Some wrestlers can be successful as both babyfaces and heels, but some are better as one over the other and to me Christian is at his best as a heel.
In my opinion, Christian is an absolute legend in this business and should have been inducted into the HOF years ago, but he has never gotten the respect he has deserved. Often viewed as just “a good hand” or “upper mid-card at best”, this stigma has followed him his entire career, especially when he was in WWE. Christian showed the world night after night how hard a worker he truly was in WWE but was always looked at as less talented than his tag team partner Edge by WWE management. When WWE broke up the team and decided for Christian to be the heel, he showed a side of himself that WWE hadn’t seen, and it was spectacular for both Edge and Christian’s careers.
The audience was behind Christian as a heel, but bad booking after the Edge feud including an Unamericans stable that tried to recapture the 1997 Hart Foundation vibe but failed to do so certainly didn’t help his trajectory into the main even scene. However, teaming with fellow Canadian and former Undisputed WWF Champion, Chris Jericho, certainly helped put him back on the right path. However, just like with his partnership with Edge, Christian ended the partnership and turned on his partner. Leading to yet another great feud leading to a WrestleMania match between the two.
However, despite his successes, WWE management refused to elevate Christian above mid-card status and Christian knew he was capable of more and jumped to TNA in 2005. Arriving as a babyface, but we all knew the real Christian would eventually appear as he eventually turned heel in the promotion and arguably was the best part of his run in the promotion. He won the NWA World Championship twice and reformed his partnership with his old WWE bodyguard Tomko and even formed a stable The Christian Collation with a young AJ Styles.
Christian would eventually leave TNA and return to WWE, where he did receive a more prominent spot on the card at least for a short time including multiple ECW and World Heavyweight Championship reigns, before his career would be cut short due to injury.
In WWE and TNA, both on and off screen whether he is teaming with young talent or feuding with them, Christian is someone that can help elevate talent and there is no better way to teach a talent or get a talent over than being in the ring with them. Even when his career was cut short, Christian would pass on his knowledge to any talent that asked for his help.
Christian shocked the world when he returned in the 2021 Royal Rumble, after everyone thought he’d never wrestle again. Although, he didn’t win the Rumble, fans wondered what would be next for him presumably in WWE, but Christian never being satisfied with just a roster spot, he wanted to make an impact with this second chance run. Unfortunately, WWE didn’t make Christian feel like he’d be valued the way he felt that he deserved, but AEW did make him an offer and literally weeks after appearing in the Rumble he made his AEW debut.
Wearing a shirt that said Out.Work.Everyone., a motto that he has used his entire career. His run would start out good with him picking up wins and getting one more chance to return to TNA/Impact as he took the world title off of Kenny Omega. Personally, I think this was done because AEW didn’t want anyone from Impact beating the AEW World Champion, so Christian was used as a transition champion as he has never had a problem putting someone over and him being a legend the loss wouldn’t hurt him.
Christian would challenge Omega for the AEW World Championship at All Out 2021, but to the shock of literally no one lost to Omega. Christian would put Impact’s Josh Alexander over at Impact’s Bound for Glory for the Impact World Championship. However, since that time Christian’s career has been stagnant. AEW booked him essentially as the replacement for Marko Stunt as the corner man for the Jungle Express. A position that was truly beneath him and something that WWE would have done and been justifiably buried for as Christian is a legend in this business. Just being a ringside cheerleader for a tag team when he can still wrestle and wasn’t injured is an insult for a guy that challenged for the company’s world title less than a year ago.
In truth, Christian likely passed on knowledge and guidance to Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus both on and off screen. So, when Christian finally broke away from the group, which we as fans knew he would eventually turn on them based on his track history it was glorious.
After his turn, the wrestling world wanted to know why, and Christian delivered in my opinion the promo of his life.
“You got losers tweeting away like your opinion matters, like you know anything about this business. You know nothing about it. I don’t need your comments on who I should be wrestling, what title should I be going for. I’m one of the bests to have ever stepped foot in the ting. I got it all figured out, thanks.”
Essentially, telling the fans their opinions don’t matter to him about his career, but at the same time it was a promo of frustration of where his booking has been since he challenged for the AEW World title unsuccessfully. Telling the world that he is not in AEW to put talent over, but to put himself over. It is about what is best for Christian’s career and not anyone else’s including Jungle Boy. Bringing up that he Jungle Boy’s deceased father is both controversial and a typical heel move at the same.
Christian has always had the greatest successes of his career especially as a singles star as a heel, whether it be in WWE or TNA and now the potential is there for AEW. A heel Christian feuding with someone like Jungle Boy and other young talent such as Darby Allin, can certainly help elevate these young talents in AEW.
The rationale for his motivation that he has been plotting this since the Casino Royale in 2021 when Jungle Boy eliminated him is really farfetched and ridiculous. The Royale took place in May 2021, which was before both his Impact World title run and his AEW World title shot. This seems like a really bad attempt to try to argue long term storytelling, but it really isn’t. Instead of saying that was the motivation, he should have just gone with I’m a legend and I’m not here to cheer others on from ringside and they were holding me back. This is about me!
That is way more believable as the motivation than something that has been bothering him for a year. Anyway, I think this feud could help elevate Jungle Boy and revitalize Christian’s stagnant AEW run. Christian planting the seed by hugging Luchasaurus is the perfect mind game and typical Christian. He is sowing the doubt in Jungle Boy’s mind on whether or not he can trust his tag team partner. Making Jungle Boy and the fans questioning, who’s side is he on?
It is brilliant storytelling of mind games prior to an eventual match. While the doubt is being planted between Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, I would give Christian a new bodyguard and have him be his new Tomko. In my opinion, the perfect choice is another talent that is incredibly underappreciated in Lance Archer. With Jake Roberts health being an issue, having Lance under the learning tree of Christian and having him in high profile feuds at his side benefits him too.
Christian and Lance could be an excellent heel pairing and could match up incredibly well with the Jungle Express. Although the Christian character isn’t about working with young talent and putting them over, Jay Reso, the man behind the character knows he is giving back to the industry by doing so and is likely fully onboard to giving back to the future of the industry that he loves.
By elevating the future of the business, he is ensuring that he is leaving a lasting legacy beyond just what he has done in his own career.
Photo Credits – WWE, Impact Wrestling and AEW