Brian Cage

Brian Christopher Button[1][2] (born February 2, 1984), better known by his ring name Brian Cage, is an American professional wrestler and bodybuilder currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). He is the current FTW Champion in his first reign.

Brian Cage
Brian Cage.jpg
Cage in November 2014
Birth nameBrian Christopher Button[1][2]
Born (1984-02-02) February 2, 1984 (age 36)
Fresno, California, United States
Spouse(s)
Melissa Santos
(m. 2019)
Children2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Brian Cage[3]
Brian Cage-Taylor[3]
Cage[4]
John Cage[3]
Kris Logan[3]
Night Claw[3]
Barry Burke[3]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[5]
Billed weight278 lb (126 kg)[5]
Billed fromThe 559[6]
Chico, California[7]
Chino, California[8]
Sacramento, California[9]
Trained byNorman Smiley[10]
Tom Prichard[10]
Chris Kanyon[11]
Oliver John[12]
DebutJuly 15, 2005

Button was hired by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2008 and was assigned to their farm territory Florida Championship Wrestling, where he worked as Kris Logan. He left the promotion next year and began working in the American independent circuit, most notably Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as Brian Cage-Taylor. In 2014, Button was hired to appear in El Rey Network television series Lucha Underground, where he performed as Cage. Since Lucha Underground was created by Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, he appeared on several AAA shows. Also, Cage appeared on AAA's American partner Impact Wrestling where he is a former Impact World Champion and a former Impact X Division Champion.

Early lifeEdit

Brian Christopher Button was born on February 2, 1984[1] in Fresno, California.[5]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Early career (2004–2008)Edit

Cage's love of professional wrestling and desire to be a wrestler began with watching it on television as a kid. During those early year Cage became friends with the late Chris Kanyon following a show that was held in Sacramento at Arco Arena where he made a sign that Kanyon noticed. Kanyon then became Cage's biggest advocate in his decision to pursue professional wrestling as a career.[11] This eventually led to him and his friends starting their own Federation in 2004 called Main-Event Wrestling Federation (MWF) in Chico, CA.[2] Cage's wrestling debut happened at an MWF show, against Kanyon.[11] This eventually led to a second show where Kanyon once again faced Cage. Cage ended up winning both matches against Kanyon. During this time, Cage had been training at Pro Championship Wrestling.[2] Also, Cage competed at All Pro Wrestling.[2] This continued until Cage, under Kanyon's advice, left to move to Atlanta to be in WWE's then developmental territory Deep South Wrestling.[2]

While not officially signed with Deep South Wrestling, Cage competed in matches with other WWE wrestlers.[2][3] When WWE ended its ties with DSW, Cage left to come back to California.[13] However, before Cage left, Kanyon asked Cage to become Mortis so that someday if Kanyon ever decided to make a comeback that he could still have his name out there.[11] Cage is the only person other than Kanyon that has portrayed the Mortis character.[11]

Cage again came back to California and worked with promotions such as All Pro Wrestling, Supreme Pro Wrestling, and Fog City Wrestling.[2]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2009)Edit

In June 2008, WWE signed Cage to a developmental contract, he reported to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling.[2] When Cage first started with FCW he was using the name Brian Cage but was eventually asked to change it and came up with the name Kris Logan.[3] The name Kris Logan was made to give homage to Chris Kanyon, with the Logan part due to his similar appearance to the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, along with the outfit that he wore which sported yellow tights with claw marks.[11] On July 23, 2009, Logan and Justin Gabriel defeated The Dude Busters (Caylen Croft and Trent Barreta) to become FCW Florida Tag Team Champions. However, they lost the title that same night against The Rotundos (Bo Rotundo and Duke Rotundo). Later, Cage would then come up with a new character Night Claw. The Night Claw character was seen in a few matches and was supposed to be used during the time that Hurricane was still active in WWE. However, this did not occur as Cage was eventually released from his contract in September 2009.[citation needed]

Return to independent circuit (2009–2020)Edit

 
Cage at an independent event in April 2017

Upon his release from WWE, Cage returned to the independent wrestling circuit and even competed in Asia. Cage would return to the Main Event Wrestling wrestling promotion where he would win the Main Event Wrestling California Cup where he beat Ryan Taylor, Joey Ryan, and finally T.J. Perkins.[14] In October 2010, Cage wrestled and won a match against Kenny Dykstra at Main Event Wrestling in internet pay-per-view.[15]

Cage would then join the NWA Hollywood promotion where he would team up with Shaun Ricker to form the tag team Natural Selection managed by Percy Pringle III.[16] Towards the end of 2011, the team would split as Cage would feud with Ricker and would leave Cage as a single competitor.

