There have been many turning points in the history of pro wrestling ranging from the 1980s boom to the Monday Night Wars to the Women's Revolution. We could now be approaching another one with the arrival of AEW on the scene and Adam Page is being promoted as one of its biggest stars.
"I think so, honestly. Hopefully, it'll increase pro wrestling's outreach to regular people flipping through their channels on TV," said Page. "I guess when I talk to friends and family back home they don't know anything about wrestling, but when they bring it up they bring up the things they may used to watch and love. I guess that they feel that they can't find those things anymore and they don't bother searching so hopefully having a fresh start with a new company and a new channel, they'll give it a chance and we can provide them with something they have not had in a long time."
Page said that AEW landing a weekly TV show on a big network like TNT is huge because it allows them to reach the casual fan that would otherwise not come across their programming.
"I am excited; it's huge," Page said of premiering on TNT. "And I guess for die-hard wrestling fans it really doesn't make that much of a difference. People that watch Ring of Honor on their local station or watch New Japan on New Japan World, those people that go through great lengths to watch pro wrestling they are going to watch it anyway. But for the wrestling industry it's a huge thing where a guy like my uncle who would just flip through the channel and finds wrestling on TV, this is what it can be for them as well to reach a much bigger audience. So for us this is huge."
Page could have returned to ROH or New Japan instead of joining AEW, but he saw this as an opportunity to not only advance his career, but to also impact other wrestlers' careers. He talked about the impact that AEW will have on the entire pro wrestling industry.
"It's been great to be hands-on and launching the company. When they handed out EVP titles I didn't get one, but I have been there for the ride and to figure out what this thing will be. It's been great and obviously it's been good for my professional career. But I think the thing I've enjoyed more than anything is knowing that the decisions that I had made from those past few months hopefully help build a home for hundreds of other wrestlers who maybe didn't have one before or couldn't have made the kind of money they could have from before. So, knowing that the decisions that I made in my career can hopefully impact a ton of other guys who have always deserved their break," said Page.
When asked if he had any concerns or worries about AEW moving forward, Page pointed to the lack of experience of many in AEW - both in front of the camera and backstage. He stated that there is going to be lots of learning-on-the-job once the weekly TV show starts.
"I like to be fair and honest, it's kind of hard to say, or hard to draw too many real criticisms because I guess that the crux of AEW is it's going to be weekly programming, which at its core that is what it is going to be and we haven't had one yet. The three shows that we have had have somewhat been precursors to a real launch. It's kind of hard to say," stated Page.
"Obviously, there are a lot of guys doing this that have never done this before. There are a lot of guys who have never had to go to a commercial break during their match. People who have never produced a wrestling show before or booked one or whatever. There will be some learning curves. There will be some ups and downs and some mistakes, but not having had that first TV show which at its core this is what it is, it's hard to give specifics, if that makes sense."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.