The year 2021 has been a monumental one for All Elite Wrestling, as the company has signed some of its biggest stars to date. However, the biggest question on many fans' minds is what the addition of Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, and CM Punk means for growing names like "Hangman" Adam Page.
Over the summer, the 30-year-old enjoyed some of the loudest reactions at live shows and seemed destined to dethrone Kenny Omega. His rivalry with his former tag team partner has been building since they lost their title at All Out last year. In fact, he had seemed set to challenge The Belt Collector at this year's event on Sept. 5 until he took some time off.
It's hard to imagine now but before Punk's return and the debuts of Cole and Danielson, their inevitable clash was the hottest storyline on Dynamite. Viewers were invested in the 10-man elimination tag match at Fight for the Fallen in July, which would've made Page the No. 1 contender for the AEW World Championship.
Instead, everyone's favorite cowboy fell short and was written off of television on Aug. 4, leaving many to question such an abrupt shift in momentum. Although he confirmed he was going on a hiatus in the following week, it's still unclear when he will return to exact his revenge on his old friend.
Patience is Everything When It Comes to Page's Return
Page is going to garner a massive response no matter when he returns to the ring. The fans are immersed in his storyline with Omega, so the longer AEW builds up anticipation, the more satisfying his reemergence will be. Even more, the returning star could always come back more focused and determined than ever.
This all could have been a blessing in disguise for the company, as well. Page should be the one to beat The Best Bout Machine to become the new champion, but his potential win would have been upstaged by all the other major occurrences at All Out.
The conclusion for such a long-running plot shouldn't be the third or even fourth key moment of the night. After all, his quest to win AEW's top prize has been in the making since the company's inception. So, this payoff should have the proper time and gravitas befitting the continuity and care that went into it.
There are also more stories to tell with The Belt Collector gimmick, and Omega could even set his sights on more rare championship gold in the meantime. It also could be a great idea to let the Canadian secure some more title defenses.
Could November Be the Sweet Spot?
There's no need to rush back into this feud with his estranged friend; there are a plethora of new opponents on the roster. Still, the timing around Page's reintroduction into the title picture will be important. This is something that should be planned for an upcoming event or a special episode of Dynamite.
It may not seem like it but Page has only been off of television for seven weeks. He could conceivably return in time to build toward a match at Full Gear on Nov. 13. That would be fitting because the event is named after his challenge to get in shape from Being the Elite.
Omega also defeated him in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament finals at last year's show. As such, The Cleaner became the No. 1 contender and went on to successfully challenge Jon Moxley for the title on Dec. 2.
That seems like the most likely option because of their history together. It's also the last AEW pay-per-view of the year but we simply don't know how much longer Page plans to stay at home. The company could easily drag this out until next year, but the next event may not take place until March.
Omega has already beaten Moxley's record as the longest-reigning AEW world champion but he could be the first to hold the title for a full year. That is unless Page returns to take him down on the Dec. 1 edition of Dynamite. If not then, New Year's Smash is a feasible option.
However, it's difficult to fathom a scenario where Omega will make it into 2022 with the championship still in tow. For now, Full Gear seems like the best bet as a destination for this highly anticipated title match.
It's tough to predict how things will pan out over the next few weeks with Danielson on board and Orange Cassidy climbing back up to No. 1 in the ranking. Regardless, we're just along for the ride.
There is enough material here to stretch this out until Revolution, but it seems like it could happen sooner.