Cage has also competed in other various promotions such as Future Stars of Wrestling.[17] Cage had a feud with Brandon Gatson who would then compete against in a match on January 21, 2012 that was called the Match of the Year.[18]

In May 2017, Cage started working for Japanese promotion Pro Wrestling Noah.[5] On July 27, Cage unsuccessfully challenged Katsuhiko Nakajima for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.[19]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2010–2017)Edit

Cage made his Pro Wrestling Guerrilla debut on July 30, 2010, against Brandon Bonham at Seven in a losing effort. In his next match, he lost once more to Bonham in the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles opening round.[20] Soon after, Cage would form a stable with Chuck Taylor and Ryan Taylor known as the Fightin' Taylor Boys, adding the last name to his own and becoming Brian Cage-Taylor. The group found occasional success (with Brian and Ryan doing most of the teaming), but were never challengers to the PWG World Tag Team Championship.

At Death to All But Metal on May 25, 2012, Cage (no longer using the "Taylor" moniker) received his first PWG World Championship title shot against champion Kevin Steen.[21][22] At Threemendous III on July 21, Cage defeated Eddie Edwards before interfering in Kevin Steen's title defense against Willie Mack, attacking both men. On September 1, on the first night of the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles, Cage defeated B-Boy to advance to the quarterfinal round before interfering in yet another Steen match, causing a non-title loss against Ricochet.[23] The following day, Cage was eliminated from the tournament by Michael Elgin, following interference from Steen.[24] At Failure to Communicate on October 27, Cage defeated Willie Mack, with whom he had been feuding since July.[25]

On January 12, 2013, Cage and Michael Elgin formed a team called the Unbreakable F'n Machines (a name derived from both wrestlers' nicknames) and participated in the 2013 Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament. In the opening round, they captured the PWG World Tag Team Championship by beating the previous year's winners, the Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno and Stupefied).[26] The Unbreakable F'n Machines then lost the championship to The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) in the semifinal round of the tournament later that same day.[26]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2012–2014)Edit

Cage initially made an appearance for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on August 30, 2012 competing in a tryout dark match against Robbie E in a losing effort. The following year, Cage made another appearance on the January 10, 2013 edition of Impact Wrestling in another tryout match but through the company's short lived TNA Gut Check program in a losing effort against Jay Bradley. Cage would make another appearance in the year of 2014 during the summer at the June 26 Destination X taping special (aired the following month on July 31 in tape delay) in a triple threat match competing against Sanada and Crazzy Steve to qualify in the next round for the vacant TNA X Division Championship, but in a losing effort.

Lucha Underground (2014–2018)Edit

On October 5, 2014, it was reported that Cage had signed with Lucha Underground.[27] He debuted under the ring name Cage at the October 18 tapings winning a 4-way Elimination Match against Aero Star, Argenis and Angélico which was broadcast on January 14, 2015.[4] Though he started the night seemingly as a dominant face, by the end of the night he attacked Prince Puma, cementing his status as a dominant heel.[28] On the January 28 broadcast Cage received a shot at Puma's Lucha Underground Championship, but lost by disqualification, laying out both Puma and his manager Konnan afterwards. Weeks later, Cage defeated Puma in a non-title match to earn himself another title opportunity. The title match took place on the March 25 episode in a street fight, which saw Puma retain his title against Cage.[29] He then started a feud against The Mack and defeated him in a "Falls Count Anywhere Match" at Ultima Lucha. In Season 2 of Lucha underground, Cage turned face and set his sights on Johnny Mundo. Mundo tried to attack Cage after his victory over the debuting Joey Ryan only for Cage to turn the tables and hit him with his Weapon X finisher on the 2/17 edition of Lucha Underground. The two subsequently faced each other a week later, with Mundo winning after a distraction from the debuting Taya. Cage was defeated by Matanza Cueto for the Lucha Underground Championship. Cage defeated Texano in the best of seven series which he won a gauntlet.

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2015–2020)Edit

On February 27, 2015, Cage made his debut for the Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), pinning AAA Mega Champion El Patrón Alberto in a six-man tag team main event.[30] On April 1, Cage defeated Alberto again with help from La Sociedad in a match that was originally scheduled to take place at Rey de Reyes. After the match, Cage demanded a shot at Alberto's title.[31] The title match took place on June 14 at Verano de Escándalo, where Alberto was victorious via disqualification, afterwards demanding a steel cage Lucha de Apuestas with Cage.[32] On August 9 at Triplemanía XXIII, Cage was defeated by Alberto in a Lucha de Apuestas and was afterwards, as per stipulation, forced to have his head shaved.[33]

Return to Impact Wrestling (2018 - 2020)Edit

X Division Champion (2018–2019)Edit

On January 11, 2018, Cage re-signed with TNA, now known as Impact Wrestling.[34] On the February 15 episode of Impact!, Cage made his in-ring debut against John Cruz in a decisive victory.[35][36] At Slammiversary XVI, Cage defeated Matt Sydal to win the Impact X Division Championship.[37] On the July 26 episode of Impact!, Cage made his first successful title defense in a rematch against Sydal.[38] Cage also successfully defended his title against Fénix on the August 30 episode of Impact!,[39] and against Rich Swann on the October 18 episode of Impact!.[40]

