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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Finally, A Great Moment In Wrestling
February 15, 2006 by Joe L.


February 12, 2006 will go down as one of the greatest nights in the history of professional wrestling. In a moment that rivals Chris Benoit's dramatic World title victory at WrestleMania XX, Christian Cage succeeded at last and won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. I am never as happy or consumed with such great enthusiasm as I am because finally, in an industry dominated by ego-ridden politics, ineptitude in the booking and below-average wrestling quality, we finally have a moment to be proud of. This moment that brings nothing but smiles, joy and admiration from fans towards wrestling, proving why, despite all its flaws, it shows that anything could happen. If Christian Cage's amazing victory over World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett proved one thing, it is anything can INDEED happen in professional wrestling.

Christian Cage's title win ranks high in as a truly great "mark out" event because here was a man that was always considered the Marty Jannetty of his Edge & Christian years and was always seen by the WWE as a glorified midcarder with comical flair. In spite of winning numerous Intercontinental, European and Tag Team title reigns, Christian Cage showed that he had the potential to one day be the top man of a company. It's just too bad nobody up North could see that or were to selfish not to admit it. At first, Christian Cage looked like he was heading for super-stardom but that promise was shattered into pieces when he was slated to be given a main event push of 2005, only to have it take it away due to politics, incompetence and egos. He went from a heated feud with WWE Champion John Cena to jobbing to everyone on the SMACKDOWN roster. It was up to that point that Cage realized he was never going to get the spotlight he rightfully deserved and quit the company, fed up with the company's incompetence of handling his character.

Anyone who has seen Christian for a long period of time would agree with me that he had absolutely amazing charisma and wrestling skills. On the mic, listening to Christian was a blessing as opposed to the monotonous promos from Triple H or the stale sex jokes from John Cena. Hearing him rip John Cena's CD in the midst of the 2005 Draft was the funniest thing I have heard in two years. His "Captain Charisma" gimmick was the 2005 reminiscence of Chris Jericho's Paragon of Virtue character from WCW 1998. He was a fresh act in an otherwise stale organization and one of the main reasons to watch RAW and SMACKDOWN. But despite strong fan support and great mic skills, the WWE dropped the ball on him and did nothing but humiliate the poor Canadian in doing frequent jobs to everybody. It was a disgrace. Even Batista felt Christian deserved better than this.

Christian Cage's arrival in the TNA sparked great hope that he might get his time to shine at long last. It was not, however, without any tension. When I heard Christian was receiving a World title shot against Jeff Jarrett at Against All Odds, I was really suspicious that we would have another screwjob and that Christian's main event status was in jeopardy again. Boy was I ever wrong? Christian Cage pinned Jeff Jarrett to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. That's like Edge finally winning the WWE title at New Year's Revolution. Unlike Edge though, it is highly unlikely that Christian's push will be come to a quick end immediately. As much as I admired Edge, Christian deserves his share of glory than any wrestler in the world after 12 long years of struggle, after months of being an ordinary tag team wrestler, after months of jobbing to Booker T and Chris Benoit time after time after time again, after dealing with politics, back injuries and boneheaded booking throughout his days with the WWE.

Finally, something in wrestling to be proud of. Christian did what every fan wanted to see; he stepped up to the plate and pulled through to finally become the World Heavyweight Champion. This was a huge slap in the face of the WWE executives, who thought that Christian was nothing but an undercard loser. Last night proved them wrong and it proves to the wrestlers, the companies and especially the fans that dreams do indeed come true in wrestling. Triple H might think otherwise but so far, more people have talked about Christian's title victory in one day than Triple H's 2002 return at Madison Square Garden in a lifetime. Christian Cage's title win is more than a great moment; it is a perfect representation of why we love wrestling so much and tune in every Monday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday on network television.

And that is why I thank the Lord above for making this occasion happen. Thank you, God. Thank you, TNA and most importantly, thank you Christian!

by Joe L. --- [View Joe L's Column Index]..


