Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
Christian Talks WWE Return
Christian Cage appeared on the Talk Is Jericho podcast last week to discuss his long-awaited return to the ring. Christian said his motivation came after seeing Edge being cleared after nearly a decade out of the business.
While their injuries were not the same—Edge retired because of spinal stenosis and Christian because of concussions—he said he hoped his seven-year layoff would be enough to allow him to "finish [his] career on [his] own terms." After being independently cleared by his own doctor, Christian said he contacted WWE, and the company sent him to Pittsburgh for further evaluation.
WWE's doctors cleared Christian for a return, but he then went months without hearing from the company until it was looking for a Royal Rumble surprise.
"I legit hadn't been in the ring since June when I was at Edge's place, and before that, it had been seven years. I go, hopefully, it's like riding a bike, and I'll just pick it right back. They obviously have rings backstage. I was like, maybe I'll be able to sneak in a ring and just hit the ropes, but there was people in those rings all day, so I couldn't even do it because I'm the surprise. Legit, I didn't get changed till the match before the Rumble was in, and I got changed, walked down.
"Everybody in the hall is like, 'Oh my gosh!' I was just there hanging out for the day. It's not out of the realm of possibility for me to be around. I was there three weeks previous doing some stuff for The Network. It's not like I'm not around, so people are used to seeing me around. 'Oh, we see another guy,' and then I kind of laugh it off and then walk out. When the match actually started, I knew I would have about 40–45 minutes before I had to be in there. I got in the ring, hit the ropes about five times, took about five bumps just to get that initial shock in your system. I was like, all right, that's gonna have to do it."
Christian's appearance in WWE wound up being a one-off, as he didn't ink a new deal and ultimately signed in AEW. His match with Frankie Kazarian on Wednesday's Dynamite was his first singles competition in seven years.
Moxley Challenges Yuji Nagata for IWGP US Title
Fresh off his some would say surprising win over Kenta at NJPW Strong to retain his IWGP United States championship, Jon Moxley now has his sights set on Yuji Nagata. Mox cut a promo on the 52-year-old Japanese wrestling legend, saying he's "big-game hunting" for a dream match against Nagata.
The former AEW champion has held the IWGP U.S. title for more than a year, becoming the longest-reigning champion in that belt's history. The COVID-19 pandemic left Mox unable to defend the championship for most of 2020, so it's likely he's ticking off some of the boxes he wanted to uncheck last year.
Nagata held the IWGP heavyweight championship on two occasions and was the 2001 winner of G1.
It's likely Moxley will eventually lose the championship at some point this year, but he is a strong bet to defeat Nagata, who is at a point in his legacy where titles aren't particularly necessary. It'll be interesting to see how NJPW handles the feud because Mox's match against Kenta was one of the most anticipated of 2021.
Rollins Tweets at Cena
Apparently, Seth Rollins is very into astrology.
Rollins responded to one of John Cena's motivational tweets Sunday, citing his Gemini nature as a reason he likes change:
It's not entirely clear if this tweet was sent in kayfabe or in earnest. All caps typically is meant to convey some level of sarcasm, but you never truly know with Rollins' social media game.
Regardless, it was all in good fun, and hopefully we'll see Rollins and Cena in a WWE ring at some point together in 2021.