Danny Cage Speaks on Success of Matt Riddle, ROH, AEW Launch


The Shining Wizards spoke with the Operations Manager of the ROH Dojo and owner of the World Famous Monster Factory, Danny Cage. They sent us the following highlights:

Matt Riddle’s past, his success, and his future: “I think it’s limitless. I think the only thing that could really stand in his way is himself. And I’m not saying that he’s going to, but I just look at his past. But I just know he’s done so much growing up. He’s in a better place. He’s got a wife and kids, so that makes it – the stakes are that much higher, so I think he’ll be ok. But I can’t see him not getting over. And when I say that [he] himself is his biggest hurdle to get over, it’s not that he’s an issue. I think that he’s so good and so talented that that could be the only reason that he doesn’t do good. He’s super talented and super charming. Like, you can’t stay mad at him, and I got mad at him many times. I mean, I got in screaming matches with him.

It was very frustrating because he was coming from a world of UFC and really fighting and shoot wrestling and all this stuff, so he wasn’t understanding there was a way to act, and things to do. He wasn’t understanding the locker room etiquette; the wrestling etiquette, why things are done and why you don’t go out there and do a million things. He was like “well if I can do it, why shouldn’t I do it?” and… he was go, go, go. As soon as everybody got a sniff of how good he was, then he had a million people in his ears, and that makes my job that much harder as a coach.

Because my job is to keep you grounded, keep your nose to the grindstone. I still want you going out there and working. I still want you doing this, this, and this. But at the same time, you have to listen to your coach and do this or do that. But like I said, he’s one of the most charming kids ever , fun loving, nicest kids, the hardest working when he’s in the ring and stuff like that. He’s someone who gets it – just natural ability. Like I said in the one thing for WWE, he was a kid in a candy store when he walked in. His eyes were so wide open and you could tell that he loved pro wrestling, and that’s where he deserved to be. It was just awesome to see the course he took because, ya know, WWE told him no.

So he went out and was like “alright, screw you. I’m gonna go do my thing,” and once it got to the point like where WWE is like “man, we better sign him or we’re not going to be able to sign him,” they jumped on that opportunity. And it was smart by them and smart for him. I think if he didn’t go out there and seek those other options, WWE would have been just fine to keep him basically right there in EVOLVE and do whatever and grab him when he’s ready.”

All Elite Wrestling:

“I never speculate on anything until I see some evidence of something. Like, I don’t know what it’s going to be. They haven’t run a show yet. Sure, they said they signed some talent. I don’t know if they did. This is wrestling. It could all not have happened. It wouldn’t be the first time that somebody said that we’ve signed such and such and nothing’s ever happened. I’m not saying nobody is signed, but when’s their first show, in May? I mean, that’s their first show, so that’s a long way away… and I don’t even know what they’re going to run after that. I don’t know if they’re going to have TV, if they’re going to run weekly shows, if they’re going to do TV tapings and just release it after that.

Are they going to run in big venues like this one? Because MGM Grand… it’s a lot of money to get that building. I know they have financial backing and all that stuff, but like with anything, when stuff isn’t profitable, the financial backing can go away. That’s why I can’t speculate because I don’t want to say it’s going to be the greatest thing ever, because it can go away tomorrow if the guy just decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore. I know this guy’s a big wrestling fan, but sometimes that guy doesn’t decide to do it anymore. That’s my biggest fear. I think that those guys are great wrestling minds and if everything works out, sure, it could be awesome, but I think I’d have to see the first show that they run and then I’d have to see their scheduling come up.

I think it’s awesome that people are being signed if they’re being signed and if they’re making good money doing it. I want everybody to get paid… I want everybody who’s earned a job in wrestling and busted their a** in wrestling to make a living wage wrestling. There’s nothing more heartbreaking when you see somebody and you have to work at a kwik-e-mart or wherever and wrestle. So I want everybody making good money, but at the same time, is it sustainable? It’s a very niche thing you’re doing. To us, we get it. We think it’s the greatest stuff ever. But to other people, they’re like “What’s that?” They still think wrestling is WWF and Hulk Hogan.

So, I hope it does good and I hope what that means is other companies now invest more money in their guys because of fear of people getting signed or going elsewhere. Plus, it makes people then treat their employees better, because if not, they’re going to leave. I mean my wife treats me fantastic, but if a hot lady moves in next door, I think my wife would be really nice to me. And I think if a really super good looking guy moved next door, I’d probably treat my wife even better. Not that I’m not a great husband, but that’s just how human nature works.

I can’t speak for other companies, but I would assume it would make ROH, WWE, and New Japan really take care of people in fear of if they’re not happy, they are going to leave. I hope they get a TV deal. I hope that means more TV, more contracts, more money for everybody, but we shall see. I got to really reserve judgment until I see their first show and what they’re going to do after because I’m very curious. I’ve been talking to some people on the inside, so I’m just very curious as to where they’re going to go with this. It’s not me bagging on them or doubting them. I go by what I see in front of me.”

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