Christian Cage cut a vicious promo on Jungle Boy that invoked his late father, actor Luke Perry.
Cage, who performed for years in WWE as Christian, was in the ring with Tony Schiavone on “AEW Dynamite” on Wednesday when he made things very personal with the 25-year-old, whose real name is Jack Perry. During the previous week’s episode, Cage told Jungle Boy’s mom Rachel Sharp, who was sitting in the front row, that she “raised a piece of s–t.”
“Listen, I was only giving Jungle Boy’s mom the chance to apologize to me for giving birth to Jungle Boy, and she instead flipped me off,” Cage said. “But here’s the thing. Here’s why I think she’s really mad. I think she saw her knight in shining armor go off into the sunset. I think she was a little sweet on Christian Cage if you know what I mean. I think she wanted me to be Jungle Boy’s father.
“And here’s the thing, I know Jungle Boy looked at me like a father figure. He sure did. But here’s the thing, Jungle Boy: I never wanted to be your father. I never wanted to be your father figure. You have a father. But your father’s dead — and that’s probably a good thing, Jungle Boy, because he’d be embarrassed and ashamed to see how you turned out.”
Luke Perry, most famous for his role as Dylan McKay in “Beverly Hills 90210, died in 2019 at the age of 52.
This promo from Cage crossed the line — and that was the point.
Professional wrestling straddles the line between real and scripted, and personal animosity builds interest in the matches.
One relatively recent example of a deeply personal promo like this was in 2015, when Paige was feuding with Charlotte Flair in WWE, and brought up her late brother, Reid, who tragically died of a drug overdose in 2013.
Cage and Jungle Boy had had an on-screen mentor/mentee relationship until Cage turned last week, delivering a savage beatdown.
Given how the arc of professional wrestling typically goes, one imagines that Jungle Boy’s comeuppance for this line-crossing is a matter of when, and not if.