Updated: Sep 9
Darby Allin and Ethan Page have a long rivalry documented in EVOLVE with a trilogy of matches during spring of 2017. Matches that pushed the bar with "holy sh*t" worthy moments a plenty, leaving both men with injuries and scars, most notably, Page breaking Allin's elbow with a shovel.
Little has changed by 2021 and with both men in the same company, Ethan Page's first major feud returns to that level of violence. Page throwing Allin down a flight of stairs and into the crowd from the ring are two moments that fit that description of their cult-classic EVOLVE trilogy.
All of that built to Fyter Fest Night 1 in 2021 with a Coffin Match which seems a fitting stipulation for the history of the two, Darby Allin's flirtation with death and Ethan Page's motivation to cripple Darby mentally.
Watching the match, you won't be surprised to see the flow of offence chart above. Ethan Page dominates the tempo of the match after an early flurry where Allin hit Page with a steel plate on his back.
Scorpio Sky popped out of the coffin, allowing Page to take advantage, before Sting came and levelled the playing field once again. Page continues to dominate on the outside as we move into the 3-6-minute portion of the match. Allin has no offence here with Page utilising the environment of the arena to his advantage.
Darby doesn't give up, though. He is relentless and, despite taking a beating, takes a risk by jumping from high up in the crowd down onto Page who catches Allin. Despite failing to connect, Allin's relentless nature to take a beating and keep going, taking huge risks, gets fans to get behind him even more.
As the two move back towards the ring, Page continues to utilise his surroundings with steel steps and the hook which connects the ropes to the ring-post. But as Page calls to open the coffin, Allin spots his opportunity and turns it around using the hook that Page exposed on him.
Page is eventually able to snuff out Allin's quick rally of offence again and as Darby goes up to hit a coffin drop onto Page on the steel steps. Page slips out of position and hits an Ego's Edge off the top rope onto those same steel steps. Giving this match that "holy sh*t" moment this feud is largely built around.
This leaves Allin with little option and, as Page goes to put Darby into the coffin, he rakes Page's eyes before hitting a two-footed stomp on Page's back with his skateboard. Page falls off the ring apron into the coffin and Darby slams the lid shut.
And this is why Darby Allin can't be broken, why he can't be killed. Despite Page dominating the match, Allin can withstand the onslaught and he finds the gaps where he can deliver big offence.
As stated above, watching the match you would not be surprised by the flow of offence chart. But you might be surprised by the overall stats below.
Despite Ethan Page dictating the tempo of a match, Allin was relentless and picked his spots to deliver that big offence which actually adds up to having more of the total match offence. He hit his offence in quick bursts at the start and finish of the match and was relentless when he was given the window of opportunity.
So, despite taking more big offence than he delivered, including that Ego's Edge onto steel steps, Darby Allin prevailed, utilising any type of offence he can, using anything he can find. This is what makes Darby so fun to watch because you never really know what he might do next. Counteract that with Ethan Page who has as much big offence as he has standard strikes and you can see a more cerebral approach, where Page aims to do damage and hit Darby with big blows.
Darby Allin is such a great character and he is so easy to root for because, despite being the "strange enigma" as Jim Ross likes to say, Allin is who he says he is. Someone who will take everything life throws at them, get back up and keep going. He is what everyone wishes they were and that's why you can't kill Darby. He knows who he is and we, as fans, don't need to know any more than we see in the ring. He leaves it all out there.
Ethan Page knew he couldn't put Darby Allin out for good. He's tried in the past and it's only made Darby stronger. So, he wanted to mentally cripple Darby by putting him in the coffin. He failed and he was always going to fail, because Darby is exactly what he says he is. Relentless.
Match Star Ratings (out of 5):
Grappl: 3.86 stars.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 4 stars.
Cagematch: 3.92 stars.
PWM Writer's Opinion: 3.75 stars.