During WrestleMania week, Ethan Page and Darby Allin participated in a brutally violent anything goes match that saw Allin stand victorious over the dastardly Page.
Page, however, is not quite done with Allin, a wrestler who legitimately irks him. “He’s been wrestling less than a year, maybe a little more length wise,” Page says. “I know that he has had under 100 matches and he’s in a company that I worked hard for, for many, many years.
“I signed my first contract with EVOLVE when I was eight years into professional wrestling. And he signed his after getting his ass beat by me and his first weekend was WrestleMania weekend. I’ve never seen things fall into anybody’s lap more into the laps of guys like Darby Allin or Matt Riddle or Austin Theory and it’s good for them, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t piss me off.”
The La Boom venue in New York City, widely considered to be the company’s home base, consistently packs the room with fans who raucously root for Allin, the quintessential underdog. So much so, in fact, that Page himself could be considered an underdog for this match.
“I think both of us are underdogs in this match because we’ve set an expectation with the violence in Orlando and now the stakes are even higher.” Page grows serious as he continued, “I will not lose to him twice, especially in front of a crowd that I’ve disrespected a number of times and I refuse to let them see me in a weak point. I refuse to look stupid in front of the people of La Boom. When I said I quit to Gargano, it was like some weird turning point where I was disgusted at myself. I’ve done a lot of disgusting things in that building and losing to Darby Allin will not be one of those things.”
Page’s path to success in EVOLVE did not come immediately, as he was initially passed over by Gabe Sapolsky, the booker for the company. However, in time, Sapolsky reconsidered.
“I just made myself valuable in a way that other people haven’t and maybe that’s where the promos come in or maybe I worked with the right guys that would pitch me enough to Gabe that I got the opportunity,” Page says. “I think the talent was always there when I originally spoke with him, but it was just that he saw me a certain way. But when other people started looking in my direction, I guess it eventually made his head turn too.”
With the departure of Drew Galloway this weekend, Page is left as one of the most prominent men on the roster, thanks in part to his heel work. Beyond this weekend he looks to climb the ladder and grab hold of something that has eluded him during his time with the company.
“EVOLVE announced that I will be wrestling Zack Sabre Jr. in the debut of EVOLVE in Chicago, which has always been like a second home for me so I’m excited for that. [So] if he can hang on to the title that long, I think Ethan Page has found himself in the title picture.”
Despite his bravado, the last time the two met was in a six man tag match during which Page eventually tapped out to Sabre Jr.
“Yeah it really pisses me off,” he says. “The only reason he made me tap out is because it was a six man tag. In singles, I own two victories over him. Chicago is a second home to me and if Zack is still champion, [our] grudge alone could make this the main event. And like I said, Chicago is a place where I really made my name and people have a weird relationship where they saw me grow up a little bit. So to see Ethan Page potentially go for the title there, potentially win the title, that could big for me, big for Chicago, and big for EVOLVE.”
No matter the outcome of the Last Man Standing match this weekend or his future bout with Zack Sabre Jr., it seems like it will only be a matter of time before the Era of Ego sees Page as EVOLVE champion.
Rich Laconi is a writer whose specialty lies in professional wrestling. Aside from his work being found regularly at PWPonderings.com, LastWordOnProwresting.com and ROHWorld.com, you can follow him on Twitter and listen to him on RunningWildpodcast.com.