer the faces when the story calls for it. But even the likes of MJF aren’t hated. He was beloved in his match with Darby Allin when the pair pulled of sequences that few had ever seen before and put on one of the best AEW matches of that year.
People love MJF because he is so good at being a bad guy. His skills on the mic and in the ring are so good and he is so good at making you hate him that you have to appreciate him.
Christian Cage is not like that. He is not good at making you hate him. He’s good at being an awful, annoying, irritating, unlikable human being. In his promo on Dynamite, everyone in AEW hated Christian Cage. He cut close to the bone. He showed the world how petty he was. Everyone knew that he was in the wrong and went too far, but knew that he had convinced himself he was in the right.
That’s what makes him incredible. He’s not trying to be a bad guy. His character is a guy who is bad. Who is annoying and unlikable and who does what he thinks is right but everyone else knows he’s wrong.
Why did he bring up the death of Luke Perry? Not just to antagonise Jungle Boy. But to make the point that he does not want to be his father figure and that he never did. It was simply because he is a petty, vindictive arsehole.
He always has been. Ever since he joined up with Jurassic Express, he’s been the same. Just everyone ignored it, because he was the legend from WWE and he was being an arsehole to the bad guys.
Just because he did it to the bad guys didn’t make him a good guy. But Jurassic Express didn’t see it because he helping them win gold, making them better and pretending to be their friend. Christian Cage is AEW’s master manipulator. That much was clear when he turned Luchasaurus from trying to kill him to hugging him and walking him to the back.
Christian Cage vs Jungle Boy
The feud with Jungle Boy will be a heated one, and not one that will end well. You don’t bring up a man’s deceased father without facing some retribution, no matter how much it furthers your cause and establishes your character.
Jungle Boy vs Christian Cage is coming, but so is a Christian Cage AEW heel run that will rival the likes of Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. Maybe not in match quality, but in character work and generally being an unlikable person.
This time next year, Christian Cage’s run as a heel in AEW will be remembered as one of the best in the company’s history.