JC’s Top Rope Report: Cheers To You, Hangman Adam Page!

This week has just sucked hasn’t it? The NCAA Tournament was cancelled. Every major sports league suspended their season until further notice. People are losing their minds and buying every piece of chicken and toilet paper in stores. It’s okay to take precautions and not act like the world is ending. But that’s besides the point.

We’ve likely seen the last of live pro wrestling events with people attending for quite some time. And if the WWE is going to be insistent on running empty arena shows, they better work to get it right. Last night’s Smackdown was just weird. But we have so much to already appreciate in the world of pro wrestling despite the hiccups over the last few days. One of those things we need to appreciate is Hangman Adam Page.

When All Elite Wrestling first announced their launch, everyone looked at Adam Page as one of the future starts of the company. WWE was interested in him, but they only wanted to put him in NXT. Now would he have been a big star in NXT? Absolutely. But when the rest of the Elite were going to be on the main roster that would have just been weird. Page new he would be destined for bigger things when he joined AEW.

So when AEW announced their initial World Title match for All Out, Hangman Page was put in it after winning a Battle Royal at Double or Nothing. Most people assumed Page wouldn’t win the Title. And I agreed. The key with Page was potential. And when you are starting a new promotion with as much national hype as AEW had, you should have put your Title on someone with name recognition. That is what Chris Jericho had. And Jericho did a tremendous job as Champion. He changed up his gimmick again and became the best wrestler in the business.

When AEW started their weekly television show, Page struggled early on. I almost think he would admit that too if you asked him. There was something about him that was not connecting with the audience. I would say he almost felt too much like a generic, cookie cutter babyface. He had no edge to him. That was one of the problems he had in the build up to his match with Chris Jericho. He wasn’t given the chance to show that he had an edge. And that was an issue he had in the first few months of AEW Dynamite.

But then towards the end of 2019, Page decided to leave The Elite. Of course the other members of The Elite were stunned by this move. And they still considered Page a part of the group. But little did we know this would be such a turning point for Page in his AEW career. This little moment turned Page’s career completely around. Page developed a give no fucks attitude toward everything. And not only that, he started drinking in backstage vignettes, interviews, and when he was walking to the ring. And when a good amount of your audience is above the drinking age, that kind of stuff is going to get over with the fans. And that is especially the case when one of the most famous wrestlers of all time is Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Another big turning point for Page was winning the AEW Tag Team Titles with Kenny Omega. I admit I was skeptical at first. My initial thought was two fold: This is a waste of Kenny Omega’s talents and this is just going to lead to another unlikely partners teaming then breaking up storyline. Now of course this could all still lead to that. But for the time being, this partnership and angle has elevated Page to one of the most over people in AEW. I would argue that Page is in the group of Jericho, Moxley, and Orange Cassidy as the most over people in AEW. You could probably put Cody Rhodes in that group too, but I’m too distracted by his neck tattoo to think about that.

So think about that for a second. In a matter of months, Adam Page went from being the potential of the Elite to the most over guy in the Elite (even though technically he isn’t in it anymore). Look at the match from Revolution. Adam Page was the most over person in that tag match. Yes, he was more over than his partner Kenny Omega. And The Young Bucks were getting booed in the match. And I would argue that this is all because of Hangman Page and his ability to get over with the crowd. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the Blood and Guts match and if it happens in a week and a half. If it was me? I’d book Page to get the win for his team during the match. Then Page can hang that over every member of the Elite’s heads.

With the wrestling, and entire world, in flux right now, what to do with AEW and Hangman Page in general is an interesting case. But with everyone in the world in an unnecessary panic, Page reminded us to stay calm:

Just producing this alone got rave reviews from everyone. I haven’t seen one person in the wrestling world say this was bad. It was brilliant. It was exactly what this world needed after all the shit that has happened over the last week.

The question now becomes this with Hangman Adam Page: Where do you go with him? He teased attacking Omega at Revolution but held off. But here’s the thing: Even if Page did turn on Omega, I think Page gets cheered. This new no shits given Adam Page is too over with the crowd to boo. If you turned him, you would have to completely redo this character that he already got over with the masses. That just isn’t an option. If anything, I’d say you turn Omega on Page. Let Omega be a heel. Change his character a bit.

If there is one thing I trust with AEW, it is that they won’t rush anything with Page and his character. They will give Page time to develop even more of his character that he’s already gotten over with the audience. If it was the WWE, Page would have never gotten a chance to develop this type of character. He would have been buried after he didn’t get fully over after the AEW Title match. But AEW let Page find himself and develop this new persona. And we are all thankful to AEW for that.

So here’s to you, Hangman Adam Page. You went and found yourself, and gave us one of the best characters in wrestling at the moment. I’ll drink to that!

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka