The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
April 21, 2022

Talking Cowboy Sh*t With "Hangman" Adam Page

Talking Cowboy Sh*t With "Hangman" Adam Page


"Hangman" Adam Page (@theadampage) is a professional wrestler for All Elite Wrestling where he is the current AEW World Champion. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet at the Squared Circle Expo 2 in Indianapolis to talk about the championship match he had with Adam Cole the night before, how similar he is to his character, the biggest thing that has changed since he became a father, why he prefers to keep his private life off of the internet, the matches in AEW that he is most proud of, his job as a teacher, how Being The Elite changed his career, his time in Ring of Honor, working with Jon Moxley, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and much more!

 

I like the blue stitches you got going on there.

“Yeah, a few people today thought I drew on my face with a marker. I’m like I know, it’s blue stitches, the doctor told me they would blend in.”

How many are there?

“I don’t know, I kind of lost count after 7 or 8.”

This is taking place the night after the Texas Death Match. Other than your chin, what is hurting right now?

“My knees. I picked up Cole for the Dead Eye off the apron through the table, but then as I was jumping it occurred to me that I didn’t have any kneepads. I’m like oh sh*t this is going to hurt so bad. Just that and weird little cuts when you take a shower, but my chin has been split wide open. You ever had someone kick you in the middle of a backflip?”

Looking here at the title [which was in Page’s lap during the interview] I can see blood. Is that your blood?

“I don’t know. I mean it has been cleaned up a few times, this is probably just from yesterday. It is probably my blood because I was the only one that picked it up.”

When you first started wrestling for AEW, what did you think your first, second and third years would look like?

“I don’t know, I never really looked at it that way. I always knew my personal and professional goal was to win this championship and that was it. Week to week it was figuring out what I have to do to get there. Whether it was that first All Out or 3 years later, I didn’t know how long it would take but we got there.”

How much of you is Adam Page?

“All of it. All of me is the character. It’s very weird and difficult to do, but it is also cathartic like this is sh*tty but this is me. I have never been a perfect person, but I just put it out there.”

There has to be something you keep close to the vest?

“Oh yeah, probably a few things. I am not any different with my family, but I don’t talk about my family a lot. There needs to be something in my life that is not public, because if it is, you start to lose who you are. I at least try to keep my personal life private.”

How much has becoming a dad changed you?

“A lot, I am sleeping a lot less. Now it is not so bad, sleep is going good now the baby is getting sleep. Your goals shift a little and your attitude towards life in general shifts.”

Is this something you always wanted to do?

“This interview? [laughs] I went through some other things, in 3rd grade I wanted to be the guy who makes the Pokemon games. Then I got into wrestling, I also wanted to be a magician and a clown in the circus. I wanted to be a filmmaker, never really a teacher, but I did it.”

Going back, what was the first step when you realized that you can do wrestling for a living? 

“Kind of working with Ring of Honor. When I started out with ROH I was not making a living from it, and that took a while. I was teaching during the week and wrestling on the weekends, but the money started to add up. Once I knew I was joining Bullet Club and I was going to start touring with New Japan, I kind of knew then. I wasn’t making enough for a living, but my deal would be up at the end of the year. If I am going to Japan, I will get some sort of a salary and make a living. This was in April or May of that year. So I wrapped up the school year and would tell them I would be done. Thank God for the salary or I would have been done.”

The kids must have thought that you were so cool.

“No they didn’t, they thought I was lame. I would intro the first day of class and have a presentation. I would say that I am also a wrestler and shop a clip of me being hit with the chair. Then I would put it out there and answer a bunch of questions. Once I did all that, it was like ‘Oh alright, he seems normal.’ And that was it.”

This idea of betting on yourself, that’s a big move.

“I guess so, but that’s life. You look at the circumstances and realize that this is going to happen for better or for worse. Thankfully it has worked out so well for me, one of these days I will make a gamble and it’s wrong.”

What was your reaction when you took your first bump?

“It hurt. I mean you know it hurts but you see guys bumping and then they get up. And I am 14 at the time too so I am just skin and bones.”

I feel like you started to really get over on Being The Elite?

“Yeah that was probably one of the biggest things to happen to me positively in my career, not in wrestling but with Being The Elite. I got to dick around with my friends and we did the story of me getting kidnapped by WWE and doing the whole ‘Where’s Hangman?’ Hunter at Ring of Honor didn’t know what was going on, we filled him in and we did the whole bit on the pay-per-view where I was duct taped and it got over huge. That was one of the first things I did that I was having so much fun! This was like I knew what I wanted to do.”

The ultimate nod is that it is All Elite Wrestling because of Being The Elite.

“It’s pretty great that thousands of people are watching because of some silly YouTube show. It’s pretty great.”

A lot of fans might have been upset that you didn’t win the championship earlier.

“Well they stuck with me and I thank them for that. I didn’t stick with me for a while, and they did.”

Who has been the mentor for you in your career?

“I don’t know, I don’t really think I have had a mentor. I would say that I looked up to The Young Bucks while I was in Japan. So I learned a lot from them in some ways and from Kenny Omega, but I have never really had a mentor in wrestling.”

Which AEW match are you the most proud of?

“Probably the 60 minutes with Bryan. Mostly because I wrestled for 60 minutes, I thought I might die. 60 minutes is a long time to do anything, I thought I might perish but got through it. But then there is also the match with Kenny against The Bucks and winning the title, those are the 3.”

I end every interview talking about gratitude. What are 3 things in your life that you are grateful for?

“My family, wrestling and that time that Surge came back.”