Matthew Arabis wrote:
I don't understand what is with all the Christian love. He leaves the "evil" WWE and now he is God and the savior. I watch his title match and the only great moment about that is Jarrett losing the title. Christian has great mic skills, but his wrestling skills are way overrated. He is nothing more than a watered-down version of Edge. And winning that belt is the biggest slap in the face to every homegrown TNA talent in the locker room. Christian was only there for like 3-4 months wrestling jobbers and all of a sudden he is world champion and declared the savior of TNA. That smells alot like WCW and Hulk Hogan. TNA is doing exacly what WCW is doing. Hireing WWE rejects just to get names instead of buliding there own roster talent into stars. And is you think Christian will have a run with that belt think again. I don't care what new sites may say the cancer known as Jarrett will have that belt around his waist in less than 1-2 months.
Steve Feds wrote:
I don't agree with you in saying that him capturing the WHC in TNA was a slap in the face to WWE executives, there are plenty of mid carders in WWE that are championship material in TNA Christian just happened to be one. I could go on listing all the superstars in WWE that would be made champ if they made the switch but we all know that they won't because it isn't a forward move in anyones career to go from the biggest buisness being mid card to a much smaller one high card, how does the old saying go "Better to lose at a mans game, then to win at a childs"
Mike Adams wrote:
Oh here we go with the WWE reject talk. First of all that assumption is false from the get go since Christian left WWE of his own free will, secondly just because a wrestler is not the end all be all in WWE, does not mean that they are a scrub. The only reason that Christain was not a world champion in WWE is The same reason that Chris Jericho was never given more than one run as the WWE champion(and that being at a time when it was necessary to give him the belt) or that Benoit has never been given his just due. It is that Vince McMahon has a thing for large musclebound men. Call this fascination what you will, but he has a certain idea of what constitutes a WWE champion, and it has nothing to do with actual wrestling ability(Note John Cena.) The reason that Christian was moved to Smackdown! is that the WWE didn't like how his Captain Charisma gimmick was taking off on RAW! Christian was one of the few guys that were really over with the crowd, without being given a major sustained push and WWE didn't like that, because they want to over control everything. So Christian was bumped to Smackdown to kill his heat, but it still didn't really work.

Christian not being a champion in WWE is more a testament to WWE creative having no clue about wrestling than anything else, which is why I prefer TNA. TNA has its flaws and is not perfect, but the fact that there are some guys who could be Champion in TNA, as Steve Feds pointed out, albeit with the wrong idea in mind goes to show that TNA stresses a different brand of wrestling. Actual wrestling, and not Sports Entertainment that has been watered down to pure garbage over the years by WWE. Christian was able to work with Jarrett to produce a 3 1/2 star match, which is something that could not be said for the majority of the WWE roster. Benoit could certainly be capable of this, Orton probably could, London could yet these guys have little to no chance of WWE gold anytime in the near future. The best workers on WWE's flagship program are a 57 year old man, and a Heart Break Kid who is a shell of his former self (although still good) Yet they take a backseat to a rapper who cant wrestle and an overrated Edge, who doesn't have half the wrestling ability, or a third of his former partners Charisma and promo skills. Could Ege pull off a 3 star match with Jarrett? Doubtful, he couldn't even string together a series of memorable matches with Matt Hardy who is not a bad worker, nor have his matches with Cena hiden the WWE Champs hideous flaws in the ring.
Colin Lucas wrote:
I think Christain winning the TNA title is as bad move on TNA's part.If TNA wants a good champion they should give it to abyss or anyone who didn't come from WWE.I did see a little bit of the match and i must say Christian's in-ring skills made the match sink.The high oint of the match was when the crowd came into the ring.If TNA knew what was good for them give the title back to Jarrett and make him wrestle Ron Killings.Thats what i think.
Matt Kopp wrote:
I am so sick and tired of all this "WWE Reject" shit. Matthew Arabis, while I agree with you that there is no "evil" WWE, and "good" TNA, and that Christian wasn't the only guy in WWE who could've deserved better, the fact that you use the term "WWE Reject" just pisses me off. Christian left the WWE because he was being misused, underused. If you want to define a "WWE Reject" is someone with little skill, who got pushed to the moon over and over again to repetitive flat pushes, and then fired because of the l;lack of in ring skills or a gimmick. The stars in TNA who meet the description of a "WWE Reject" are.

1. Sean Waltman | 2. BG & Kip James (though I do like them as the James Gang) | 3. Kevin Nash

And the fact that you compare Christian to Hulk Hogan in the fact that he was champ within 3-4 months is complete bullshit. Christian has good mic skills, he's ridicously over with the fans, and the champion at the time was putting the crowd to sleep. Christian made a wise move, TNA saw talent, and although his in-ring skills are not as sharp as some of the other members of the roster, he can still work a good match. Joe, good article, here's to Captain Charisma as champ.
Steve H. wrote:
I see that You've had a bit of feedback dissagreeing with you. I think that although the TNA WHC isn't on a par with the WWE Championship, it isn't necessarily a backwards step for him as someone wrote, it was an option that was probably best for himafter he left the WWE - which is probably brave for any over wrestler to do! Yeah TNA isn't WWE, but its damn sure the next best thing at the moment!

Sure, he may be the 'Marty Jannetty' of his Tag Team, but whether it'd be him or Edge in the TNA, either of them are worthy of the belt. I just wonder whether Christian will be given a longer title reign than Edge was given (quite unfairly).

