The MVP of the 2021 variation of AEW Full Gear to no one’s surprise is the man who the pay per view was essentially named after. Full Gear was a phrase coined for Hangman Page to get himself into great physical shape for his match at the inaugural AEW Full Gear show vs PAC in 2019. A match in which he was victorious against his first archrival.
Hangman Page became the AEW world champion at Full Gear on Saturday night. Page defeated Kenny Omega, capping a near 3 year-long journey en route to the first world championship of his career.
On a night where the card was a loaded as an AEW pay per view has ever been, Hangman Page was groomed to be the man on this cold night in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Full Gear. His competition for MVP was not uncontested by any stretch.
MJF turned in the most impressive performance of his young career, emerging victorious over Darby Allin. I could hear arguments for CM Punk and Eddie Kingston as they put on one of the more emotion-driven, 12-minute slugfests you’ll ever see in a wrestling ring.
Yet at the end of the night, most of us have the everlasting image of how a big show closes. When the dust settled in the main event of AEW Full Gear, Hangman Page had finally conquered his inner demons. Displaying newfound confidence and swagger, Page wasn’t going to be denied in his quest to dethrone Kenny Omega and fulfill his destiny to become the AEW world champion.
His story was a thrilling, corkscrew of a roller coaster ride. Hangman Page was welcomed by The Young Bucks into the Bullet Club in May of 2016. Cody Rhodes would later say in an interview with ESPN, “Adam Page is making a run, unbeknownst to us all, he’s making a run for best wrestler in the world long before he should be,”
The roadblocks that would ensue thickened the character and soul of Hangman Page. He proclaimed that he would become the 1st AEW world champion in the opening press conference from Jacksonville, Florida. He failed in the 1st title match, losing to Chris Jericho at All Out in 2019.
More twists and turns sharpened the story arc of Hangman Page. Teaming with Kenny Omega to win the AEW World tag team titles. Losing them, Omega, and The Young Bucks kicking him out of the Elite.
Hangman questioned if he was indeed good enough to be not just the AEW world champion, but also was the fulfilling out the prophecies bestowed upon him by the Elite all those years ago? His character took another sharp left into the “Anxious Millennial Cowboy.”
Page found himself while taking time away from his new friends, The Dark Order, and pro-wrestling altogether. He stormed back onto the scene in Philadelphia last month to win the Casino Ladder match and earn that elusive AEW world title shot against his former friend and tag partner, Kenny Omega.
The main event of AEW Full Gear was a hard-hitting, storytelling, emotionally driven affair from the opening bell. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page left nothing behind as this match was more than just a world title bout. This was about Omega staying true as the “Best Bout Machine” and an ultimate thorn in the side of Hangman Page.
While Hangman was out to show Omega that he was indeed a changed performer. Every little detail in this contest would proclaim that Page was a different wrestler than the guy whom Kenny Omega had faced off with in the past.
Page pushed the pace, fought off Omega’s mentor Don Callis and a plethora of Omega’s high octane offense. Hangman would also encounter his former friends, The Young Bucks, towards the end of this emotional wrestling match.
As Nick and Matt Jackson watched at ringside, Hangman Page would hit two vicious buckshot lariats. Both Young Bucks shot a look as if they were going to interfere. Page stared a hole through the souls of both men as he successfully hit consecutive lariats to garner the three count and finally earn the AEW world title to the delight of a sold-out Target Center crowd in Minneapolis.
The story concluded with Hangman Page winning the elusive gold, having his hand raised, and his friends from the Dark Order carrying him on their shoulders as the camera went black on this instant classic of a pay-per-view event, AEW Full Gear.
The story had been written for quite some time that Hangman Page would be the MVP of the night he would become the AEW world champion. Page did what he felt had become impossible. He finally stopped lying to himself and became the man who would lead All Elite Wrestling into the future.
While it’s not exactly how he drew it up in his mind back in 2019, the climax of the story never was led astray. Hangman Page now has a tremendous target on his back moving forward as the champion of this burgeoning wrestling company. Yet no one can take away the fact that put the bow on his enthralling, wild goose chase of a story.
And that is how Hangman Page became the AEW world champion and MVP of AEW Full Gear 2021.