In an interview with Bleacher Report, AEW’s Christian Cage was asked what the most important lesson he ever learned from his former boss, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Cage then recounted a story from over twenty years ago.
“One time, I was doing a promo on Raw, and I had memorized words I was going to say,” Cage said. “It was Edge and me, and Mick Foley was going to come out and interrupt it. Midway through talking and I just went blank and couldn’t remember anything. Edge was looking at me like ‘What’s wrong with you?’
“I started fumbling words. They say you can’t see the faces in the crowd, but trust me when I say I saw every face in that moment. I started to panic and it wasn’t good. When Foley came out, he said something like ‘Did you forget your lines?’”
Cage recalled meeting with Vince McMahon the next day. Instead of being reprimanded, McMahon praised him for the segment. It was then that McMahon provided Cage with a major piece of advice.
“The next day, I walk in and I saw Vince,” Cage recalled. “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.”