I recently had the opportunity to speak with IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage, who has remained a fixture on IMPACT Wrestling as World Champion despite being sidelined due to injury. Cage won the company’s World Championship from Johnny Impact at their Rebellion pay-per-view, but has not returned to television yet.
“The Machine” says he’s still not cleared yet, but he’s hopeful to get back to work and wants to be ready for Slammiversary next month in Dallas.
“Obviously injuries happen and you always want to get right back into it, but it’s part of the business,” Cage said. “I’m not cleared yet, but I’m feeling a lot better than I was the night of [his injury at Rebellion]. It’s just one day at a time, and hopefully it will be soon enough.”
Cage said he’s still benefitting by being seen on TV in clips, but he’s still hoping to be as close to 100% as he can. “It’s cool—even the one [promo] that I did, that was done spontaneously. I’m glad that I’m staying relevant on TV without being on TV with the clips that they are showing, but I don’t [know when I’ll be back]. My main focus is trying to make sure I’m back for Slammiversary at 100%, to be able to perform the way I want to perform, the way I wanted to perform at Rebellion before I got hurt.”
All things considered, I asked Cage if there has any been any benefit he’s seen since being off of the road. He said that while it’s not the way he wanted things to go down, he does feel like this has finally given his body time to rest, something he’s needed—and even mentioned a few weeks before getting injured.
“I’ve been working a lot lately. Even outside of my normal wrestling schedule—I do some fitness stuff in between, I do some motion capture work for video games—so even when I’m not traveling and working [for wrestling], I’m still traveling and working.” Cage said. “It’s been very taxing; I feel like the last 18 months, I haven’t suffered any major injuries, but I feel like my body was constantly getting hurt. There’s a difference between being hurt and being injured, and I feel like I was feeling rundown and my body was getting beat up, and I kept wanting time off. I was never not wanting to wrestle, but it was almost starting to feel like too much where I felt like I need to take some time off before I’m forced to take some time off. I was literally talking to Melissa [Santos, IMPACT on-air interviewer and Cage’s fiancée) two weeks before the pay-per-view—maybe I jinxed myself.”
“It was nice to be home—but being home because you’re hurt isn’t the same as being home and having a ‘vacation’. I’m not traveling for wrestling, but I’m also not going to the gym, jumping up to go to whatever I want freely,” Cage replied. “It’s not as relaxing sitting at home as I would have liked, but yeah, there are some upsides to it. I’ve been spending more time with my daughter, and I’m sure there are more that will come later.”
Michael Elgin is a face new to IMPACT fans, but Cage noted he is very familiar with the former ROH World Champion. While he targeted Cage at Rebellion, Elgin has a title shot he earned in a number one contender’s match. Cage said the fact that Elgin got the match the right way doesn’t really change too much, because when he returns he’ll still beat Elgin and send him to the back of the line.
“Things have to keep moving forward whether I’m there or not. I got laid out and he came up the victor, but I would’ve given him a title shot just because I wanted to get my hands on him,” Cage said. “I’m not going to run and hide, or pay off the referee, the shenanigans that Johnny Impact was doing. I would’ve gladly given him a shot just like I told him at the pay-per-view, ‘anytime, man.’ Me and Elgin actually used to be a tag team for quite some time [as the Unbreakable F’n Machines]. I think he’s a fantastic addition to the roster, I think he’s excellent. Now that I’ve put him over—he made a mistake jumping to the front of the line because it’s not going to work out the way he wants. When he fails, he’s going to have to go back down to the bottom.
I’d love to be back on TV and defend the title; there’s some really talented people that I’d love to work with. RVD came back, we’ve got Pentagon. Hell, I’d still give [Johnny Impact] a rematch—I have no problem giving him a rematch so I could have the match I wanted to at Rebellion. First and foremost, Elgin is on the hit list, and I’m hoping I’ll be 100% or close enough to it for Slammiversary so we can make that happen.”