Brian Cage Says Willie Mack Gets Overlooked Too Much, Talks ‘Jonnywood’, Jordynne Grace’s Future

I recently had the opportunity to speak with IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage, who has now been confirmed as returning at Slammiversary to defend his title against Michael Elgin.

Cage talked about his last opponent, now-former World Champion Johnny Impact, who has adopted a new ‘JohnnyWood’ persona over the past several months. Cage says that’s fine if it works for John, but he still has no problem beating him in a title rematch and moving on.

“I think it’s great. That’s him. He’s being open and honest with himself, and I feel like that’s him at his best. If he gets the best responses and better reactions, then more power to him. I got a little bit of vindication from beating him—I beat him hurt and won the title, so I have no problem defending it. I’ll take care of Elgin first, but if John wants a rematch I won’t make him jump through hoops, he can just have it and then I’ll beat him and move on.

During a press scrum at IMPACT’s United We Stand event in April, Cage talked about wanting to have a program with Willie Mack while he was still competing in the X Division, saying a battle between two superheavyweights would have provided great entertainment. As a follow up, I asked Cage if that feud is still appealing despite the change in division. He said it does lose a bit of a coolness factor, but he’d still love to face Mack no matter what is on the line, and considers Mack a talent that gets overlooked too much:

“I’d love to still work with Willie. As great as Willie is, somehow I still feel like he gets overlooked. People don’t really appreciate how great he is. I’d be very much open to him having a shot at the title and I’d love to bring that to IMPACT. With it being for the World Championship it would mean more, but it loses a little bit of the coolness [factor] because the X Division with two superheavyweights would have been a little unique. It would have been a cool little spin on it, but regardless of what title is on the line, or if either one of us has a title, we’re still going to have the match of the night like we always do. I’ve been extremely excited for the opportunity to face him in IMPACT and put our matches on TV.”

Related: Brian Cage On Lucha Underground’s Influence, His Versatility In The X Division

Shortly after she announced she had come to an agreement on terms to stay with IMPACT Wrestling, Cage praised Jordynne Grace as the future of the company on social media. Cage said he’s a big fan of Grace, saying he pushed for IMPACT to try and sign her. He praised her and Tessa Blanchard two names to key an eye on in the future, but said IMPACT fans have a lot to look forward to because she’s only scratching the surface of what she can do:

“I think Jordynne is phenomenal. I’ve had the opportunity to work with her on the indies—I’d still probably put Tessa as the best female right now—but Jordynne is right up there with her. The future should be bright for both of them, and I’m glad Jordynne signed on and stayed with [the company]. I was a pretty big advocate for IMPACT to go and get both of those ladies, and I don’t think you’ve been able to see a whole lot of what Jordynne’s been capable of because she hasn’t had too many highly competitive or long-lasting matches [on IMPACT TV]. I’m excited.”

Finally, knowing Cage is such a big comic book fan—notably of Marvel Comics and Wolverine—I had to ask what he thought about Robert Pattison reportedly being cast as the new Batman. Cage said his first tweet about that pretty much put things in perspective, but said he’s looking at it from a ‘glass half-full’ perspective as a Marvel fan:

“I saw a picture saying he’s going to be the new Batman. My tweet back to that was… that’s my thought on that. The glass half-full on that—I’m a big, big, big comic book fan, but I’m a Marvel guy over DC. The way I can rate that is ‘oh, well at least that’s just DC and not Marvel.’ I can justify it that way.”

Related: Brian Cage Says Michael Elgin Made A Mistake ‘Jumping To The Front Of The Line’