The Anxious Millennial Cowboy better known as ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, of All Elite Wrestling, is one of television’s most complete and nuanced characters. His character has nuances and depth that rivals your favorite Netflix or Premium channel programming. He has been described as wrestling’s BoJack Horseman.
But how did he become wrestling’s BoJack Horseman? Adam Page is that friend you like but is often overshadowed by your (or other friends) accomplishments. His friends in this case are ‘The Elite’ which includes Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Cody. After a while, this can mess with you psychologically.
Before joining All Elite Wrestling, Page wrestled for Ring of Honor and New Japan Professional Wrestling. During his time there he was a member of the profound Bullet Club with Omega, The Young Bucks, and Cody. All are bigger names than Page and even then – before the formation of All Elite Wrestling – were more in the spotlight.
There was a time in New Japan where despite all of this Page was racking up wins for Bullet Club. But none of his brethren seemed to notice or really care. Understandably, Page was upset.
Page had great bouts in New Japan against the likes of Jay White, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, and Okada. But none of these matches were as acclaimed as others within the group.
Jump forward in time, All Elite Wrestling is announced on ‘Being The Elite’ (The Young Bucks YouTube Vlog) a few days before Wrestle Kingdom 13.
All Elite Wrestling was founded and created by Tony Khan. Khan helped develop the company with the likes of The Young Bucks and Cody.
Shortly after; Cody, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega were named as Executive Vice Presidents of All Elite Wrestling. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, once again, was left in the shadows.
Page during this time was liked by the fans but was considered ‘bland.’ He had gained some wins and success but the opinion and fear was he was being pushed too fast.
The ‘Hangman’ had some success by winning the Casino Battle Royale at AEW’s big first event Double or Nothing. The winner of this match would go on to face the winner of Kenny Omega versus Chris Jericho. Later on in the night, Jericho would defeat Omega cementing Jericho versus Page as the main event for All In for the inaugural AEW World Championship.
Before the match, on an episode of Being The Elite, Page had asked The Young Bucks to second (be ringside) him for the big match. The Bucks declined. This was something Page never forgot. As for the match itself, Chris Jericho would become AEW’s first World Champion.
This loss devastated the Cowboy. He was frustrated with himself. Page would rack up wins but ultimately was not confident in himself. On one episode of AEW Dynamite he would declare that he was going to “do cowboy shit.” This caught on with the fans and he began to develop a closer relationship with them.
Some time later, he would begin teaming with Kenny Omega. Omega is considered one of the world’s best wrestlers. Together they found success. Their success began to build confidence for Adam Page. Unfortunately, underneath the surface, Omega had single aspirations and would focus his attention elsewhere. Eventually, Page and Omega would go on to become AEW World Tag Team champions.
Page and Omega put on excellent matches against the likes of The Lucha Brothers, SCU, and The Young Bucks. With each passing week Page grew more frustrated with his friends ignoring his success. As mentioned before, Omega had his focus elsewhere and not on their tag team reign.
At AEW Revolution Page and Omega fought The Young Bucks in what is considered one of the best tag team matches of all time. Page and Omega would go on to defeat The Young Bucks. After the match the tension could be cut with a proverbial knife. Each almost turning on each other but never following through.
During this time as well, Page was infrequently trying to be recruited by The Dark Order – AEW’s resident cult. He rejected their offer.
Like any good thing, Page and Omega’s reign would come to an end against FTR. Omega felt free. He could finally chase after his single aspirations of becoming AEW World Champ. Page, optimistic, had hopes they would team again. They did not.
Shortly after, an 8 man tournament was announced. The winner of the tournament would go on to face new AEW World Champ – Jon Moxley. The tournament finals came down to Omega versus Page. In this match Page was able to finally let some frustration out. Together they put on a great match. Unfortunately though, for the second time, Page had fallen short. Omega would claim victory.
To the dismay of Page, Kenny Omega would go on to defeat Jon Moxley through outside means to become AEW World Champion.
As any cult would, The Dark Order, paid attention to Page’s vulnerabilities. They again tried to recruit him. Reluctantly he agreed to do one match on their side. Since then, Page has warmed up to The Dark Order. Page no longer drinks as much as he used too. Instead of feeling down, The Dark Order has been able to achieve what others could not: Page has been able to smile and laugh.
The Hangman has not officially joined. But with his newfound acquaintances, there is a chance he may.
Omega is currently running amok with the AEW World Championship. So much so, he brought to it an entirely different promotion.
Time will only tell if The Hangman joins The Dark Order. But more important than that, will he finally gain revenge and be the one to dethrone Kenny Omega? Finally finding success for himself.
I can only hope.
Zach Watson can be followed on Twitter @YUHIWatson.