Strangely, I can't help wondering whether people are more happy about CC winning the belt, or JJ losing it!

Genarally, I agree with what you are saying - just hope that his title reign amounts to something more that a month or two on top - and more importantly, I hope it helps to raise the profile of TNA.
Godfrey Gauci wrote:
Now mate did you see Triple H's comeback in 2002. I highly doubt that Christian recieved half the pop that Trips did. Now I am not some Christian hater or a big Triple H supporter, but enough with the crap of "WWE passed up another great person that TNA can grab". There is only 1 RAW heavyweight title, there is only 1 Smackdown! heavyweight title. This means that there can only ever be 2 people on top. Which means others will miss out or have to wait.

What is hilarious are all you TNA fans who bitch and moan about the WWE product and how WCW died so miserably, but yet fail to see that TNA is just the same. Jeff Jarrett holding younger stars back, crying because he doesn't feel that anyone else shold hold the title. Since TNA began I wonder how many months someone other than Jeff Jarrett has held the title compared to how many months he has held it for. You talk about people being buried in the WWE, I don;t rememeber Abyss having ever held the TNA title, or Raven getting much love after his 2 min reign. What about Rhino's main event status, or AJ Styles!!
Sean S. wrote:
Ok I read the reply and I like to know something here. Why do people try to make the WWE is like perfect at using wrestlers. Christian deserves to be champion. I don’t think TNA is doing the same thing WCW did because WCW went after old timers and has-beens. They need guys like Christian and Sting to make new stars. You can only make Monty Brown or Abyss so big by facing Jarrett.

You can’t say Christian isn’t good enough to be a Main Eventer. He should be a Main Eventer a long time ago. The WWE can make mistakes you know. They are not even close to being perfect. Christian is not a reject for the record. Christian has an offer to resign with the WWE and he was smart enough to reject it and go else were and save his career. TNA sign WWE rejects yes but you can’t say that those guys don’t have any value just because were they were on a WWE roster. Look at the guys the WWE are pushing and tell me that there better then Christian. You think Mark Henry is better? I don’t. I don’t think JBL was better during his push.

How come people think TNA can’t make an ex WWE guy a star? A Lot of you guy make it sound if the WWE makes you a jobber then that how good you are and no matter were you go or do after that. Your can never be a major player. Which to think that is wrong because the WWE like I said isn’t perfect. Just look at there product for the last couple of years. You have a ex referee trying to kill himself. You have them pushing a guy who spend Ten years in the WWE and never had one good match in Mark Henry. You have Vince McMahon playing a doctor and pulling crap out of a fake ass. Now you tell me why the WWE is great.

You talk about how TNA does the WCW deal. What about WWE over the last couple of years. What about last year. Didn’t they bring in Hulk Hogan for the summer? Didn’t they bring in Roddy Piper last year? Didn’t they bring back Goldust? What about Vader? Don’t forget Jim Duggan a couple weeks ago. Who is the I-C champion again? Yea Ric Flair and he is how old? What about Goldberg, Scott Steiner, Hall, Nash, and ext. Everyone but Sting and Macho Man was in the WWE in the last Five Years and was pushed. But yet TNA brings them in and it WCW all over again and is all wrong right? That makes no sence to me. They WWE can get away with anything but if another federation does it, it not ok.
Damien Dupree wrote:
alrighty first of all, Christian won the NWA Championship, I wish TNA would make that more apparent but they don't. Anyways though I totally agree with your points. WWE didn't capitalize off of Christian when they should've and it's a shame. He was a great athlete who gave his all for the company on so many occassions. During his long tenure in WWE he won the Light Heavyweight Championship, the Hardcore Championship, Multiple Tag Team Championships and Intercontinental Championships, as well as the European Championship. The only title missing from that list was the World Heavyweight or WWE title. He deserved both, but now that he's NWA champ it's gunna be one of the best decisions TNA has made. When a casual fan turns on TNA soon to be on thursdays nights, they will see Christian Cage the TNA champion, a guy they loved and adored in WWE. Christian has a large fanbase and him being champion will do nothing but good for TNA.
Cpugsley50 wrote:
Finally Christian got what he deserved with the NWA Championship. A title that has been held by many greats such as Harley Race, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat and countless others. He is truly a great performer and has found his place in TNA and let us hope he doesnt end up a transitional champ like his buddy Edge or after he loses the title just fall into the mid cards like Chris Jericho. Christian is the NWA Champ CUZ THAT'S HOW HE ROLLS!!!!!!!
Tunzafun61602 wrote:
I don't know if this qualifies as a great moment in wrestling, that will be seen in time. What it is, however, is a great moment in TNA. Christian has always been given the "Edge-Lite" label. Why? Is it because Edge came around the WWE first? Because he's smaller than Edge? Regardless, I feel he's a better wrestler than Edge. But Christian winning the TNA title is substantial for a couple of reasons. First of all, he is the first WWE Superstar to go to TNA willingly. He wasn't a cast-off. He's wasn't fired. He chose to go to TNA. Secondly, as has been pointed out, he is one of the wrestlers who can get it done on the mic and in the ring. When was the last time he had a bad match that didn't involve Tyson Tomko? I don't remember either. And Lastly, Christian becoming the NWA World Champion is substantial because out all the TNA roster, outside of Sting and possibly Raven or Rhyno, Christian has the most high profile name from his time in WWE. With TNA moving to a prime time slot, it is important that the audience has a champion that they know and love. And as it was mentioned in Matthew Arabis's response: "I don't understand what is with all the Christian love." You don't have to understand it. Just the fact that you had to acknowledge it is proof enough of my point. Now if this title win is the catalyst that sparks TNA toward becoming a legitimate competitor to the WWE, then this would indeed be considered a great moment in wrestling. But all in all, I don't think it will be. So it is nothing more than a great moment in TNA and in the life of Christian Cage.
Jamie Clifford wrote:
I have to agree, TNA has taken some rejects and given them the title and them lost it, and they never seem to get a chance to get it back. Or if they do then there wrestling some Mid-card talent in grudge match for the next year or so. and it's happened to a few Rhyno, Raven, AJ Styles and it's going to happen to Christian. TNA SORT YOURSELFS OUT!
Sean Spears wrote:
Ok, Let me start off by saying that I for one am happy that Christian Cage won the NWA title. He;s a good wrestler, magic on the stick, and even when he was a heel in WWE, the "Peeps" loved him.

