Backstage News on Christian Cage’s WWE Return

– SmackDown writer Michael Hayes originally came up with the idea of Christian Cage doing all the sneak attacks on Jeff Hardy to be revealed at the Royal Rumble. As time went on and people figured that Christian was behind it, and/or Hayes realized how Vince felt about Christian, he approached Vince with the idea of giving the role to Matt Hardy. Hayes sold the idea on the fact that Matt vs. Jeff would be a bigger surprise and bigger draw than Jeff vs. Christian, and Vince agreed with him.

John Laurinaitis had been pushing to do something with Christian sooner, rather than have him sit and wait until April. While all the talk about his return was going on, Vince started to sour on Christian. Back in 2005, whenever ideas were brought up for Christian, Vince always nixed them and only saw Cage as an upper midcarder. Vince even said in meetings that Christian had no star aura about him and that his head shot promotional photo was one of the worse he had ever seen.

RAW writer Brian Gewirtz asked about bringing him to RAW after Matt got the spot on SmackDown, but there was concern he would end up like D-Lo Brown – just hired and forgot about without getting a chance. They came up with the idea to give him a new feud with someone Vince is high on, that being Jack Swagger. They felt the longer they didn’t get him on TV, the more likely he’d end up never to get going and this was the best thing they had for him. The original idea for the ECW show had the same opener with the two but several segments were planned that showed Christian meeting the talent on the brand and putting him over like it was a big thing he was there.

The actual match was booked to be a short sprint for him to shine some more, ending with Swagger getting counted out or some crazy no contest. Vince ended up changing the show to what it ended up being. It was seen internally as Vince having no vision of Christian as a star.

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