The ex-WWE Superstar made his AEW debut Sunday at the Revolution pay-per-view, but he told Paquette that he hadn't even officially signed with the company until days beforehand (transcript via PW Mania):
“On Wednesday [March 3], there was nothing signed. It was a shock to me when I heard [Paul Wight’s announcement]. Obviously, Tony [Khan] and I hit it off pretty quick and we felt comfortable enough that we were going to work together. I wasn’t sure I was going to go (to AEW after the Rumble) and all the talks I had (with WWE) were very cordial. [Jon Moxley] talked to me and had his opinions and made me think, ‘Okay, I’m doing myself a disservice if I don’t at least explore my options.’ At this final stage of my career, I had a conversation with Tony and it escalated very quickly. Within a week, it was a done deal.”
Cage, who wrestled as Christian full-time in WWE from 1998-2005 and again in 2009-2014, took part in WWE's Royal Rumble event last January. It appeared that Christian could be beginning a third full-time stint with WWE, but AEW's appeal ultimately swayed the 47-year-old:
"Anytime there is a life-altering decision, there is a lot of thought. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about this but what I really needed was the best platform for me—I got a second lease on life here to showcase (myself) but also help. Where could I help the next generation? That’s what I felt at AEW.
"It wasn’t an easy decision, but it also wasn’t a hard decision. There was something intriguing about being able to be hands-on with everything and having that challenge. It felt like the right situation. There’s nothing wrong with WWE and how they do things."
Christian isn't the only former WWE star to make his way over to AEW recently, as Paul Wight (formerly known as Big Show) is now signed with the company.
Wight foreshadowed Christian's debut March 3 when he told play-by-play commentator Tony Schiavone on AEW Dynamite that the promotion would be picking up a Hall of Fame-worthy talent that would be making his debut at the Revolution PPV.