Well, I’m back. Sorry for the delay in returning, getting life set up in my new flat and learning a new routine is tougher than I thought. However, I haven’t forgotten about this site and the community- I hope you’re all well and keeping safe.
2021 so far seems to have been the year of the big babyface win. In WWE, Big E toppled the Almighty Era. Shingo Takagi and Hiroshi Tanahashi are holding gold in New Japan. Even smaller promotions have seen babyfaces winning gold, with Alexander Hammerstone dethroning Jacob Fatu in MLW. But, there’s one heel left to fall. One babyface left to rise. Honestly, this is Hangman Adam Page’s time.
The Return of the Cowboy
As I’m sure you’re aware, Hangman Page has returned from paternity leave and is now the No1 Contender for Kenny Omega’s World Championship. Tony Khan recently announced that Hangman/Kenny would be main eventing Full Gear 2021. This caused considerable excitement in the wrestling community and led Joseph to write this article. I’d urge you to go and read it, but in brief, Joseph puts forward the case that the landscape of AEW, particularly with three big new signings, makes Page beating Omega the least appealing option. As you might be able to tell, I disagree. So, I’ll respond to Joseph’s arguments and then put forward the case for the Anxious Millenial Cowboy.
Three Big Names, One Big Prize
I don’t think Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson or CM Punk should be the one to beat Kenny Omega. From a storyline perspective, none of the three make sense. CM Punk made it clear he’s here to wrestle the younger talent he never got to interact with. Bryan Danielson doesn’t care about the title, he wants to prove he’s the best wrestler in the world. Adam Cole is still a loyal member of the Elite (for now…).
From this, I think it makes sense to argue that CM Punk probably won’t be gunning for the title whilst he’s still ticking off his list of young talent. As nice as the circular story of the Second City Saint would be, we can’t forget that Hangman’s is a circular tale as well. More on that later.
I can see a future where Bryan Danielson challenges for the AEW title. However, him dethroning Kenny Omega is not the way to go. Storyline-wise, it makes no sense for him to get a title shot having already had a 1-on-1 with the champ where he didn’t even want the belt. As well as this, a hotshot into the title scene would spit in the face of fans who trust Khan’s booking.
Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s highly likely that Adam Cole is going to turn on Kenny. Whether it’s a callback spot to the “Consider Yourself Fired,” promo from ROH or another way, the Panama City Playboy and the Cleaner have a past that needs to be brought up. However, such a storyline needs a catalyst. With how Adam Cole is being characterised in AEW, the turn will likely be after Kenny “lets the Elite down,” by losing the belt. Cole turning face over this is illogical, and turning Kenny face robs AEW of the chance of a big babyface win. Speaking of that babyface…
All of the new additions to AEW are over with the crowds. However, Hangman Adam Page is also over, and there’s one important point to make here. Adam Cole is over because he is Adam Cole (Bay-Bay!), one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet. Bryan Danielson is over because he is one of the greatest technical talents of all time. CM Punk is over…because he’s CM Punk! But Hangman is over primarily because he has been built as the man to beat Omega. He is the face of AEW and this is his moment to seize. Since losing to Chris Jericho, Hangman has been defined by his chase for titles and search for self-worth. Every story needs an ending however, and this is Hangman’s time.