With a week to go before Double or Nothing, it was reported that the card for All Elite Wrestling‘s first show would be changed. PAC vs. Hangman Adam Page was set to be pulled from the PPV, allegedly after a creative disagreement. A different Double or Nothing opponent for Page has yet to be announced but the conclusion, at least for now, of his feud with Pac is now all up on YouTube. Here’s how it all played out and what it might mean.
The incorporation into kayfabe of this seemingly real incident started with a surprise match between Pac and Page at UK indie promotion Wrestle Gate and continued in this Monday’s episode of Being the Elite. Page’s response to Pac’s open challenge was revealed to be the climax to the “Full Gear Challenge” storyline: the months-long diet and workout regimen imposed by Cody in order for Page to be allowed to wear his wrestling gear in public was the combination of a prank and a jealous lashing out. Page had had it in him to both wear his gear and face Pac all along.
Page, in full gear, immediately drove to the airport, flew to the UK, and had the below match with Pac, which was uploaded to AEW’s YouTube channel earlier today. The rest of this article contains spoilers for this match, so watch it before you scroll further if you don’t want to read about the ending!
In kayfabe, this explains why Pac would refuse to show up at Double or Nothing in a way that makes sense. He says his entire goal was to hurt Page and now that he has he doesn’t need to go to Las Vegas. Some thought the Dave Meltzer report on this match’s impending cancelation was a description of a storyline, but AEW didn’t go full Vince Russo and mention booking or creative differences onscreen.
However, the match does, in a way, fit the “creative differences” explanation given by Meltzer. It ends with a screwy finish similar to Pac’s with ZSJ and Will Ospreay, the type of thing AEW apparently didn’t want on their first show. If this is exactly the match they were going to have at Double or Nothing (and we can only speculate whether it is or isn’t at this point), that supports the theory that AEW wanted Page to go over and Pac was unwilling to make this his first clean loss since returning to Dragon Gate – something you’d think “wins and losses matter” promotion AEW should respect, especially since this would basically give Page the kayfabe right to challenge for the Open the Dream Gate Championship.
But with that being said, we don’t know if this is exactly how the DoN match would have ended. Page might not even have been booked to win at all if Meltzer’s report about the bigger problem being that Pac wouldn’t lose to Kenny Omega in the future while Dragon Gate champion is true. Additionally, all this stuff about backstage drama could be a total work and the real problem could be Pac not being able to get into the U.S. due to problems getting a visa. Or even the match’s cancelation could be fake and we could get Pac vs. Page II at Double or Nothing at the last minute!
Intrigue about what happened with this match cancelation situation still abounds, but so far it’s given us the second AEW match (though, like the first one, hosted by another promotion) and a look at both how this promotion will handle their problems in the future as well as what type of problems they might have.