Article written by Dylan McGuire Devine (10/25/21)
The rise of Hangman Adam Page in AEW has been one of the best storylines I have had the pleasure of witnessing. It is a perfect example of long term booking/storytelling and story telling is one of my favorite things about wrestling when done correctly. The storyline between Kenny Omega/The Elite and Page has been on going for over a year now and in this article I will go over Page’s long journey to where he is at now.
This long journey of Hangman all began pretty much around the beginning of AEW. Page won the first ever AEW casino battle royal at Double or Nothing 2019 which gave him a match for the inaugural AEW World Championship. Page ended up facing Chris Jericho at All Out 2019 for the title and lost. He took this title loss very hard which led to him becoming a shell of himself. It was also visible and apparent that he began having issues with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
Page and Omega began tagging together and at first were both very not in sync with each other but over time started to become cohesive with each other. Their partnership led to many wins together and culminated with winning the AEW Tag Team Championships. Despite their huge win, Page seemed to still be having issues and just wasn’t himself for quite some time. He was full of self doubt and began not believing in himself. While this was occurring, Omega and Hangman were still tag team champs and began a storyline with The Young Bucks.
Page still had his issues with The Young Bucks after their betrayal before he faced Jericho at All Out. This led to Omega being stuck in the middle of the Bucks and Page’s unsolved problems. The problems ended between Page, Omega, and the Bucks led to a Tag Team Championship match between the two teams at AEW Revolution 2020. This match ended up being PHENOMENAL. It is currently the highest rated tag team match in wrestling history. We saw Hangman and Omega pick up the win, but what happened post match is very important in the storyline of Hangman’s journey. Omega had his back turned and for a minute it looked like Page was going to hit him with his buck shot lariat, but he ended up not hitting Omega and they left the stage together.
All of this happened right before the pandemic started and sadly at the beginning of the pandemic Hangman’s momentum somewhat went away. Around this time Brodie Lee had arrived in AEW and was the leader of The Dark Order. Not a lot of people know this, but Page actually filled out a form for Lee basically applying to join The Dark Order, but the form got lost. When Page made his TV return for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, he saved The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega from being attacked by The Inner Circle. This led to a main event match at Double or Nothing 2020 between The Inner Circle and The Elite. The Elite picked up the win and everything seemed to be normal with the group. This didn’t last long as after awhile Hangman ended up turning on The Young Bucks which led to Page being kicked out of The Elite. The complicated part of being kicked out of The Elite was that Page was still 1/2 of the AEW Tag Team Champions alongside Kenny Omega.
Due to Page and Omega beginning to not be in sync with each other yet again, they lost their tag team titles to FTR at All Out 2020. Kenny gave up on Page after their loss and now Page was all alone and had lost all of his close friends. The next stage of Hangman’s journey is where The Dark Order began to recruit him to join their group. Hangman constantly declined their offer. During this time, Omega and Page faced off in the finals of the World Championship eliminator tournament where Omega defeated Page and went on to become AEW World Champion. The Young Bucks also won titles during this time after defeating FTR to become the new AEW Tag Team Champions.
Over time, Hangman began hanging out with Dark Order and they now were basically his new friends. Kenny Omega cut a promo on Dynamite in June saying that he had no one else to beat in AEW and that he had no challengers left for his title. Dark Order came out to interrupt Omega’s promo and said he had one person he was forgetting. Hangman Adam Page. Omega laughs off the Dark Order’s comments about Page and left the ring. The following week on Dynamite the Dark Order were attacked by Omega and the Elite in the ring but Page came out to make the save and laid everyone out in sight except Omega. Here is a prime example of how phenomenal AEW’s story telling is. Page was about to hit Omega with his buck shot lariat, but stopped himself just as he did at AEW Revolution 2020. It was a PERFECT parallel. This led to an intense stare down between the two.
We ended up getting a 5v5 elimination match between Hangman and the Dark Order and The Elite. If Page and the Dark 0rder won, Page would get a world title shot and the Dark Order would get a shot at the tag titles. If they lost, nobody would get a title shot. Hangman and the Dark Order lost this match after Omega hit Page with the one winged angel. The following week Page got his ass handed to him by the Elite after being interrupted while cutting a promo. The Dark Order came out to make the save, but a few members held the group back due to Page telling them to give him space and that he didn’t need their help. Page disappeared from TV for some time after this attack from The Elite.
During Page’s disappearance we got the biggest debuts in AEW history. CM Punk, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson. But Hangman was still no where to be found on TV. AEW scheduled a casino ladder match for the October 4th edition of AEW Dynamite and it was said there would be a surprise entrant in the match (joker card). The winner of this ladder match would get a title shot against Kenny Omega at Full Gear 2021. This surprise entrant ended up being none other then Hangman Adam Page. Page won the match and now had his long awaited title match against former friend turned rival, Kenny Omega.
We are now two weeks out from AEW Full Gear 2021 where we will see Hangman Adam Page vs. Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship. This match/storyline has been going on for over a year now and is going to culminate with Page defeating Omega to become the new AEW World Champion at Full Gear. I can’t wait for this match/PPV and I know this match is going to be fantastic. The beauty of storytelling in matches is fascinating to me and this match has a huge story to tell and I know they are going to execute perfectly.