Adam Page's arc remains the best story told in All Elite Wrestling

Adam Page has gone off the deep end, and if you listen to him tell it - the fans played a huge part in why his character is at his wit's end.
Hangman Adam Page 7.png
Hangman Adam Page 7.png /

One of the most prevalent and incorrect criticisms of All Elite Wrestling is the company’s “lack” stories. To think that one would have to ignore much of what happens on television each week. Even still, it would be hard to ignore the transformation that has hit “Hangman” Adam Page. For five years he’s gone through some stuff that has sent him down a dark path. And along the way, his character development has become the best story told by this still young promotion.

On Monday, AEW posted a behind-the-scenes clip of Page after advancing in the Owen Hart Cup Tournament. For two minutes, Page reminded the world why he is the angriest man on the roster and justified in his actions. He presented himself as a man that is not only angry at Swerve Strickland (whose name he did not say) but he’s also upset at the way the AEW fanbase cheered Swerve after invading his home and threatening his family. If anyone deserves to enter their “villain era” then Page is making a claim to that argument.

For anyone engrossed in the world of comic books, Batman: The Killing Joke is considered one of the best Batman stories. It is one of the several origin stories for The Joker. In the book, he chronicles how all it takes is for a man to have “one bad day” before he descends into madness and insanity. Page has dealt with several in AEW. The mounting pressure and fallout of those moments have led to the man who's standing in front of us today. The one who is prepared to do anything necessary to get back to Strickland and burn his world down.

That is a master class in story and character development. Page went from the chosen one who suffered a big loss while the world watched to Chris Jericho. Teaming with one of his best friends and then being blamed for that team’s failure. To have to fight that best friend and then fight for the company against one of the biggest stars in wrestling. A fight that he lost, but then was proven to be right when that star was kicked out. All the while, the fans continued to turn on him – cheering for the other person. They cheered Swerve Strickland’s rise to Page’s detriment and now he’s out for blood.

It doesn’t matter whether this story was told intentionally, or if the company was able to turn around moments to weave the story together. It really doesn’t matter. All that matters is the outcome of what reaches fans each week. And that outcome is one that has presented Adam Page as a multi-faceted, real-life character with layers rarely seen in professional wrestling. He doesn’t need a catchphrase or some gregarious costume. All he needs is his purpose. And that purpose is to destroy Swerve Strickland and anything that gets in his way of doing that. He might be a villain in the eyes of wrestling fans, but his character is one that has been through the fire and is coming to collect.