Christian Cage has revealed an important lesson he learned from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon when it comes to the art of cutting a promo.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, the now-AEW wrestler spoke of a time when he completely lost track of what he was talking about whilst in the ring with best bud Edge and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. In that moment, all of the lines the star had memorised suddenly left his mind, leaving him in a panicked state in front of the live crowd.
Instead of being blasted by the WWE boss the day after screwing up his words on the mic, however, Christian was shocked to find out that McMahon felt as though he'd produced some "great stuff last night". The WWE Chairman would then go on to explain what a heel could get away with on the stick:
"The next day, I walk in and I saw Vince. He said ‘Great stuff last night.’ I said ‘ Really? I forgot everything.’ He said ‘You’re a heel, right?. When you’re a heel, you can get away with anything. If that ever happens again, step back, take a breath and look at your partner. Ask him what you were talking about and go back to it. Act like these people don’t get to hear you talk until you’re ready.’ It was a big lesson. From that point on, I stopped trying to memorize things. You have to go out there with your own voice and some bullet points of what you want to talk about."
The combination of trying to stick to the script, saying it word-for-word, and the fear of what the paying public would think of him should he get something wrong, was always going to be a recipe for disaster down the road. Thankfully, McMahon's wise words helped give the future-World Heavyweight Champion the confidence he needed to trust in himself and take a minute should he lose sight of where he was heading in a promo.
You'd think this sort of thing would encourage WWE to stay clear of over-scripting, right?