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Christian

Christian Cage
-courtesy TNAWrestling.com

REAL NAME: Jason Reso
BORN: November 30, 1973 in Kitchener, Ontario
6'1", 227 pounds
ALIASES/ NICKNAMES: Christian, The Suicide Blonde, The Canadian Rage

Although his early career was heavily aligned with fellow Canadian Edge, Jason Reso, better known as Christian, certainly carved out his own identity in WWE before leaving for NWA-TNA, a move that paid off with a World Championship.

Reso grew up in Orangeville, Ontario where he met and became friends with Adam Copeland (WWE's Edge). The two were later college roommates. In the fall of 1994, Reso started training with Ron Hutchison at Sully's Gym in Toronto.

Hutchison recalled Christian for SLAM! Wrestling via email.

"(He) was a good student and a fast learner," he wrote. "After 9 months of training I felt that this young man from Orangeville was competent enough to make his ring debut. Now, unlike a lot of schools you must understand that I have two criteria for deeming my students competent enough to work. One...they don't embarrass themselves out there and...TWO (and more importantly!) they don't embarrass me!!"

Reso made his debut against fellow trainee Zack Wylde in June 1995. The match went to a draw. He took the name Christian Cage from two actors, Nicholas Cage and Christian Slater. (He would drop the Cage upon entering the WWE).

From there, he spent time wrestling in southern Ontario, the Maritimes, Michigan, Pennsylvania and southern States. It made sense for Reso and friend Copeland to tag up, and as the Suicide Blondes -- Christian Cage and Copeland as Sexton Hardcastle -- they made young hearts flutter.

They would also earn the hatred of the crowd, joining forces with Rhino Richards (later WWE's Rhyno), Joe E. Legend (WWE's Just Joe and NWA-TNA's Legend), and Bill Skullion to form Thug Life.

Christian as a SUNshine Boy in the Toronto Sun on April 23, 1999. Photo by Debbie Holloway. All copyright reserved. A copy cannot exist on ANY other web site. Click here for an even larger version.
In the summer of 1997, Reso and Copland wrestled in the Maritimes for Emile Dupre's Atlantic Grand Prix promotion, and feuded with The Super Models (Rick Martel and Don Casablancas -- better known now as The Jackyl or Cyrus).

But the two also competed against each other, including a match at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum on May 3, 1998 where Copeland, under his real name beat Cage.

In mid-1998, Cage got his break and went to the WWF training camp. He impressed enough that in August 1998, he was signed to a contract.

In his first major match in WWE, he won the Light Heavyweight title, defeating Taka Michinoku at Judgment Day 1998. Initially, Christian feuded with his "brother" Edge but before too long, the pair was reunited and joined with Gangrel to form "The Brood".

The Brood was eventually conglomerated into the Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. Edge and Christian would soon strike out on their own.

In 1999, Edge and Christian, along with the Hardy Boys, engaged in what may have been a career-making match: a ladder match at October's "No Mercy" pay-per-view. The four men battled in what was named by many as the Match of the Year. Edge and Christian lost the match, but gained a lot of respect among wrestling fans.

Six months later at Wrestlemania 2000, the Dudley Boyz were added to the mix and the three teams competed in a TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) match. Edge and Christian were victorious winning the WWE Tagteam titles.

After regaining the tag belts at King of the Ring 2000, Edge and Christian won another TLC match against the Hardy Boyz and the Dudleyz at SummerSlam to retain the belts. As the summer of 2000 continued, Edge and Christian slowly morphed into comical heels, even donning Conquistador outfits in an effort to regain the title belts from the Hardyz and formed alliances with Kurt Angle and Rhyno.

Even without the outlandish get-ups and "five second poses", the pair could be counted upon to deliver entertaining matches, as they won another TLC match, this time at Wrestlemania XVII to win their 7th WWE Tagteam Championship.

After months of speculation, on September 3, 2001, Christian finally turned on Edge at a Raw broadcast in, ironically, Toronto. At Unforgiven 2001, Christian got the upper hand in their feud, defeating Edge to become Intercontinental Champion. The split between the two was further emphasized when Christian joined the WCW/ECW Alliance a short time later.

Edge would regain the Intercontinental Champion at No Mercy in October, 2001. Christian would not remain without a title for long as he defeated Bradshaw on Smackdown a few weeks later to become the European Champion.

After throwing temper tantrums following his losses, Christian seemed to find solace in the "teachings" of Diamond Dallas Page, the very man who beat him for the European title in February 2002. However, Christian soon turned on Page but lost to him at Wrestlemania X-8. Christian's day would not end there as he pinned Molly Holly to briefly hold the WWE Hardcore title. (He was later pinned by Maven who quickly left Skydome with the title belt!)

