A letter to Adam "Hangman" Page

Hi Mr. Page,

We don't know each other, but I've been watching you on AEW the past few weeks and feel compelled to share something you with.

I've known my best friend for 31 years. We met on the playground when I was four years old. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was extremely jealous of him.

No matter how good I was or how many things I had going for me, things always seemed to go just a little better for him. I was tall, but he was taller. I was a great artist, but he was an amazing artist. I was well-liked, but he was the guy our classmates wanted to be around.

He was also vastly more superior to me at basketball. Truthfully, I was never any good at basketball. He was an AAU player, making him better than most people. Still, I didn't have anything I was that much better at than him.

I was the better student. I had the highest scores in school, was admitted into advanced classes, and got many year-end awards. I was generally seen as having the brighter future. Despite that, my friend got all the girls, he was cooler, and everyone would invite him to their birthday parties and sleepovers.

He was the people's choice, and as I grew closer to being a teenager, it began to piss me off.

I remember we had school projects in the sixth grade. You know the ones with the three-panel display boards to communicate your research to others. I can't remember my project, though I did get an A. But he did his on the origins of Christianity.

I distinctly remember how good and well-designed it was. He took it to church and presented it to the adult Bible class our parents attended. When I got home after church, I played video games in my room. My mom stood at my bedroom door and asked why I couldn't be more like him.

She talked about how great his project was, how impressed everyone was, and lamented my inability to do something similar. Keep in mind, I got an A. When she walked away, I turned off my Nintendo 64 and closed the door for a bit. I cried. I just sat on my bed and cried.

A few days later at school, we're all playing basketball. He and I were on the same team. He was trying to motivate our team, telling me to step it up without putting me down, and I just lost it. I hit that threshold and picked a fight with him.

It felt sudden. I think it surprised the other kids. All the feelings, and frustration, the anger and hurt, it just poured out for everyone to see.

Understand, he did nothing wrong to me. He was never mean or disrespectful. We had no beef with each other. I was jealous. I had so much animosity because I was struggling to deal with my own s***. It really had nothing to do with him.

Confidence and comparing myself to others is something I have struggled with most of my life. At times, that struggle will come out in powerful bursts. So as I watch you, and I see what feels like a random shift in your tone two weeks ago, I know it's not random. I'm willing to bet this has been on your mind for a while. You've hit that threshold, and this is merely the first time you've expressed your animosity towards CM Punk.

I assume the two of you were never friends. As far as I know it, there is no real beef between the two of you. I don't remember him being disrespectful. I don't get the sense that you hate him. He's just the people's choice, and somewhere inside of you, that stings.

For all you have accomplished, it feels like all we talk about is Punk. You're the champ, but over the past year, he's come across as the star. You headline the PPVs and put on 5-star matches, but he has the most anticipated segments on the card. We were ecstatic when you became champion, but brought to tears when Punk returned.

He always seems to have the bigger presence and gets the adulation. He’s done nothing wrong to you, but I can see that you're tired of it. I empathize with that. I think we all do.

I had a Zoom meeting with my best friend last week. It was our first one since I moved to China. We talked for two hours, and at the end, he expressed how proud he was of all I have accomplished. How proud and amazed my mom would be if she were still alive. I almost cried. Instead, I smiled, thanked him, and shared how equally happy I was for him.

Adam—I hope you're okay with me calling you Adam—you're amazing. You've done everything and more. Don't let the animosity get you, and never lose sight of your own greatness. Best of luck on Sunday.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.