Brian Cage in AEW: What’s missing in the machine?

All Elite Wrestling
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When watching AEW week after week, there are always new moments and milestones with a deep roster. Brian Cage is one superstar who has stood out, but for all the wrong reasons. Since joining AEW, there is clearly something missing from the hybrid athlete.

Since joining AEW, Brian Cage has yet to release the machine.

His run in AEW has not reflected that same edge that he showed in other promotions. He has had career-defining runs in Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling. As such, there is a degree of expectation when hearing Cage’s name. People feel the excitement and maybe even fear for their favorite opponents. His run since joining AEW has not reflected those expectations thus far.

When Cage was a competitor in Lucha Underground, he was consistently a contender for the Lucha Underground Championship. He eventually won the Gift of the Gods Championship once. The legacy he left was being a roadblock for many top contenders and a competitor who had no chains to hold him back.

He eventually went to Impact Wrestling and won the Impact World championship. His hunger for success was higher than it was before. He went from roadblock contender in Lucha Underground to relentless champion in Impact Wrestling.

Cage pushed his competitiveness against people he had rivalries in the past and fellow monsters on the roster, such as Killer Kross. This propelled Cage to a new level where he had a taste of that top gold, and nothing was going to stop him from defending or gaining it again with unparalleled aggressiveness.

Most recently, Cage lost the unsanctioned FTW Championship to Ricky Starks on the most recent episode of AEW Dynamite, which was a blessing in disguise. Brian Cage being handed and carrying an unofficial title turned him into a completely different athlete. It’s odd seeing someone as athletic and competitive in the wrestling scene tamed by Taz.

Every accolade achieved by Cage in the past meant he kicked it in high gear in every company he wrestled for. That is why when he not only joined Team Taz but was handed the FTW Championship, it was shocking and unexpected.

When it comes to titles and rivalries, Cage always chased the biggest fish in the pond, even if he came up short in the end. He always gained something out of his unbreakable mentality, and the results of what he gained from that push varied from company to company.

AEW has a lot of groups and factions, but some people were not geared to be tamed by groups. AEW has tons of superstars who fit that mold: former TNT champion Darby Allin, Abadon, Lance Archer, and, yes, Brian Cage.

There is nothing worse than trying to turn a lion into a pet alongside other animals. Cage is the lion in this scenario. It’s reflective of the kind of competitor he is. That’s the reputation he has built for himself. He’s relentless, he wrestles, and he has talked when he wanted to talk. He’s a machine that runs on competition and thrives on wins.

Taz is a legend, and it’s a disservice to team Taz and Brian Cage to continue with this combination. Neither side has benefited from the partnership and it has equaled confusion. It has been over a year, and it’s time for the relationship to end.

Hopefully, his attention will go back to his original mission: Being a threat on the AEW banner in a new way and stepping it up to an even higher gear. If Cage dwells on the FTW Championship, it will be the second most shocking thing to happen to him since he joined AEW.

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It is not to say he will be AEW World Champion or any other champion. No matter what he accomplishes, though, it will mean everything because of his tenacity as a competitor and unpredictability in and out of the ring.

For that to happen, Cage must truly be a machine, not a machine manually controlled by Taz. All anyone can do is hope for that new gear for a great athlete capable of anything on the next episode of AEW Dynamite.