A Retrospect on Hangman Adam Page’s AEW Championship Reign
Hangman Adam Page’s AEW World Championship reign is something. In a great match with Kenny Omega, Page won the title and cemented himself as a world champion. Page’s win brought excitement for what was in store for the future of not only the AEW World Champions but AEW. That was over 190 days ago, and Page’s reign may be up soon as he faces CM Punk at Double or Nothing. So it’s time to look at the ups, downs, and downright ugly of Hangman Adam Page’s AEW World Championship reign.
Hangman Adam Page v.s Bryan Danielson
After Page won the world championship, Bryan Danielson would be his first challenger. At Full Gear, Danielson defeated Miro in the finals of the AEW World Title Eliminator. Fans knew the two would put on a great match, but how would the story be told. These were two babyfaces at the time, and a respectable bout for the title seemed it was going to happen. Then Danielson did something no one saw coming and turned heel. Danielson said he was disappointed it wasn’t Omega he’d be fighting. Danielson proceeded to say Page doesn’t wrestle every week; he flaps his gums. Setting the tone for the feud, Danielson believed the world champion wasn’t on his level; Page will need to prove he is by defending his title successfully. The first match was an absolute classic that ended in a 60-minute time limit draw. Danielson and Page paced the match perfectly, had the crowd in their hands, and knew when to add drama. Despite Page getting pummeled throughout some parts of the match, he showed grit and determination. The match left fans wanting more.
The second bout of Page and Danielson featured a new stipulation there would be three judges. In the event of another draw, the judges would decide who won the match. Page would need to pin or submit Danielson to ensure he’d retain his championship. Genius booking, and it showed. Page came into the match with new fire and was on the same level as Danielson. It was more contested, and Danielson was bloodied in this bout too. Page got the win this time, and he proved himself as a world champion. It would have been nice to see the judges play a factor; it could have drawn the feud out more. But that’s cherry-picking, a great opening feud for Page.
Hangman Adam Page v.s Lance Archer
This feud could have been good, but it wasn’t. I get it was a new year, and rankings had reset, but what did Archer do to earn a shot at Page. All Archer did was attack Page before Page could get to Dan Lambert. Archer only beat Frankie Kazarian on Dynamite a couple of weeks before his match with Page. Archer was beating job guys on Dark, but he still didn’t do anything significant besides attacking the world champion to get a match. Archer didn’t look like a strong challenger, and the match became a Texas Death Match to add intensity. It’s lazy booking, and it wasn’t even a Texas Death Match. The rules of a Texas Death Match are: for a 10-count to be initiated, one must pin their opponent. Page and Archer’s match was not this; it was a glorified Last Man Standing match with add submission stipulation.
The match had entertaining spots: Page taking a chokeslam on a trashcan, Archer performing the Blackout on the steel steps, and the Buckshot Lariat off the referee was cool. But this match didn’t separate itself from any other deathmatch that has been done. At one point, Archer stopped Jake Roberts, his manager, from performing a DDT on Page. As a heel, why would you stop your manager from helping you? There was no structure, just 100 miles an hour. A short feud, but it was a bad one for Page.
Hangman Adam Page v.s Adam Cole
A much-needed rebound for Page after Archer, Adam Cole became the newest challenger to Page. Cole didn’t exactly have the best booking before the feud, but a Cole-Page match would be great. Leading up to the match Cole called Page the other Adam, stole the AEW World Championship, and created good intensity for the feud. Page started to feel like a champion again since the Danielson feud. The match at Revolution was good, not great. Maybe the fact that there had been three hours of wrestling before the match played a factor, but the match felt it was lacking something. Cole’s superkicks were great. Page hit a powerbomb on the apron that looked awesome. The run-ins by ReDragon and the Dark Order took away from the match, but still, it was a good match. The Texas Death Match that followed had great moments. Page tying Cole to the ropes was a nice drama spot, and the superkicks throughout looked great. What took the cake was Page placing a barbed-wire crown on Cole’s head and hit Dead Eye through a table. To do that spot on Good Friday on national television was something.
Overall, I would describe Hangman Adam Page’s championship reign as mediocre. That’s not because of Page though he has worked hard during his reign. He has likeability you want to cheer for the guy, but his reign has been flat since the Danielson feud. Things have got back on track for Page with CM Punk. Despite having heelish tendencies, Page has been serious with Punk. Page has shaken off the lows of his reign and continued to move forward to bring excitement to the match with Punk. If Page’s reign is over this Sunday, he shouldn’t hang his head. Page should be proud of his reign, and he’ll learn from the mistakes he made during it.