We’re on the eve of AEW’s Full Gear 2020 pay-per-view and the card is absolutely loaded.
There’s a tag team match that’s been in the works for the last five years across multiple promotions, an “I quit” match that has the potential to be one of the most violent and brutal matches of the year, Matt Hardy in a cinematic match (which is always a recipe for success), MJF is on the verge of attaining official membership to The Inner Circle, Serena Deeb goes up against former NWA standout Allysin Kay, Darby Allin looks to upset Cody Rhodes to capture his first AEW title, and Orange Cassidy and John Silver will delight us all with their unique and hilarious antics.
But the match that I’m by far the most excited for is the final round of the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament between Kenny Omega and his former tag team partner Hangman Adam Page. We all knew at the start of this tournament that the odds were overwhelmingly in the favor or Omega vs. Page at Full Gear, and while a predictable tournament can sometimes lose its luster, that thankfully didn’t happen here.
We got to witness Omega and Penta put on a 4.5 star match on a casual Wednesday night of Dynamite, Omega debuted a new cleaner-esque entrance, and he helped cement his new persona with a brutal squash of Sonny Kiss. Wardlow and Jungle Boy put on one hell of a match together, and then we witnessed Wardlow one-up himself with his performance against Page, which I think helped a lot of people stop looking at the man-bun sporting bruiser as a simple hired gun for MJF. Throughout Page’s matches Omega was a guest commentator but refused to interact with his former tag partner and immediately left ringside at the conclusion of every match.
Following these events to no one’s surprise Omega and Page worked their way to the top of their respective brackets. The winner of their match at Full Gear wins the tournament and earns a title match at a later date against the AEW World Champion. Which brings us to what is perhaps the most pivotal moment in one of AEW’s best-handled storylines since The Elite first began to fracture and crumble.
Losing his match against Kenny Omega at Full Gear is exactly what Hangman Adam Page needs.
Since The Elite began to slowly fall to pieces we’ve witnessed Page pick up a drinking problem, fight with the The Young Bucks in and out of the ring, lose the AEW Tag Team titles at All Out and subsequently lose his friend and tag partner Kenny Omega in the process. The “Anxious Millennial Cowboy” has been on a slow downward spiral that went from him jokingly drinking fans beers, to almost never being seen without a glass of whiskey in his hand, and often cutting promos and wrestling matches while clearly intoxicated. Heck, when JR is concerned about your drinking, you know there’s a problem.
Page is one sad cowboy that despite winning almost all of his matches, is in a very low place. But he hasn’t hit rock bottom yet and that’s why losing this match is the best possible thing for him. Before we can see Page built back up again, he needs to be pushed to his lowest possible point and losing this match against his former best friend, fellow Elite member, and tag team partner is what’s going to push him over the edge so he can finally hit that point.
How many pictures of cheesy quotes about hitting rock bottom have you seen on the internet? Too many. Motivational memes aside, watching the hero fail, hit rock bottom, and then rise and conquer their demons to come back stronger than ever before is a guaranteed recipe for successful that we’ve seen countless times in movies, comic books, TV shows, and of course, professional wrestling.
That’s really what the fall of The Elite has been about the entire time. To push Hangman Adam Page to rock bottom so that the powers at be can then turn him into an absolute superstar through a redemption arc. It will truly begin with losing his match against Kenny Omega, who following Full Gear will soon become the AEW World Champion. And while Omega reigns atop AEW, each week we’ll watch Page slowly scrape, fight, and crawl his way out of the hole he dug for himself to eventually challenge his former tag partner for the AEW World Championship.
Looking at Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page all I can see is the potential for what may become the best story in AEW history and quite possibly the best story of both men’s careers.
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