Hangman Page is among the many who jumped ship from Ring of Honor and/or New Japan to All Elite Wrestling. But it turns out that Page had other options, including WWE, available to him at some point during his runs with those two promotions.
"That was an option for me at one point. It was something for me that I heavily considered, but you know, it didn't feel right for me at that time, and I really couldn't say enough how pleasant everyone was to deal with with the talks and negotiations. It was very professional, and honestly, they were not on the bottom of the list either," said Page.
"They were more after me than most I would say. They put a lot more effort into me and time than others did, so it was a real consideration, but I guess when I was a kid that was when you wanted to do, you wanted to grow up and be in the WWE because it's the biggest thing ever, but it just didn't feel right and didn't become a goal for me anymore. It wasn't something that became an interest to me because of the name brand alone. When it came down to it doing this other thing seems so much more rewarding and fulfilling."
Perhaps going to WWE a couple of years ago would have been more fulfilling, but there is a new player in town by the name of AEW. Choosing an upstart promotion over an established one isn't a route that many would follow, but Page likes the challenge and he also feels that he will create more of an impact in AEW than he would in WWE.
"I would say that about 95 percent of it was because of the game changer they are," Page said about signing with AEW. "At some point, when people start throwing money at you, at some point, they are just numbers. And at some point you realize that you will be alright. Knowing that I can be fulfilled creatively and can have a big place at the table and knowing that I can contribute to bettering wrestling, furthering wrestling and creating another option with all the friends I met along the way in wrestling, that was ultimately the biggest thing I can get out of all of this. It was more rewarding than anything else could have been."
Page is scheduled to face Pac aka Neville at AEW's debut event Double or Nothing on May 25. He talked about having "a big place at the table," and he will certainly achieve that if his declaration that he wants to be the first AEW Champion comes true.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.