During the November tapings of Impact Wrestling, Cage would invoke "Option C" a choice open only to the X Division Championship holder, where they surrender the title, in favor of receiving a title match for the Impact World Championship at Homecoming on January 6, 2019, where he lost to champion Johnny Impact.[41]

Impact World Champion (2019–2020)Edit

On the March 15 episode of Impact, Cage saved Johnny Impact from Killer Kross and Moose, but Impact turned on Cage after Impact's wife Taya Valkyrie would low blow Cage allowing Impact to attack him.[42]

Part of the ongoing feud involved the referee Johnny Bravo where two weeks prior to the Rebellion show, it emerged that he now had allegiances to Johnny Impact and Wife Taya Valkyrie as he chop-blocked Cage when Cage was in a position to pick up a pinfall win over Impact. The previous week Bravo screwed Cage in a match with Killer Kross where he called for the bell indicating a successful pinfall when it was clear to the Audience & commentators present and the TV viewers at home that Cage had barely got a shoulder up before the referee hit the mat with his hand for the third count.

At Impact Wrestling Rebellion PPV on April 28, Cage defeated Impact and became Impact World Champion for the first time. Following the match, he was attacked by the debuting Michael Elgin. During the match Cage suffered a back injury after a Spanish Fly from the ramp to the arena floor. Due to the injury, Cage missed two days of television tapings that took place over the following week.[43] He returned to the ring from injury on May 12.[44]

On the Impact TV broadcasts Cage made his return at the Slammiversary PPV where he would once again face Michael Elgin - Despite being successful in his title defense, Cage once again was to be sidelined, with the show highlighting the cause as the same Back Injury which had limited him to just the once defense since he captured the title from Johnny Impact. Cage would not be seen at the arena events for some time with sporadic updates from his on-Screen Girlfriend Melissa Santos. Cage was next Seen during the August & September Tapings.

During the Las Vegas tapings Cage announced that he was medically cleared to return to the ring at Bound for Glory where he would be facing new no 1 contender Sami Callihan. As part of the buildup to the match, Callihan confronted Cage, interrupting his "first dance" in the ring with Melissa after their on-screen wedding earlier in the broadcast. Following a vile insult, Cage started to attack Callihan, who attempted to strike Cage with a bottle he was holding, but Melissa Santos instead took a direct Hit from Callihan. At the PPV Cage was able to retain his title; however, on the October 25, 2019, tapings, Callihan invoked a re-match clause, with the match held in a steel cage. Cage lost the title by pin-fall following a Super Pile-Driver from the ropes. At Hard to Kill, Cage was challenging RVD. Cage was too injured to continue after RVD hit a Van Terminator with a chair against Cage’s face. When the officials stopped the match, RVD wanted to keep going, and Daga ran in to protect Cage. RVD attacked Daga, and it became a new match. After the pay-per-view, Cage revealed his Impact Wrestling contract had expired, ending his tenure with the company. Cage also revealed he would be taking time off from wrestling to undergo surgery for an injury.[45]

All Elite Wrestling (2020–present)Edit

It was reported on January 12, 2020 that Cage had signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW).[46] Cage made his debut for the company at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view on May 23, as the surprise final entrant in the Casino Ladder Match, where he was accompanied by his new cornerman Taz, thus establishing himself as a heel. He won the match, thus becoming the number one contender for the AEW World Championship.[47] Afterwards, Taz would crown Cage with the FTW Championship, an unofficial championship introduced by Taz,[48] and Cage would target Jon Moxley, the AEW World Champion.[49] He would challenge Moxley for the championship at Fight for the Fallen on July 15, but lost after Tazz threw in the towel.[50] On the 21 July episode of Dark, Cage formed an alliance with Ricky Starks after they attacked Robert Anthony and Darby Allin after their match.[51] The team, managed by Taz and now known as Team FTW, began feuding with Darby Allin as they faced Allin and Jon Moxley on the July 29 episode of Dynamite where they were defeated.[52] On September 5, Cage competed in the 21-man Casino Battle Royale at All Out, but was eliminated by the eventual winner Lance Archer.[53] On the October 7 episode of Dynamite, Cage successfully defended the FTW Championship when he defeated Will Hobbs.[54] The next month, Hobbs would align himself with Cage, Taz and Starks after he struck Cody Rhodes with Cage's FTW championship belt and then helped them attack both Allin and Rhodes.[55]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2016, Button began dating Melissa Santos, who worked for Lucha Underground as a ring announcer.[citation needed] On January 23, 2018, Santos gave birth to a girl, Skylar Faith Button.[56] The couple married on July 12, 2019. The marriage was also honored during the August & September Impact Wrestling Broadcasts, with the show holding their own ceremony (chaired by Father James Mitchell) following from Cage's on-screen proposal earlier in the tapings.[57] He was previously married to another woman and also has a son from a previous relationship.[citation needed]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

 
Cage is a former Impact World Champion

Luchas de Apuestas recordEdit

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
El Patrón Alberto (hair) Brian Cage (hair) Mexico City Triplemanía XXIII August 9, 2015 [33]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Title not officially recognized by AEW.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit