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Jason Reso
White male wearing black pants, black elbowpads, and no shirt.
Reso as "Christian Cage" in September 2008 during his time in TNA
Ring name(s) Christian[1]
Christian Cage[2]
The Suicide Blonde[2]
Captain Charisma[2]
The Canadian Rage[2]
Conquistador Dos[3]
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[4][5]
Billed height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Billed weight 102.9 kg (227 lb)[2]
Born November 30, 1973 (1973-11-30) (age 36)[2]
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada[6]
Resides Tampa, Florida, United States
Billed from Tampa, Florida [5] (TNA)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1] (WWF/E)
Trained by Dory Funk, Jr.[2]
Ron Hutchinson[6]
Tom Prichard[2]
Debut June 1995[6]

William Jason Reso[2](born November 30, 1973)[2] is a Canadian professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring names Christian and Christian Cage. He currently wrestles for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion, formerly the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), on its Raw brand.

Reso was trained by former professional wrestlers Ron Hutchinson, Dory Funk, Jr., and Tom Prichard, and made his wrestling debut in June 1995. Reso wrestled in Canadian independent promotions early in his career. During his time in these promotions, he won various championships in tag team competition. Reso signed with the WWF in August 1998, after training in the company's wrestling training camp, The Funking Conservatory.

After signing with the WWF, Reso made his debut and captured his first title with the company, the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, and would hold onto it for a month. Also in 1998 he was given a vampire character, in which he formed an alliance with Gangrel and Edge, forming The Brood. The following year, Reso and Edge parted ways with Gangrel and formed an alliance of their own. The two would go on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven occasions. The tag team, however, ended in 2001. Reso later worked as a sole performer, which led to him winning the WWF European and the WWF Intercontinental Championships, on separate occasions.

Following his departure from WWE, he signed with the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion in November 2005, where he competed under the ring name Christian Cage. In February 2006 he won his first of four professional wrestling world heavyweight championships – the NWA World Heavyweight Championship – but would go on to lose it four months later. He recaptured the title in January 2007, which led to him starting his own alliance known as Christian's Coalition, but was later stripped of the title in May 2007. Christian's Coalition later disbanded in early 2008. Reso left TNA in January 2009 and re-signed with WWE, where he debuted on the ECW roster. In April 2009, Reso won his first world heavyweight championship in WWE: the ECW Championship, which he would win again in July 2009. Reso holds the record for the longest reigning ECW Champion in the WWE era.

In addition to being a four-time world heavyweight champion, Reso has won the World Tag Team Championship nine times, WWF/E Intercontinental Championship three times, the WWF European Championship one time, WWF Hardcore Championship one time, and the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship one time.

Contents

Personal life

William Jason Reso was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada on November 30, 1973 to an American father and a Canadian mother.[2][7] Reso played hockey and was a fan of wrestling as a child.[7] After moving to Orangeville, Ontario when he was a youth, Reso met Adam Copeland, who became his best-friend and later tag team partner throughout his early career as "Edge" and "Sexton Hardcastle".[6][8] The two were college roommates at Orangeville District Secondary School, from which Reso graduated.[6][8] Before moving to Orangeville, Reso lived in Huntsville, Ontario and East Luther-Grand Valley, Ontario.[7] He is close friends with fellow wrestler Terry Gerin, better known as "Rhino", "Rhyno", or "Rhino Richards".[8] Reso currently lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife, Denise Reso, whom he married in 2001.[2]

Career

Early career

In September 1994, Reso enrolled in a wrestling school at Sully's Gym, ran by Ron Hutchinson.[6] One of Reso's early ring names, "Christian Cage", was a combination of the names of the actors, Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage.[6][8] Christian's wrestling career began in June 1995 in a match against Zakk Wyld, which resulted in a draw.[6] In 1997, he was a part of THUG Life, a stable (or alliance) that included Joe E. Legend, Zakk Wyld, Rhino Richards, and Sexton Hardcastle. As a tag team on the Canadian independent circuit, Copeland and Reso were known as "High Impact" and later "The Suicide Blondes". The duo held titles in numerous professional wrestling promotions and competed in Canada, the United States, and Japan.[9] Reso won East Coast Wrestling Association's (ECWA) Heavyweight Championship on July 18, 1998, which he held till October 15, 1999.[10]

When Copeland received a tryout match with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Reso went with him. Reso and Copeland faced off in an untelevised tryout match which Copeland was booked to win. After the tryout, Copeland signed a contract with the WWF.[9] Once Copeland was promoted from his developmental status to touring with the WWF he put in a good word for Reso, getting him invited to the WWF affiliated Dory Funk, Jr.’s "The Funking Conservatory" training camp in 1998.[11] After completing the training at the conservatory, Reso signed a contract with the WWF to become a full-time performer.[9]

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1998–2005)

The Brood

When Reso came to the World Wrestling Federation, he shortened his ring name to Christian.[6] Reso made his television debut on September 27, 1998 at the Breakdown: In Your House pay-per-view (PPV) event distracting Edge during his match against Owen Hart to reveal his allegiance to Gangrel.[12][13] He won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship in his debut match against Taka Michinoku on October 18, 1998 at the Judgment Day: In Your House PPV event.[6][14]

Christian, given the character of a vampire, formed an alliance with Gangrel and Edge, who, in storyline, was finally persuaded to join what became known as The Brood.[15] The Brood briefly feuded with, then joined, The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness, but upon learning that Christian was beaten into telling Ken Shamrock the whereabouts of Stephanie McMahon, The Undertaker wanted to punish Christian by flogging (according to the storyline at the time).[15] More loyal to the Brood than to the Ministry, Edge and Gangrel betrayed The Undertaker and rescued Christian.

Edge and Christian

Christian (right) and Edge at King of the Ring 2000.

In 1999, Christian and Edge parted ways with Gangrel, who associated himself with The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt Hardy) to form the The New Brood. As a result, they began feuding with The Hardy Boyz, and went onto compete in a ladder match at the No Mercy PPV event on October 17, 1999 for the managerial services of Terri Runnels and $100,000, which The Hardy Boyz won.[16] At the WrestleMania 2000 PPV event on April 2, 2000, Christian and Edge defeated The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Triangle Ladder match, which ultimately led to the creation of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC).[17][18]

Following their victory, Christian and Edge portrayed themselves as villains, shifting their in-ring personas from borderline goth to a comedic pair of "cool dudes", winning the Tag Team Championship six more times (for a total of seven). During this time, their trademark became the "five second pose", where they performed a pose in the ring for five seconds "for the benefit of those with flash photography" to mock, insult, or otherwise amuse the fans.[6][19] At the SummerSlam PPV event on August 27, 2000, the duo successfully defended the tag team title in the first-ever TLC match against The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz.[20] At the Royal Rumble PPV event on January 21, 2001, Christian and Edge lost the WWF Tag Team Championship to The Dudley Boyz.[21][22] The following month on February 25, 2001 at the No Way Out PPV event, they were unsuccessful in regaining the title,[23] but recaptured the title on April 1, 2001 at the WrestleMania X-Seven PPV event in the second-ever TLC match involving The Hardy Boyz.[24][25] Christian and Edge were defeated by The Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker) for the tag team championship on the April 19, 2001 episode of WWF SmackDown!.[26]

After losing the tag team title, friction arose within the team after Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament on June 24 at the King of the Ring PPV event.[27] It was also during this time that Edge was becoming a fan favorite during "The Invasion" storyline. Christian turned on Edge shortly afterward,[28] resulting in the two feuding for Edge's WWF Intercontinental Championship for several months, with the title changing hands twice.[29]

Singles competition

Christian in 2002 as World Tag Team Champion alongside Lance Storm.

Christian began a singles career by winning the WWF European Championship from Bradshaw in October 2001,[30] though he would later lose the title to Diamond Dallas Page in January 2002. After a series of defeats, Christian announced he was quitting the WWF, but Page persuaded Christian to reconsider, and adopted him as his protegé.[6] Christian betrayed Page and faced off against him for the European championship at the WrestleMania X8 event on March 17, 2002, in which Page defeated him.[6] During the same event, Christian defeated Mighty Molly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship, but lost the title to Maven later on in the night.[31]

Following WrestleMania X8, Christian formed an alliance with fellow Canadian wrestlers Lance Storm and Test in June 2002, calling themselves The Un-Americans. Together, Christian and Storm won the now named WWE Tag Team Championship, formerly the WWF Tag Team Championship (which was renamed due to the WWF being forced to rename itself "World Wrestling Entertainment"), on July 21, 2002 at the Vengeance PPV event, but later lost it on the September 23, 2002 episode of WWE Raw to the team of The Hurricane and Kane.[32] He later became the sidekick of Chris Jericho, with whom he won the World Tag Team Championship, the renamed WWE Tag Team Championship, on October 14, 2002.[32][33] Christian and Jericho lost the title in a fatal four-way elimination match, involving the teams of The Dudley Boyz, Booker T and Goldust, and William Regal and Lance Storm, on December 15, 2002 at the Armageddon PPV event.[34]

In 2003, Christian began using many of The Rock's mannerisms, which varied from calling his fans "The Peeps" (similar to The Rock calling his fans "The People") to using The Rock's one arm raised victory pose.[35] He even called himself "The New People's Champion".[36] He went on to win a nine man over-the-top-rope battle royal at the Judgment Day PPV event on May 18, 2003 for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship, the renamed "WWF Intercontinental Championship".[29] The following night on Raw, he appeared on Chris Jericho's talk show, The Highlight Reel, sporting a new haircut and ring attire.[37] Christian would later lose the Intercontinental Championship to Booker T on the July 7, 2003 episode of Raw.[29] Christian, however, regained the title at a live event on August 10, 2003 after Booker was legitimately injured.[29]

Also in 2003, Christian and Jericho began romances with WWE Divas Trish Stratus and Lita, respectively. As part of the angle, it was revealed to be a bet over who could sleep with their respective female first, with a Canadian dollar at stake.[38][39] Despite the bet, Jericho continued his relationship with Stratus, which ultimately resulted in Christian and Jericho turning on each other. At the WrestleMania XX PPV event on March 14, 2004, Christian faced Jericho in a singles match with Stratus on Jericho's side. Stratus, however, accidently struck Jericho, allowing Christian to defeat him.[40] Stratus' then joined forces with Christian, becoming his on-screen girlfriend in the process. During a steel cage match against Jericho on the May 10, 2004 episode of Raw, Christian suffered a severe back injury, causing him to miss almost four months of in-ring action.[8][41] He returned on the August 30 episode of Raw, resuming his feud with Jericho.[42]

Captain Charisma

Christian's gimmick became that of a cocky, overconfident villain, dubbing himself "Captain Charisma" in October 2004. On December 6, 2004, he was forced to wrestle as Captain Charisma, complete with a superhero costume, by Chris Jericho, who was general manager for the night.[43] Christian was often accompanied by Tyson Tomko, whom he called his "problem solver", and usually won his matches with interference from Tomko. He wrestled with The Hurricane, whose gimmick is that of a modern day superhero, as part of a tag team called "The Heroes", for one night. The next week he faced The Hurricane in a "battle of the heroes". After this, the heroes aspect of the ring persona was dropped, though Christian continued to go by the nickname of "Captain Charisma". Christian was loosely paired with Edge again several times in late 2004 and early 2005. Despite being a villain, he acquired a fanbase, who he referred to as his "Peeps",[44] "Peepulation" (a play on the word "population")[45] or the "Christian Coalition".[46]

In April 2005, Christian participated in the first-ever Money in the Bank ladder match at the WrestleMania 21 PPV event on April 3, 2005.[47] Following this, Christian, who had an encounter with SmackDown! superstar John Cena at the start of the year, began commenting on Cena, claiming he was a better rapper than Cena and denouncing him as "poseur". Christian was noticeably cheered during these segments and was thought to be finally becoming a main eventer.[8] Soon after Cena, then-WWE Champion, was drafted to the Raw brand, where he successfully defended the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against Christian and Jericho on June 26, 2005 at the Vengeance PPV event.[48]

On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, Christian was drafted to the SmackDown! brand in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery. He replaced The Big Show in a six-man elimination match for the newly-created SmackDown! Championship, and lost to John "Bradshaw" Layfield.[49] Soon-after, he was given his own interview segment on SmackDown! called The Peep Show.[35]

Departure

On October 31, 2005, Reso's contract with WWE expired.[35] According to wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, he was asked on the spot to sign a new contract but declined.[35] His last match occurred during the tapings for the November 4 episode of SmackDown!.[35] Despite his quitting, Christian appeared on the October 31 episode of Raw and at the Taboo Tuesday PPV event on November 1, 2005, fulfilling his obligations to the company, as he was one of five SmackDown! wrestlers eligible to be voted Edge and Chris Masters' opponents by the fans.[50][51]

From early 2007 onwards, Reso began calling himself "The Instant Classic", although he continued to be referred to as "Captain Charisma" in off-screen appearances and sometimes wore his "Captain Charisma" entrance jumpsuits to the ring at live events.[52]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005–2009)

Debut and instant success

Reso, with Coach Scott D'Amore, during his debut at the Genesis PPV event in November 2005.

Reso made his debut in the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion on November 13, 2005 at TNA's Genesis PPV event under his old ring name "Christian Cage".[53] Reso then made his way the ring, where he grabbed a microphone and announced his intentions, as his Cage character, to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship held by Jeff Jarrett, after taking a few shots at his former employer.[53] Coach Scott D'Amore and Bobby Roode of the villainous Team Canada alliance then made their way to the ring. D'Amore then offered Cage a position in Team Canada (since Reso is Canadian) and even giving him a Team Canada T-shirt and telling Cage to take his time on making a decision.[53] Later in the night after the main event, a Six Man Tag Team match pitting the team of Jarrett and America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) (AMW) against Rhino and Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon), Cage ran down to the ring while Team Canada (D'Amore, Roode, Eric Young, and A-1), AMW, and Jarrett were assaulting Rhino and Team 3D.[53] After Cage entered the ring, he removed the jacket he was wearing to reveal the Team Canada T-shirt he was given earlier by D'Amore. D'Amore immediately rejoiced that Cage was seemingly a member of Team Canada until Cage turned on D'Amore and performed his Unprettier maneuver by forcing D'Amore's face into the mat; Cage's act also solidified his character as a hero, rather than a villain.[53] Cage, Rhino, and Team 3D together as a unit attacked AMW and Team Canada and threw them out of the ring; they then forced the remaining Jarrett through a wooden table after Cage removed his Team Canada shirt to reveal a hidden TNA T-shirt.[53]

Cage made his first appearance on TNA's primary television program TNA Impact! during the November 19, 2005 episode by engaging in a verbal sparring bout with Monty Brown.[54] This led to a match against Brown to become number one contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on December 11, 2005 at TNA's Turning Point PPV event, which Cage won.[55] Before his match at Turning Point, Cage had his in-ring debut on the December 8, 2005 episode of Impact!, defeating Bobby Roode.[56] At TNA's Final Resolution PPV event on January 15, 2006, Cage participated in his first TNA PPV main event by teaming with Sting to defeat the team of Monty Brown and Jeff Jarrett.[57] Cage went on to defeat then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jarrett for the title on February 12, 2006 at TNA's Against All Odds PPV event.[58]

Reso during his first reign as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Cage had his first title defense against Brown on March 12, 2006 at TNA's Destination X PPV event; there Cage defeated Brown to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.[59] On the March 25 and April 2 respective Impact! episodes, Abyss, his manager Father James Mitchell, and Alex Shelley showed two pre-taped video packages that had been complied in the weeks before the episodes. The first, on March 25, depicted Mitchell stalking Cage's wife Denise, confronting her, and even threatening that "they were coming".[60] The second aired on April 2, with Abyss, accompanied by Mitchell and Shelley, who was taping the segment with a camcorder like the previous video package, attacking Cage at his home in Tampa, Florida and nearly drowning Cage in his own pool.[61] This storyline led to Cage facing Abyss at TNA's Lockdown PPV event on April 23, 2006 in a Six Sides of Steel cage match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, with Cage prevailing. After the match, Cage attempted to attack Mitchell and gain revenge for all his recent evil deeds against Cage and his family. Abyss , however, stopped him, took a steel chain, wrapped it around Cage's neck, and attempted to hang him with it until he passed out. Abyss and Mitchell then stole the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt and left the arena.[62] The storyline between Abyss and Mitchell and Cage continued until TNA's Sacrifice PPV event on May 14, 2006, where Cage defeated Abyss and regained the NWA Title belt under Full Metal Mayhem rules.[63]

On June 18, 2006 at TNA's Slammiversary PPV event, Cage's NWA World Heavyweight Championship reign came to an end as he was defeated by Jeff Jarrett in a King of the Mountain match, which also involved Abyss, Ron Killings, and Sting.[64] The match was later declared unofficial due to Larry Zbyszko and referee Earl Hebner intervening at the end of the match by helping Jarrett win.[64] The title was declared vacant until TNA's main authority figure at the time, Management Director Jim Cornette, awarded the title belt back to Jarrett on the June 29, 2006 episode of Impact! on the condition that he defend it against the winner of a four-way match at TNA's Victory Road PPV event on July 16, 2006 involving Cage, Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner, and Sting.[65] Jarrett agreed to the condition, and at the event Sting became the new number one contender.[66]

Various feuds

Reso at a TNA live event in 2006.

After Victory Road, Cage befriended the new number one contender Sting on the July 27, 2006 episode of Impact!, by asking for forgiveness for doubting Sting's agenda by coming to TNA in January of that year.[67] He went on to say that he had asked Jim Cornette the week before if he could be in Sting's corner in his match with Jarrett for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at TNA's Hard Justice PPV event, but had told him he needed Sting's approval.[67] Sting accepted Cage's offer, with interviewer and occasional ring announcer Jeremy Borash announcing Sting's decision in a backstage segment on the August 3, 2006 episode of Impact!.[68] On August 13, 2006, Cage was in Sting's corner at Hard Justice as he faced Jarrett, with Scott Steiner in his corner, for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. During the contest, Cage interfered to help Sting win numerous times, as did Steiner for Jarrett, until Cage turned on Sting by taking Jarrett's signature guitar and bashing it over his head—changing his character from a hero to a villain.[69] He then allowed Jarrett to pin Sting and retain the title.[69]

After the event, Cage began a feud with Rhino, whose real name is Terry Gerin, one of Reso's real-life good friends. On the August 17, 2006 episode of Impact!, Rhino questioned Cage on his actions at Hard Justice; Cage replied saying he did it for the good of TNA.[70] He went on to explain later in the episode, during a sit-down interview with TNA commentator Mike Tenay, that he attacked Sting because he felt Sting did not show enough passion during the encounter to "get the job done" and win the title.[71] The next week on Impact!, Cage came down to the ring where he addressed his attack on Sting further, until he was interrupted by Rhino. After a small debate, Rhino attacked Cage, starting a brawl between the two which came to an end after Cage laid Rhino's head on a steel chair, picked up another chair, and bashed it over the outside of Rhino's head performing a one man con–chair–to in the process.[72] This led to a match against Rhino at TNA's No Surrender PPV event on September 24, 2006, which Cage won.[73] A rematch was held at TNA's Bound for Glory PPV event on October 22, 2006, which Cage also won under 8 Mile Street Fight rules.[74] They had their final bout on the November 16, 2006 episode of Impact!, where Cage defeated Rhino in a Barbed Wire Six Sides of Steel cage match.[75]

Cage's old ally Tyson Tomko (now going by Tomko), when Cage was with WWE, made his TNA debut on the November 23, 2006 episode of Impact! helping Cage in a match against Sting.[68] Cage, with Tomko at his side, set his sights on the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, now held by Abyss. At TNA's Turning Point PPV event on December 10, 2006, Cage fought Abyss and Sting in a three way match for the NWA Title. Cage failed to win the match, as Abyss won to retain the championship after pinning Sting.[76]

Christian's Coalition

Reso [right] and Tomko [left] were repaired in TNA, while in the alliance Christian's Coalition.

Cage fought for the NWA Championship once again at TNA's Final Resolution PPV event on January 14, 2007 against Abyss and Sting, this time in a Three Way Elimination match. Cage prevailed this time around by pinning Sting after Abyss was already eliminated to win the championship.[77] After Final Resolution, Cage prepared for his title defense against the new number one contender Kurt Angle, who had defeated Samoa Joe in a 30 minute Iron Man match at Final Resolution to gain the opportunity.[77] Heading into their encounter at TNA's Against All Odds PPV event on February 11, 2007, Cage announced on the January 17, 2007 episode of Impact! that he had hired a special consultant to assist him in training for his bout with Angle.[78] This consultant was revealed on the February 8, 2007 episode of Impact!, who turned out to be Scott Steiner after he attacked Angle following a match pitting the team of Angle and Joe against Cage and A.J. Styles.[79] Cage went on to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Angle at Against All Odds with Joe as the unofficial special outside enforcer.[80]

On the March 8, 2007 episode of Impact!, Cage proclaimed that he, Tomko, and Steiner were an "inseparable family", which he called Christian's Coalition.[81] After a short feud with Samoa Joe, culminating in a victory for Cage at TNA's Destination X PPV event on March 11, 2007 for the NWA Title,[82] Cage was announced as a captain of a five-man team for the Lethal Lockdown match at TNA's Lockdown PPV event on April 15, 2007 against Team Angle, led by Kurt Angle, during the March 15, 2007 episode of Impact!.[83] Team Cage, consisting of Cage, Tomko, Steiner, A.J. Styles, and Abyss, went on to lose to Team Angle, consisting of Angle, Joe, Rhino, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett at Lockdown.[84] An added stipulation to the match was the competitor to get the pinfall in the bout, would become number one contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and have their title shot on May 13, 2007 at TNA's Sacrifice PPV event.[85] Sting was the individual who gained the pinfall victory for Team Angle, and became the new number one contender.[84]

Reso as "Christian Cage" making his way to the ring.

Abyss was later kicked out of the group after he attacked Cage on the April 19, 2007 episode of Impact!.[86] Steiner was the next to leave the group, after he was attacked by Tomko following their tag team title match at the Sacrifice PPV event.[87] Cage was set to defend the NWA Championship against Sting at Sacrifice, however, on the May 3, 2007 episode of Impact! Angle was added to the match, making it a three way match.[88] The day of the PPV, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the owners of the NWA World Heavyweight and the NWA World Tag Team Championships, stripped Cage of the title and Team 3D of the tag team titles.[89] NWA Executive Director Robert K. Trobich stated the reason was that Cage refused to defend the NWA Title at NWA live events.[89] At the PPV event, Cage, still holding the physical NWA Championship belt, defended what was billed as the "World Heavyweight Championship" against Angle and Sting. Angle was the victor of said contest by making Sting submit, who had "technically" just pinned Cage at the very same moment, and was announced as the new "World Heavyweight Champion".[87] The Impact! following the event, Angle came to the ring with a new championship belt in-toe, and announced he was the new "TNA World Heavyweight Champion",[90] a championship that TNA had just introduced the day of the airing on the May 17, 2007 edition of TNA Today.[91] Afterwards, Cage and Sting came to the ring and the three began to argue over who was the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Due to the controversial finish to their match at Sacrifice, the title was declared vacant by Cornette. A tournament was held for the title which culminated in a King of the Mountain match at TNA's Slammiversary PPV event on June 17, 2007.[90] Cage won entry into the match on the June 14, 2007 episode of Impact!, by defeating Abyss.[92] Cage, however, failed to defeat the four other men (Styles, Joe, Angle, and Chris Harris) and win the title, as Angle hung the title belt to become the new and undisputed TNA World Heavyweight Champion.[93]

After defeating Harris at TNA's Victory Road PPV event on July 17, 2007[94] and Tomko, Styles, and he losing to the team of Andrew Martin, Sting, and Abyss at TNA's Hard Justice PPV event on August 12, 2007 in a Doomsday Chamber of Blood match to become number one contender to the TNA Title,[95] Cage restarted his feud with Samoa Joe. The two met at TNA's No Surrender PPV event on September 9, 2007, where Cage defeated Joe by disqualification when Joe refused to release his Coquina Clutch submission hold he had applied.[96] The two had a rematch on October 14, 2007 at TNA's Bound for Glory PPV event with Matt Morgan as the special outside enforcer. There, Joe defeated Cage to end his 23 month long undefeated streak by not officially being pinned nor made to submit.[97] Cage and Joe fought one more time on the October 18, 2007 episode of Impact!, with a spot in The 2007 Fight for the Right Tournament to become number one contender to the TNA Championship.[98] Cage defeated Joe to gain entry.[98] Cage made it all the way to the final round of the tournament, where he fought Kaz on the November 8, 2007 episode of Impact!. Cage defeated Kaz, but due to interference from Styles and Tomko on Cage's behalf, the match was declared a no contest, with the finals being determined on November 11, 2007 at TNA's Genesis PPV event in a ladder match.[99] Cage, however, failed to win the tournament final the second time around at Genesis.[100]

End of the Coalition and departure

Reso in September 2008 at a TNA live event.

Later in the night, Styles and Tomko helped Angle retain the TNA title during the main event as Cage looked on from the ramp.[100] Styles and Tomko were later announced as members of Angle's new group, The Angle Alliance. After this act, Cage began to show signs of a character change, by attacking Angle on the December 20, 2007 episode of Impact!, which led to a title match between the two on January 6, 2008 at TNA's Final Resolution PPV event.[101] On the January 3, 2008 episode of Impact!, Tomko left both Christian's Coalition and The Angle Alliance.[102] Cage failed to win the title at Final Resolution, as a result of Styles' betraying and attacking him during the bout, thus ending Christian's Coalition.[103] Cage got a rematch against Angle on February 10, 2008 at TNA's Against All Odds PPV event with Samoa Joe as the special outside enforcer. He once again was defeated by Angle as this time Tomko interfered and cost Cage the match.[104]

Cage teamed with Joe and Kevin Nash, known as The Unlikely Alliance, at TNA's Destination X PPV event on March 9, 2008 to defeat The Angle Alliance (Angle, Styles, and Tomko) in a six man tag team match.[105] Cage, along with Tomko, were announced as opposing team captains for a Lethal Lockdown match at TNA's Lockdown PPV event, to be held on April 13, 2008, on the March 13 episode of Impact!.[106] Team Cage (Cage, Rhino, Nash, Morgan, and Sting) went on to defeat Team Tomko (Tomko, Styles, Brother Devon, Brother Ray, and James Storm) at the event.[107] Afterwards, Cage and Rhino began competition as a regular tag team, with the pair being involved in The Deuce's Wild Tag Team Tournament for the vacant TNA World Tag Team Championship. They, however, failed to win the tournament and the championship on May 11, 2008 at TNA's Sacrifice PPV event.[108] Cage and Rhino were involved as single competitors in a King of the Mountain match for the TNA Championship at TNA's Slammiversary PPV event on June 8, 2008, but failed to win the match.[109] Cage and Rhino went on to team with Styles, who had made amends with Cage and Rhino, in a losing effort against Angle, Brother Devon, and Brother Ray in a Full Metal Mayhem match at TNA's Victory Road PPV event on July 13, 2008.[110] On August 10, 2008 at TNA's Hard Justice PPV event, Cage and Rhino defeated Team 3D in a New Jersey Street Fight.[111] Cage was involved in a Three Ways to Glory match for the TNA Title against the champion, Joe, and Angle at TNA's No Surrender PPV event on September 13, 2008, but failed to become the new champion.[112] Cage then went on to participate in a 3-Way War against Styles and Booker T at TNA's Bound for Glory IV PPV event on October 12, 2008, which Booker T won.[113] Cage was defeated in his final TNA match on November 9, 2008 by Booker T for the newly established Legends Championship at TNA's Turning Point PPV event with the added stipulation that if Cage lost, he would have to join the newly formed Main Event Mafia alliance.[114] On the November 13, 2008 episode of Impact!, Cage had his final appearance in TNA before his contract expired. During the telecast, Cage was to be inducted into The Main Event Mafia, but was attacked and "injured" by Angle, Booker T, Nash, and Scott Steiner.[115]

Independent circuit (2006)

In March 2006, Reso competed as "Christian Cage" three times in the United Kingdom for the One Pro Wrestling (1PW) promotion. His first appearance was on March 4, 2006 at their All or Nothing: Night 1 event, where he defeated Rhino.[116] His second appearance was at 1PW's Know Your Enemy: Night 1 event on May 26, 2006, defeating Steve Corino.[116] At Know Your Enermy: Night 2 event on May 27, 2006, Reso fought against the champion, Abyss, and Corino for the 1PW World Heavyweight Championship in a three way dance, but failed to win as Corino gained the fall and the title.[116]

In May 2006, Reso made two appearances for the Ring of Honor (ROH) promotion as "Christian Cage". His first appearance was on May 12, 2006 at ROH's How We Roll event in a tag match with Colt Cabana against Bryan Danielson and Christopher Daniels, which Cabana and he won.[117] His second appearance was a loss to Christopher Daniels at ROH's Generation Now event on July 29, 2006.[117]

Return to World Wrestling Entertainment (2009–present)

ECW (2009-2010)

Reso at a WWE live event during his second run with the promotion

During an interview with TNA president Dixie Carter, she confirmed that Reso's contract with TNA had expired and that he had re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).[118] Reso did not appear for the promotion until the February 10, 2009 episode of ECW under his old ring name "Christian", as a face confronting then-ECW Champion Jack Swagger.[119] Later that night, Christian defeated Swagger in his first match back with the organization.[119] Christian faced Swagger again on the February 24, 2009 episode of ECW, this time for the ECW championship; however, he failed to defeat Swagger this time around and win the ECW Title.[120] Christian won a tri-branded 15-man battle royal on the March 10, 2009 episode of ECW, gaining entry into the Money in the Bank ladder match at the WrestleMania XXV PPV event.[121] Christian, however, did not win the match on April 5, 2009 at WrestleMania, as CM Punk went on to retrieve the briefcase that hung above the ring.[122]

Christian won an elimination chase tournament to become the number one contender to the ECW Championship, with finals between Christian and Finlay taking place on the April 16, 2009 episode of Superstars, there-by gaining a title match at WWE's Backlash PPV event on April 26, 2009.[123] At the event, Christian defeated Swagger to win the ECW Championship, his first world heavyweight championship in WWE and his third overall.[124] Christian and Swagger then began a feud over the title which lasted until Tommy Dreamer defeated Christian and Swagger in a Triple Threat Hardcore match to become the new ECW Champion at WWE's Extreme Rules PPV event on June 7, 2009.[125]

Christian fought Dreamer for the ECW Championship on the June 15, 2009 episode of Raw, but failed to regain the title.[126] After unsuccessfully challenging for the ECW Championship at WWE's The Bash PPV event on June 28, 2009 in a Championship Scramble match, that also included Swagger, Finlay, and Mark Henry, Christian regained the ECW Title on July 26, 2009 at WWE's Night of Champions PPV event.[127][128]

Christian went on to retain the ECW Championship in an Extreme Rules match against Dreamer on the August 4, 2009 episode of ECW.[129] Christian then began a rivalry with William Regal over the ECW Championship. Their first encounter took place at WWE's SummerSlam PPV event on August 23, 2009, with Christian retaining.[130] They fought again on September 13, 2009 at WWE's Breaking Point PPV event, where Christian also retained the title.[131] After a few months of defending the ECW Championship on ECW only, Christian successfully defended the title against Shelton Benjamin in a ladder match on December 13, 2009 at the WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV event.[132] Christian became the longest reigning WWE-era ECW Champion in late-December 2009.[133] At the Royal Rumble PPV event on January 31, 2010, Christian successfully defended the ECW title against Ezekiel Jackson.[134] On February 16, 2010, Christian dropped the ECW Championship in an Extreme Rules match to Jackson on the final episode of ECW.

Raw and NXT (2010-present)

On the February 22, 2010 episode of Raw, it was announced that Christian had re-signed with the Raw brand. Later the same night, he defeated Carlito to gain entry into the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI.[135] On the debut episode of WWE NXT, February 23, 2010, Christian began a mentor role over Heath Slater.

Other media

Reso had a small part in the film Shoot 'Em Up, which was released on September 7, 2007.[136] He had a larger part as the character 'Ricky', a man whose best friend is in love with his lesbian ex, in the horror-comedy film, Dark Rising, which was released October 30, 2007 nationwide in Canada.[136]

In mid-2007, TNA Home Video released a DVD titled "The Instant Classic: Christian Cage", covering Reso's beginnings in the independent circuit and other various subjects up to his second NWA World Heavyweight Championship reign.[137]

Reso is featured in the wrestling documentary, Bloodstained Memoirs.[138]

In wrestling

Reso at a ECW live event during his second run with the promotion, facing Yoshi Tatsu.
  • Nicknames
    • "The Creepy Little Bastard" (WWE)[152]
    • "The New People's Champion" (WWE) [4]
    • "Captain Charisma" (WWE)[153]
    • "The Champ" (TNA)[137]
    • "The Instant Classic" (TNA)[137]
    • "The Pontiff of the Peepulation" (WWE)[154]

Championships and accomplishments

Reso during his reign as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion
Reso during his reign as the ECW Champion

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