How Long Will 'Hangman' Adam Page Be AEW World Champion?

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2021

Adam Page's AEW World Championship win was a monumental moment, but will his time atop the AEW mountain be short-lived?
Adam Page's AEW World Championship win was a monumental moment, but will his time atop the AEW mountain be short-lived?Credit: All Elite Wrestling

The Hangman Era in All Elite Wrestling officially kicked off at Full Gear 2021 when Adam Page ended Kenny Omega's record-setting reign as AEW world champion.

The highly anticipated title change was over two years in the making and served as the culmination to what had been a beautifully crafted story with Page. AEW was wise to strike while the iron was hot with him, and the aftermath has been handled exceptionally well with Bryan Danielson playing a fantastic foil.

AEW announced this week that Page and Danielson will clash for the prestigious prize on the Winter Is Coming edition of Dynamite on December 15. That could be the night Hangman's much-deserved reign as champ comes to an abrupt end, but if not, how long does AEW intend to keep him in the top spot on the show?

The first four men to hold the AEW World Championship—and in the order they did—were completely logical. Chris Jericho helped put the promotion on the map, Jon Moxley was the perfect pandemic champion, Omega had the dominant heel run, and Page completed his character arc by taking the title from his former friend.

AEW President Tony Khan even admitted during the post-Full Gear media briefing to knowing from the inception of the promotion the story he wanted to tell with the title beginning with Jericho and ending with Page.

That means we're entering uncharted territory over what the future holds for Hangman and the endgame for his title run. With the landscape looking a lot different now than it did two years ago due to the vast amount of names that have since signed, there are many different directions AEW can go in from here.

For starters, Page losing to Danielson at Winter Is Coming would be the wrong call. AEW has largely done what has made sense up to this point and has built up goodwill with its audience from a booking standpoint, so it's safe to say Hangman will retain that night.

A fluky finish, whether it be a time-limit draw or a disputed pinfall, could set up a rematch for AEW's Battle of the Belts special on January 8. Even then, Page shouldn't be dropping the belt to Danielson, especially at this stage of the game.

After chasing the championship for as long as he did, Page should spend a good chunk of time with the title. Plus, there are a plethora of opponents for him to defend against in the months ahead, both on TV and pay-per-view.

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Despite falling short at Full Gear, Miro would make for a viable opponent for Page at some point. Malakai Black, Adam Cole, Andrade El Idolo and Moxley all intriguing options as well, along with PAC and Jericho who are among the elite few to have beaten Page previously in AEW.

Page can be portrayed as a fighting champion and put his gold up for grabs every few weeks. No matter what, though, MJF should ultimately be the one to dethrone him as champ.

The heel is fresh off a high-profile win over Darby Allin at Full Gear and should defeat CM Punk when they eventually go one-on-one. That would be more than enough to earn him a shot at the strap, and when that time comes, the heat he'd get for stealing it from Page would be off the charts.

It then becomes a question of when AEW should have that happen, and Double or Nothing in May would probably an ideal event to pull the trigger on that title change.

That would allow Page to have a healthy, six-month championship run filled with plenty of successful defenses against a variety of opponents. It would also give AEW enough time to build up MJF to title contention and have him work his way up the rankings.

As a perennial underdog, Hangman doesn't need to be AEW world champion for the next year, and six months would certainly be satisfying. However, anything before Double or Nothing (or arguably Revolution depending on the circumstances) would be considered by many to be a disappointment.


Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.