Now to the meat of my lil response. WWE had Ron Killings...They couldn't handle "The Truth". They tried to tame "The Man-Beast". DDP was a joke. The story is always the same.

Don't get me wrong, I watch the WWE and TNA. So I feel I can be objective. While I didn't like the way Jarrett held on to the belt HHH like, I didn't hate him as much as champ as I do Cena. Where else can Cena "cleanly" beat Angle but in the WWE.

You look at the TNA roster and you'll find 3 of the best wrestlers in the world...A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels. WWE has good wrestlers too. Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and William Regal. Here's the difference; While Joe, A.J., and Daniels have great matches with each other and with others intireally, Angle has to deal with a lot of subpar opponents, Benoit is only allowed to chase secondary belts{no disrespcet to the US title, but the man should be back in the World title hunt} and Regal is hardly on TV at all.

Now, I say that to say this; the two companys run their shows in two totally different ways. And it can best be described by their last letters....

World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT ---- NWA-Total Nonstop ACTION

Vinnie Mac has made a killing with his brand of over the top sports entertainment. You can't knock a man that has been that successful just cuz you don't like his stuff. Would Christian have become World or WWE champ? Probablly not. That just meant that CC and TNA were able to capitalize on what he brought to the table.

If Brock Lesnar, HHH, or Kurt Angle came to TNA, would they be "WWE rejects"?
Barry Bradwell JR wrote:
Now I'm not going to take sides but state on what've I seen. First off,Christian winning the TNA World Heavyweight title is a great moment him because now he has finally won a title that has been missing in his collection. Secondly I would like for people to stop calling them WWE Rejects. For whatever reasons they were release, they sure have better in TNA than in WWE. Like most of you I agree,WWE isn't perfect. As wrestling fans,we need to stop labeling everything(e.g. "Evil" WWE). WWE just make mistakes like normal human beings too.

Now people has wrote negatively about Christian and I wonder why?Christian is one of the finest athletics I've seen in awhile. He has won numerous championships and have very good mic skills as Captain Charisma. So what's wrong with Christian as NWA Champion?Let me guess he's not another Triple H or John Cena.

In closing,Christian winning the NWA title, which has been around for a long time, wasn't a mistake by TNA. TNA felt that Christian can carry on as being the champion. Well congrats Christian on finally achieving your goal.
Jacob Kuhn wrote:
Well, first off, you WWE fans talking about TNA making it's stars off "WWE Rejects" seem to forget all the WCW 'rejects' that WWE has been using. TNA is not doing the same thing WCW did, they are doing the same thing WWE did.

WCW took mostly old wrestlers from WWE and ran them into the ground. WWE took fresh, young talent from WCW like Benoit, Mysterio, Guerrero, Jericho, Steve Austin and further pushed them into being stars. THAT is what TNA is doing.

Get your facts straight before you accuse TNA of doing something exactly the same as your precious WWE did.
Kevin Roberts wrote:
Im happy for Christian 'cause I thnik hes one of the most underated people in the business, and Im glad someone BESIDES "Double J" has the title. Its about time.
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