Hangman Adam Page: Styles Make Fights #32

If you are in any way unsure about the meaning of anything in a Styles-Make-Fights Stat Block, please check out the SMF Tutorial for a full explanation of everything SMF, then please come back for this installment!

This Saturday, in the main event of AEW's Full Gear pay-per-view event, we will see the culmination of Hangman Adam Page's years-brewing feud with his own self doubt. More specifically, he will face his former friend and partner, Kenny Omega, for the prestigious AEW World Championship. Below are the stats on the two competitors' mix of offense types averaged out over all of their matches in the past two years.

Nobody would claim that Kenny Omega and Adam Page have particularly similar wrestling styles. But the most surprising and noteworthy aspect when one compares their respective mixes of offense is how not particularly dissimilar they are. Page uses aerial moves more than the average AEW competitor, while Kenny uses them less, ("Flier": 89th vs 33rd percentile.) And while Hangman specializes in one aspect of technical wrestling, using counters and blocks much more than average while eschewing holds, ("Counter-Wrestler": 98th percentile vs "Stretcher": 8th percentile,) the champ uses both about as often as average. But they are more similar than they are different. Both use close to an average number of strikes and grapple moves, and both focus more on power striking than volume.

But the mix of offense we see from Hangman in an average match isn't what we see in a match with Omega specifically.

In the face of Omega's onslaught, Page relied on his great skills at avoiding offense, but was totally unable to transition from counters or blocks into his own offense.

This match could be fairly considered a turning point in Adam Page's story of learning to have faith in himself. Can we see that in a change in the Hangman's mix of offense before and after? As we can see below the answer is: only very subtly.

Adam Page's sole singles loss since last year's Eliminator Tournament was after an extended four-on-one pre-bell beatdown from Team Taz, which I have excluded as not representative by only looking at the wins. As you can see the Hangman didn't make any major changes to his offensive approach. The Grappling, Flying, and Technical bars (Orange, Yellow, and Green) are almost exactly the same. He is still more of a power striker than a volume striker. But the output of both are significantly up. But the biggest change is in the Mind-Gamer bar, which went from the 16th percentile all the way up to the 52nd.

In Page's case "mind games" refers primarily to involving the "fifth man" of the audience: firing them up, and taking a boost from their cheers. This small change is one of the clearest ways that Hangman has shown his character growth in his in-ring.

Will these small tweaks be enough to change the outcome from the first time Hangman and Best Bout Machine met in an AEW ring? It may seem like far too little, but small tweaks may often be a sign of avoiding the pitfall of overcorrection. One way or the other, we'll all know the answer for certain very soon!


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