By Marty Gordon
Adam Page is one of the biggest names for the newest professional wrestling promotion, All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Recently, he was in the main event for the AEW world championship.
During his time at Virginia Tech, everyone knew him as Stephen Blake Woltz. He bills himself a being from Aaron’s Creek, Va., a small community just east of South Boston. This week, he took time on the road to answer several questions during an exclusive interview.
His ring name came from a combination of the first name of a childhood friend and the last name of a Led Zeppelin band member, Jimmy Page.
The 6-0, 213 pound athlete made his debut in the Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestling promotion in 2011, shortly after spending a stint at the Jimmy Valliant “Boogie Woogie” wrestling camp in Shawsville.
“I trained at Boogie’s Wrestling Camp for a handful of times while in college at Virginia Tech. I was already well into making a name for myself in the Mid-Atlantic independent wrestling scene, so I was never a full student there but was granted an honorary graduation for my small time there,” Page said.
He grew up working on a tobacco farm in Virginia, and as the family farm continued to disappear, his dad told him he’d have to find something else to do.
“I went to college at Virginia Tech, mostly because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but I knew my ‘something else’ was wrestling,” Page said. “I traveled and performed around the U.S. while in school, arguing with my counselors to get me into the classes I needed to graduate in two years.”.
His original aspirations included plans to work in the film industry. He even produced two full-length films with friends while he was at Tech.
After graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication, Page taught journalism and multimedia classes at Halifax County High School in South Boston for five years and wrestled on the weekends.
When wrestling started to become just-as or more profitable than teaching, he left the classroom.
“It was a leap of faith, but a calculated one.” Page said. “I’ve since let my teaching license expire, but it may be something I want to return to one day long down the line.”.
That was 2016, and now Page is optimistic about his future.
AEW was created six months ago and seems to be the perfect fit for Page. “Creating All Elite was a whirlwind of circumstance and good timing,” he said. “I knew in 2017 and 2018 the Elite was onto something industry-changing, and I’m glad we could all continue to carve our own path in wrestling as opposed to taking the same road everyone for the past 20 years has had to take.”.
Page has won titles in Mid-Atlantic wrestling and was an ROH World-Six Man tag team champion as a member of the “Bullet Club” with the tag-team Matt and Nick Jackson, the Young Guns. His finishing moves are the “buckshot lariat,”,“turn the page” and “Dead Eye Rite of Passage.” The nickname “Hangman” started to stick to his introduction as he developed his character both in and out of the ring.
He appeared in AEW’s first pay-per-view against long-time wrestler Chris Jericho, losing the main event and dropping the world title belt.
“I had my first real setback at All Out in failing to win the AEW Championship against Chris Jericho,” Page said. “It was my goal, a kind of ultimate goal, of becoming the first champion. I’m trying to find my footing and get back into championship contention.”.
His advice for others considering the same career path is simple: expect a lot of downs as well as some ups. “Statistically speaking, the chances of making a living as a wrestler are very slim. Plan accordingly and give it everything you have until you make it,” he concluded.
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) airs its two-hour weekly matches on the TNT network on Wednesdays from 8-10 p.m.