The near-perfect build for Adam Page versus Swerve Strickland


Swerve Strickland and Adam Page are heading toward a big match at Full Gear and the build has been amazing every step of the way.

AEW Full Gear 2023 is a highly anticipated PPV with momentum growing after a hot edition of AEW Dynamite on November 15. There are several important matches to keep an eye on, but the “Hangman” Adam Page versus Swerve Strickland match is on another level. No title is on the line, but this match feels like it has all the importance of a title match. AEW has done an excellent job drawing attention to what has been a near-perfect build for this battle.

Page and Swerve are set for a Texas Death Match on Saturday. This match has the type of pairing and energy that can easily steal the show. Everything from the first inclination that they were going to face off, through the promo on the recent episode of Dynamite has pushed this angle further and further. This is the type of build, anticipation and showcase that some will argue AEW has missed in recent months.

Page versus Swerve comes with a level of believability that has helped AEW excel since its inception. The sports-heavy, pro-wrestling-first direction of the company grabbed attention and continues to do so today. But there was a level of realism that hung in every word these stars uttered and the matches they would put on in the ring. Yes, this is a scripted product, but it “felt” like every character within AEW wanted to be the best simply for all the bragging rights that came with that. Then things changed and fans saw more comedy/sports entertainment – and debates continue to rage about that. While a small bit of that is sprinkled into Page versus Swerve, this story is wrapped up in the simple idea that both men believe they have a place at the top with their name on it.

Swerve is pushing for history. AEW has yet to crown a Black man as the AEW World Champion. Scorpio Sky’s TNT Championship run left much to the imagination and many thought AEW would be a place where Black performers could shine. That hasn’t been delivered quite yet, and everything Swerve does is to get to that pinnacle. While his tactics to get there have been underhanded so far, the home invasion pulled right out of the WWE playbook, it is still believable that he wants nothing more than to claim the top spot in a worldwide promotion.

On the other hand, there’s Page. Adam Page’s character arc in AEW is some of the best storytelling in professional wrestling. He went from the anxious cowboy who wasn’t sure if he belonged, to a dominant champion, to now a man who is defending his spot near the top of the roster. And he’s doing it with much more confidence and determination than was shown back in 2020 and 2021. That is what makes his story believable. The man who struggled with imposter syndrome knows he’s no longer an imposter and is now fighting to keep and protect what he’s earned.

Now, there is the big caveat of how the match at Full Gear unfolds and what is next. Expectations are that Page will win, sending the feud into a rubber match. How the stakes can be lifted beyond where they are now is a challenge, but something that can be done over time. The victory should still go to Swerve, as he’s riding an immense wave of momentum that should push him to the championship in 2024. If that does not happen, some will raise their eyebrows at AEW and wonder what they are doing with someone who has garnered such a fanbase in Swerve. This type of intrigue makes this match much more interesting and almost sells the PPV by itself.

Swerve Strickland versus Adam Page is an excellent pairing that deserves the anticipation heading into the PPV. Both men have done amazing work to push the angle forward every time they have the camera. This is the type of professional wrestling that made fans excited for AEW as a product, and this is the type of content that will help the promotion shake off some of the criticism it received in recent months.

dark. Next. Kris Statlander will not leave Full Gear as champion