Austin asked Cage what inspired him to become a pro wrestler and Cage responded,
“I saw wrestling for the first time when I was like 5 years old. My mom went over to see her friend who was staying in town and she was staying at a hotel, so we went over there. It was just on the TV. I don’t even know if anybody was watching it and I don’t even remember a match or who was on it. I just remember it was there and I was like, ‘Woah!’ I always liked super heroes and comic books. To me it was like real life super heroes, so I thought it was awesome and I just started watching it there. I think the first pay-per-view we bought was 1990 Royal Rumble. I was 5 then. By the time I turned about 10, I was just in love with it. It’s all I wanted to do. I’d tell my mom, ‘Hey, I want to be a wrestler.’ ‘Oh, that’s cute. You’ll grow out of that.’ I remember too with Shawn Michaels and the whole boyhood dream team thing, ‘He’s 12; but, I’m 10. I want it 2 years sooner than he does.’ I don’t know. I just kept on saying that and sometimes I thought maybe it was just a fantasy because I was younger and through junior high and high school and so on and so on, everybody was like, ‘You’re really gonna do it?’ I’m like, ‘F*ck yeah, it’s what I really want to do.’ I stuck to it with guns blazing and I never second guessed myself and I told everybody that I’d be signed to WWE by the time I was 24. When I was 24, I got a developmental contract, so I met that goal, at least.”
Austin, impressed by Cage’s physique referred to the Impact X Division Champion as a ‘body guy.’ Cage opened up about what it takes to keep in tip top shape. He works out regularly and tries to get sleep, which he believes is a portion of physical health people often forget about. Cage goes into great detail to eat clean.
His daily diet consists of,
“Every morning – breakfast might be my favorite meal because it’s the one meal I can’t eat fresh – it’s the one meal I don’t prep ahead of time. When I’m on the road, I usually can’t. It’s a dozen egg whites and three whole eggs with a cup of oatmeal. That’s my breakfast every morning and I love it. Outside of that its just chicken breast, sweet potatoes…I’ll eat steak sometimes just because it’s easier to store and travel with….I don’t eat that much vegetables anymore. I’ll usually travel with green powder fuel.”
Cage is also living an alcohol free life-style,
“I’ve never drank in my life.”
Austin asked Cage how many calories he eats a day and Cage replied,
“Probably about 5,000. Like, on a higher day, yeah. Probably maybe 4000 on an average day.”
Cage opened up about his friendship with Chris Kanyon, whom he met at Austin Appreciation Night in Sacramento, CA way back in 2001 when Cage was only a teenager. The two struck up a friendship after Cage attended the show. Kanyon gave Cage a tee shirt, which he later signed for the youngster. After posting about his experience on Kanyon’s website, Kanyon reached out to the young Brian Cage and the two kept in touch. Kanyon eventually helped Cage get into Deep South, which ultimately led to Cage’s FCW signing later on. Sadly Kanyon, who suffered from bipolar disorder, committed suicide in 2010.
Cage recounts that tragic occurrence in the following,
“It was the first person close to me – friends, family, or whatever – that’s ever passed in my life and I remember I talked to him just a week prior to that and we were actually setting up to do – he was actually going to have a comeback match and it was gonna be him, Raven, and me as Mortis, vs three other guys in New York. He moved back up to New York. He was staying at his parent’s old place. Of course, you always wonder, ‘Oh, if I would have known or said something then, it could have changed it.’ I feel like, too, when people have really made up their mind it’s gonna happen, what can you really do? Not that there were any signs. We were kind of just having a normal conversation and then yeah, it was like six or seven days later, I’m making my eggs on the skillet and my phone goes off. It’s like seven in the morning. It goes off again. It goes off again. It goes off. I’m like, ‘Who the hell is blowing me up like this at 7 in the morning?’ I look and you see just the first few words of all the text messages and it said, ‘Sorry about C-h-r.’ Right away, I knew what had happened.”
Austin asked Cage if he had seen any signs whatsoever,
“I knew he was bipolar. I knew he had depression. I’d been around him a couple of times when it was really bad; but, I never thought of it like in that aspect and he even did a couple of motivational speeches where he was suicidal, sharing his experience. I knew he’d be down and up, down and up, but it was never really to that level, so I didn’t see it coming, man. I thought he was cool; but, it was definitely a hard pill to swallow.”
Cage has suffered his share of injuries; but, opened up about a terrifying in-ring moment in a match against WWE Superstar Apollo Crews,
“I did a lion sault onto Apollo Crews and the ropes were loose and he was a little far and I jumped more out than up and I just slipped and fell right on my head. I probably should have broken my neck. When you see it, it’s scary. It’s scary looking. My neck was sore as sh*t. I didn’t know what happened at first. I get up and we start trading and I stop him. I knew he was gonna give me a pop up power bomb right afterwards and as I hit that rope I remember thinking, ‘What if my neck’s broken?…I’m gonna take this bump and that could be it for me.’ Literally what I thought coming into that move and when I took the power bomb I was fine and was like, ‘Oh my God, thank the Lord.”
Cage reserved high praise for WWE talent Keith Lee,
“Keith Lee is amazing….I had a match with him in Texas….maybe 22 people were there….I’m like, who’s Keith Lee? Based on paper because of my size a lot of promoters will book me against the local big guy. Not throwing anybody under the bus; but, most of the big guys can’t go the way I can go and usually they’re big because they’re overweight big and then they’re heavy as sh*t on all the moves. It’s just horrible. I love making everybody else look good as well; but, then when I work with somebody else that can’t go is gonna get blown up and that’s gonna make me look bad, man, I’d rather just work a little guy then. So anyway, so I’m thinking, ‘Keith Lee, he looks like a big guy. He looks overweight. He probably sucks.’ Judging a book by the cover….we had a hell of a match. Nobody was there to really appreciate it and I thought, ‘Better match than I had with Samoa Joe a month prior.’ Right afterwards I was like, ‘Dude.’ He’d been working there about the same time I had. I’m like, ‘You’re only in Texas. You haven’t done anything else?’ He goes, ‘Aww man, I’ve done some stuff with Ring of Honor. I’ve had some WWE tryouts.’ I’m like, ‘Man, you’ve got to get out of Texas.’ This is before the indies really started cooking, so I think he did something with Billy Gunn and Billy Gunn said the same thing, so he calls me up and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna buy my own ticket to go to a bigger show. I’m gonna go to Championship Wrestling Hollywood or I’m gonna go to Beyond Wrestling. Which one do you think I should go to?’ I’m like, ‘Go to beyond because that has more of a reach throughout the indie market.’ He goes there. He kills it. They already booked him on the next show, booked his flight, and from that he started going to the U.K. and he just became Keith Lee.”
The two ended up working together once again at Lee’s request and Cage said,
“We got to open the show too. It was a barn burner. It’s so easy working with him and we put the match together so easily. It’s fun to be in there with somebody else who’s big and just as athletic.”
Would Cage follow in Lee’s footsteps and head back to the WWE?
“I’m not like bitter and all ‘F them, I’d never go back.’ I’m super happy and content with what I’m doing. Wrestling has been so great this year too. I feel like you can be successful and have a great career outside of there at this point. It’s not like the be all end all. I was there. I loved my time.”
Cage expressed surprise when he was released by the WWE and when he received his phone call he asked,
“Did you call the wrong person?”
At the time the WWE believed that they would re-sign Cage, if he was good enough to return.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
Brian Cage Talks Chris Kanyon's Suicide, Apollo Crews, Keith Lee, WWE