Edge and Christian's paths would cross again in the summer of 2001. Christian teamed with Lance Storm to defeat Edge and Hulk Hogan for the WWE Tagteam titles. Led by Storm, Christian would jump from Raw to Smackdown and team with Test and later William Regal to become part of the "Un-Americans".

After the Un-Americans broke up, Christian would team with Chris Jericho and, on October 14th, 2002, would win the WWE World Tagteam Championships.

In the summer of 2003, however, Christian would eye singles gold once again, winning a battle royale to fill the vacant Intercontinental Championship and later feuding with Booker T over the title. As Intercontinental Champion, Christian would attempt to emulate the Rock, referring to his fans as "Peeps".

But as 2003 drew to a close, Jericho and Christian were once again partners in crime, making a bet over which one would sleep with a WWE diva first. While Christian's lust for Lita went nowhere, Jericho's relationship with Trish Stratus turned to love and eventually jealousy from Christian. However, during Christian's match against Jericho at Wrestlemania XX, Trish turned on Y2J and aligned herself with Christian.

In April, shortly after bringing in Tyson Tomko as his "problem solver" Christian went down with an injury , not returning until the fall of 2004. Upon his return, however, he was quickly back in the title hunt, challenging Chris Jericho at Unforgiven for the vacant Intercontinental title in a ladder match that Christian would lose.

After a short program with Shawn Michaels, Christian challenged the new Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin but came up short in all attempts to regain the I-C belt. He and Tomko were also unsuccessful in their bids to become Tag Team Champions, as they battled William Regal and Tajiri at New Year's Revolution.

Christian was one of the six men involved in the "Money In the Bank" ladder match at Wrestlemania XXI, a match won by his "brother", Edge. In the aftermath of Wrestlemania, however, Christian, aka "Captain Charisma" became one of the hottest and most over wrestlers on the Raw roster, with many people expecting him to be traded to Smackdown, and challenge WWE Champion John Cena for the top spot on Thursday nights, but that remains speculation at this point.

With Cena drafted to Raw, Christian did cross paths with the Doctor of Thuganomics, even competing in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at Vengeance (Chris Jericho was the third participant). However, the Cena-Christian feud was short-lived as Christian was, indeed, drafted to Smackdown.

Unsuccesful as a part of the six man match, designed to name a new Smackdown Champion (JBL won only to find out he WASN'T the new champion), Christian found himself feuding with Booker T.

As it turned out, the feud with Booker just might be the last of Christian's WWE career. Just days before Taboo Tuesday, with Christian one of the candidates to represent Smackdown, he announced that he was leaving WWE, as his contract ran out. He became the first big name to jump to TNA on his own terms.

Christian Cage (as he became known) quickly targetted Jeff Jarrett and the NWA World title. Receiving help from no less than Sting, Christian quickly got under Jarrett's skin and, on February 12th, Christian won the NWA World Championship at Against All Odds.

Christian retained the title against Monty Brown at Destination X and then tangled with Abyss at both Lockdown and, in a Full Metal Mayhem match at Sacrifice. (Abyss and James Mitchell had made things personal by stalking Christian's wife and attacking the NWA Champion in his own home.)

Christian's reign came to an end at Slammiversary when Jarrett won the title in controversial fashion. Although he was unable to become the number one contender at Victory Road, don't count Captain Charisma out of the NWA title scene in the months to come.

A couple months went by until Cage suddenly turned heel, helping Jeff Jarrett defeat Sting at Hard Justice. Shortly thereafter, he began a feud with his friend Rhino, attacking him with a chair when Rhino confronted him about his perfidy. Cage also got the better of Rhino at No Surrender and Bound For Glory.

Cage soon turned his attention to Abyss and tormented The Monster along with Tomko. He revealed Abyss had been in prison, and would go on to beat him and Sting in a three-way match at Final Resolution to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

With Kurt Angle setting his sights on Cage's belt, Christian recruited Scott Steiner as a so-called "consultant" (i.e. hired goon). Cage managed to hold onto the title for four months until Angle finally defeated him (as well as Sting) in a three-way match at Sacrifice.

Returning to his practice of feuding with opponents twice his size, Cage would sneak attack Samoa Joe with members of his Christian Coalition. Joe was apparently wound up enough to get DQd at No Surrender, but would beat Cage at Bound For Glory.

Cage was seemingly on the verge of becoming the number one contender for the TNA Heavyweight Championship after beating Joe, "Wildcat" Chris Harris and Kaz in the Fight for the Right tournament. But TNA management's Matt Morgan overturned the decision and ruled the latter match a no contest because of interference from AJ Styles and Tomko and ordered a rematch at Genesis. There, Kaz beat Cage in a ladder match and thereby won the tournament.

