On the final episode of The Jim Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross welcomed 'Hangman' Adam Page to the podcast. Among many other things, Page talked about maximizing his minutes during his NJPW run. According to Page, a young performer cannot help but improve and elevate his craft in NJPW. Moreover, with such a talented roster, it was imperative for Page to maximize his minutes with every opportunity in the squared circle.
"Every step you take [in NJPW], you're surrounded by people who are better than you to some extent, so, I mean, you naturally get a little better, I think," Page laughed. "They do a ton of those multi-man tag team [matches], so you might have a six, an eight, or hell, a 10-man tag [match], and it's 10 minutes, and so you've really got to pick and choose what you do and you've got to make those tiny moments count because that's all you've got. And that's sort of my mentality having that many people and I think that sort of helped a lot in making the most out of a little bit."
In Page's view, not everyone on a talent roster deserves to be on the card of a major event. With that said, Page admitted that multiple person matches that are set up to get performers on the show do benefit young talent who need repetitions in the ring and exposure.
"I mean, I think it [has] got its pluses and minuses. I think the obvious minuses are if it's a big show or whatever, no, not everybody deserves to be on the big show honestly, so there's that. And I think a lot of the time when there are those matches that are the 10-man tags that are just sort of thrown together, blah, blah, blah, whatever, who cares? Really, kind of who cares because you know that it doesn't necessarily matter who wins and who loses, whatever, you're just kind of there for fun. But, at the same time, I think they do give guys who otherwise wouldn't be on the show, a chance to kind of develop, and for people to see them, for people to care about them. Like, I know that I took advantage of that. I benefited from those kinds of scenarios too. They have their pluses and minuses, I think."
During the interview, Page admitted that he wants the responsibility of being AEW's top guy. 'Hangman' said he felt overshadowed during his time with Bullet Club and The Elite, but it is now his time to shine.
"I do [want the responsibility of being the top guy] and I'll tell you like this. For the past, I guess, three years or so when I joined Bullet Club and as a member of The Elite, I was honestly kind of in the shadow of all of my friends. Cody, he's world traveled. Obviously, he had his WWE career. The Young Bucks being on of the best tag teams of all time, champions all over the world. And Kenny [Omega], right? The best in the game. So I always felt like I was kind of in their shadow a little bit. And with All Elite [Wrestling], they are still competing, they're still wrestling, but I feel like for the first time in their careers, that's not their main focus or their only focus. They are now… everyone is an Executive Vice President, apparently, except for me. I'm a talent." Page continued, "yes, I am [prepared for the pressure of anchoring a weekly TV broadcast on a major network]. I've watched these guys do it my entire career. I sat on the sidelines while they did it. And I want to make sure, at the end of the day, do you know what I mean, I want to make sure that All Elite Wrestling, this entire thing [that has] been building the last few years, has not been something that I've just taken away from. It's something that I have contributed to and want to give back to. Do you know what I mean? That I'm not just a guy on the sidelines running away with all the cash. I want to make sure I'm giving my part back. And yeah, I'm early in my career. I'm 27 [years old]. I think more than anyone else in the group, I'm the most focused on my in-ring career at this point because I have a long way to go. So throw me in the water. Sink or swim, we'll see what the hell happens. But [Ross] is right, if you don't want to be champion, if you don't want to be the top guy, you have no business being there in the first place."
A special thanks to ROH Wrestling for the video above. Check out the podcast here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Jim Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.