December 11, 2005
Christian Cage man of The Peeps
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
With more than 250 nights a year living out of a suitcase, pounding the hell out of his body at arenas all over the world, Jay Reso was worn down -- physically and mentally. It didn't seem right. He was just 32 years old.
And his Christian character seemed to be in a rut, with WWE failing to capitalize on Captain Charisma's magnetism. So the time just seemed right that he should get out when his contract expired on Oct. 31.
"I was really on the fence until the last minute," said TNA's newest superstar Christian Cage over the phone earlier this week. "It wasn't until I pulled up to the arena on Oct. 30 that I realized my time there was over.
"I had just started to feel like I would come home, do some laundry, pay some bills and then be back out on the road again."
So after eight years, mostly good, in WWE, he left behind a nice contract offer ... and gained not only peace of mind, but a new employer soon after when TNA came calling. And a deal with them made perfect sense. The TNA shows are done in Orlando, about a 11/2-hour drive away from Reso's Tampa home.
"It's like going to a new school, being the new kid in class. But everyone was great."
So what went wrong in WWE with a career and character that at times seemed ready to step up to main-event status ... and a feud with John Cena that everyone except the creative geniuses wanted to see?
"I wish I could put a finger on it, but I can't," said Reso. "I strongly believe I could have been one of their main guys ... and I think the fans felt that ... to me, you can't fool the fans.
"The first time I mentioned (Cena's) name in Madison Square Garden, there was a great reaction. And every time I had the chance, I'd mention his name. I thought it was cool because he was on a different show (Smackdown!, while Christian was still with RAW)."
Reso didn't find out he was shifting to Smackdown! until after the Vengeance pay-per-view. And Cena was moved to RAW.
"I think the fans wanted to see the match," said Reso. "And I feel badly that they never got a chance."
Christian wants to succeed in TNA.
"I have plenty of motivation," said Reso, who will face The Alpha Male Monty Brown at tonight's Turning Point pay-per-view. "I feel like I can be one of the main guys here."
His legion of Peeps shouldn't expect him to change. "I can't change what I am," he said. "What you see is what you get. That's me with the volume cranked way up. If the fans want to cheer, then cheer ... and if they want to boo, then boo."
He says he's feeling good ... about himself and about his new employer, which he says has plenty of great talent on its roster.
"My mind's clear now," he said. "But I'm not bitter. I have no ill will toward WWE. For most of my eight years, they were great.They allowed me a chance to live my dream and walk away on my own."
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