Hello fellow Cagesiders, welcome to a project I’ve been working on for around a month now: a series introducing mostly non-WWE wrestlers (there’s three exceptions on my list) and giving my personal match recommendations for where to start with their catalog that made me interested in their work.
Most of the names, listed at the bottom of this post, are going to be from AEW. It just so happens that for the soft launch of this project, the first man up will be from All Elite Wrestling. If you read the title, you’ll know that we’re taking a trip to the gallows of the hangman, with Hangman Page.
Before anything though, I should provide a brief introduction to Hangman Page and his character, as well as mic work.
The Hangman character comes from when he turned on Colt Cabana, the Briscoes, and Motor City Machine Guns during Ring of Honor (ROH) War of the Worlds in 2016. The reason for it was twofold. It was due to Hangman placing Chris Sabin of the Guns in a Hangman Style noose. But the main reason why was that New Japan management felt his name was too similar to Adam Cole and suggested the Hangman element.
He’s basically a modern day cowboy, and from the perspective of the microphone is good, but not amazing, especially not compared to guys like MJF. But he can absolutely hold his own on the stick.
Given that Page will likely be the first AEW World Champion come August, I figured that to start off this year-long journey, it would be a good idea to begin by introducing Page’s catalog with some personal recommendations. Most of these are available on the New Japan World and Honor Club streaming services, I advise personally against dubiously legal streaming methods because piracy is no good.
Without any more introductions or asides, here are seven matches I would recommend to get into Hangman Page.
1. Hangman Page vs Joey Janela - All In
This was one of the first matches I had seen of either man and what an introduction. Page was decently known for his work in New Japan and Ring of Honor, but Janela was not known by many people outside of hardcore PWG fans, where he made numerous appearances. I feel like this is a great starting point, as it’s a knock out street fight with plenty of insane spots that will keep almost any style of wrestling fan interested, especially because it’s not a typical street fight. It’s more of a TLC match than street fight, without many of the weapon spots that street fights contain, although there are some of those. Overall, this is the one I’d recommend as either the first or second match for Page.
2. Hangman Page vs Jeff Cobb - ROH Final Battle 2018
If you know anything about these two men, you’ll know why I recommend this. This was the ultimate strength vs agility matchup, with Cobb tossing Page around, but Page being just fast enough to avoid disaster. This was the match from Final Battle to watch and is probably my absolute favorite Page match of them all, it also doesn’t hurt that I love and adore Jeff Cobb as a wrestler and his and Page’s unique clash of wrestling styles earn a massive recommendation from me and it, along with Page vs Janela are the best starting points.
3. Hangman Page vs Kazuchika Okada - G1 Climax 28
Mid-2018 was a prove it time for Page, especially given his entrance in the G1, in the block that included both aces of New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. The match with Tanahashi, while good, isn’t easy to recommend given Tanahashi’s style in his older age, but the one with Okada is easy to recommend. Okada is in my estimation, the absolute best wrestler on the planet right now, and Hangman Page was able to prove that he was worthy of facing off against him and being in the main event spotlight, given that this was Night Five’s main event. While coming up short, Page earned the respect of Okada and the New Japan faithful, giving this match an easy to recommend status
4. Hangman Page vs Punishment Martinez - ROH Best in the World 2018
Another street fight, this time with recent WWE signee Punishment Martinez. Martinez is kinda like Baron Corbin, if Corbin didn’t have his belly mouth, was Puerto Rican, and a better wrestler, so don’t be shocked if he gets a major push whenever he is called up after time served in NXT. Back to Hangman though, this match is quite good, although I’d recommend this be towards the end of the list because Martinez can be a bit on the boring side sometimes, and while Page and weapons can cover that well, it still slips through sometimes and as such is a harder recommend for some people.
5. Hangman Page vs Jay White - NJPW Strong Style Evolved
Both men were slowly on the rise when this match happened, Page having just begun blossoming as a performer, and Jay White coming off a stunning victory over Kenny Omega at New Beginning, but I kinda wish this match happened again now, as both men have heavily improved in the time since. This is still a very good match, with both men giving it everything they could in front of a Long Island crowd that was anxiously waiting for the match directly after. Both me came out looking like stars, which is why this match makes it on to this list.
6. Hangman Page vs Kenny Omega - NJPW Wrestling Dontaku (2018) Day One
This doesn’t need much fanfare to be seen why it’s recommended. It’s Kenny Omega and Adam Page, what more to say. But seriously though, as much of a complete mess as the Bullet Club civil war angle was, this, along with the matches between the Bucks and Golden Lovers, were worth the messiness. Page more than held his own with the man who was probably the best wrestler on the planet last year. Nothing more to say, check it out if you haven’t or want to see why both are so good.
7. Hangman Page vs Kota Ibushi - ROH Supercard of Honor XII
This match was the highlight of an otherwise disastrous night for Ring of Honor. I won’t get into the mess that was Supercard XII because that’s a whole other story, but this match, along with the match with Jay White kicked off the rapid rise of the Hangman into what he’s become today. It doesn’t hurt that Ibushi is one of the best wrestlers working today, but Page was no slouch either, going toe to toe with the Golden Star, which a lot of people didn’t expect, myself included. In terms of early work, this, along with the match with Punishment Martinez are probably his best, even though I do like the match with Jay White.
That officially wraps up the first part of this year long biweekly project. As said earlier the list of all future names will be below. I hope you all will enjoy this crazy ride, provide any possible feedback, and sends some of the people you want to see covered if I decide to keep this going. As always, I hope the sun shines brightly on your day.
June 9: WALTER
June 22: Pentagon Jr
July 7: KUSHIDA
July 21: Matt Riddle
August 4: Kenny Omega
August 18: Tessa Blanchard
September 1: Joey Janela
September 15: The Young Bucks
September 29: Rosemary
October 13: Will Ospreay
October 27: Jeff Cobb
November 10: Zack Sabre Jr
November 17 (Up a week due to Survivor Series): Kazuchika Okada
December 8: ReDRagon pre-WWE
December 22: A career recap of the immortal Jushin Thunder Liger