Rivalries were renewed with Kurt Angle after what seemed to be a merger of the Christian Coalition and the Angle Alliance. That left Styles, who had acted as a conduit between the two, unsure of whose side to take. He made his leanings known at Final Resolution, as he turned on Christian and helped Angle beat him and retain the title. It still wasn't known where Tomko stood in all of this. It seemed like he'd made up his mind when he came in for the save as Angle and Styles double-teamed Cage in an ambush, but at Against All Odds, Tomko helped Angle defeat Cage.

Cage was down but not out, getting the win over Angle in a cage to earn a man advantage in a six man tag match at the next pay-per-view. That helped at Destination X, as Cage, Joe, and Kevin Nash defeated a man-short (for five minutes at least) team of Styles, Tomko and Angle.

The feud would continue and the number of participants expanded, as Team 3-D and "Cowboy" James Storm joined the heels and Cage teamed up with Rhino. But Cage had one more big surprise up his sleeve -- he recruited Morgan to join his side. With his help, Team Cage (Cage, Morgan, Rhino, Nash, and Sting) beat Team Tomko (Tomko, Styles, Team 3-D, and Storm) in a Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown. (Champion Angle and Joe were facing each other in a singles title match, which Joe won.)

The situation continued to evolve as Booker T joined with Angle and disfavour with Styles grew because of his suspected romance with Kurt's then-wife Karen. Cage reunited with his old friend Styles and together they challenged Angle and friends. But at Victory Road, Angle and Team 3-D beat Cage, Styles, and Rhino in a Full Metal Mayhem match with the help of Frank Trigg. Cage and Rhino, however, were able to beat Team 3-D at Hard Justice, where Styles also defeated Angle in a Last Man Standing match. (Although Sting appeared after the match to attack Styles.)

Soon, Cage would get dragged into the Main Event Mafia storyline, at first acting coy about whose side he was on. At Turning Point, Cage lost to Booker T, and due to the stipulations of the match, was forced to join the faction. Cage, however, wouldn't yield to the Mafia at the next Impact, and they stomped him for his resistance. This would be his last appearance on TNA, as his contract soon expired and he returned to WWE in the new year.

"I'd been away for three-plus years," Christian said in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling. "(Returning) was nothing personal (against TNA). I had a chance to re-evaluate the things I wanted in life. I didn't think my job was done in WWE. I felt if I wanted to be on top, WWE's where I had to be. I had some unfinished business here."

Christian was placed on WWE's ECW brand and didn't wait long to make an impact, defeating ECW Champion Jack Swagger in a non-title match in his first appearance on the show. A month later and he won a battle royal to qualify for WrestleMania's Money in the Bank ladder match. Although he didn't win the contest at WrestleMania 25, he would beat Swagger again, this time for the title at Backlash. Christian would retain the title in a re-match at Judgment Day.

Undaunted, Swagger would continue to chase Christian for the belt. Also threatening Christian's ECW title reign would be the rise of Tommy Dreamer from perennial jobber to serious contender. And at Extreme Rules, Dreamer proved just how serious, pinning Swagger to win the Championship in a Triple Threat Hardcore Rules match.

- compiled by John Milner and Richard Kamchen

CHRISTIAN STORIES AND GALLERIES
  • Christian Photo Gallery
  • August 22, 2011: Canada's Christian seeks revenge against Orton at Smack Down Tuesday in Calgary
  • May 20, 2011: Christian hopes to keep riding the emotional wave
  • May 17, 2010: Christian sees 'golden opportunity' in move to Smackdown
  • March 28, 2009: Christian reborn back in WWE
  • October 10, 2008: Christian Cagey about his future in TNA
  • November 15, 2007: Film role a good fit for Christian Cage
  • November 4, 2007: Cage DVD worth it for extras
  • October 29, 2007: Cage just hitting his stride in TNA
  • July 14, 2007: Wrestling cures stagefright for Christian Cage
  • Apr. 13, 2007: Christian prepares for the Cage
  • Feb. 19, 2006: TNA belt surreal for Cage
  • Feb. 12, 2006: Against All Odds Christian Cage crowned champion
  • Dec. 11, 2005: Christian Cage man of The Peeps
  • Dec. 8, 2005: Christian unCaged in TNA
  • Oct. 31, 2005: Christian, WWE part ways
  • June 26, 2005: Christian a hit with WWE's Peep-ulation
  • June 25, 2005: Christian finally sees the spotlight
  • June 24, 2005: Booker T, Christian take Toronto for a spin
  • Jan. 23, 2005: Christian just full of Charisma
  • Oct. 19, 2001: Christian has an Edge over the competition
  • June 18, 2001: Edge & Christian mock break up rumours
  • June 19, 2000: Edge & Christian made it together
  • April 13, 1999: Brood breaks from Ministry
  • March 25, 1999: Canadian contingent psyched for WM15
    Christian Memories



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