Minutes to Bell Time

I Was There for All Out 2019

Chapter 12 – I Was There for All Out 2019

I Was There for All Out 2019

Event: All Out 2019

Location: Sears Center Chicago, Illinois

Date: August 31, 2019

Headline: Hangman Adam Page vs. Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship

Miles from Home:  751 Miles

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You’re Not Ready

How many times has someone said you aren’t ready for something? How many times have you said it about someone else? In my corporate job, I managed a lot of people. It seems like the company was always doing talent evaluations, and I consistently found myself arguing for or against people’s readiness. My bosses had to evaluate my readiness too. My career was full of comments like, “In a couple of years, you’ll be ready.” Yuck. I always felt ready. Give me the ball, and I’ll run with it. I may not have always been totally ready, but I was willing to endure constant stumbles along the path. No amount of tripping and falling would stop me from achieving a business or career goal. If nothing else, my job would get done through sheer determination and hard work.

More often than not, my leaders gave me those opportunities, and it led me to a lot of success. Only in the last year did I feel like maybe some of it came too fast. Maybe if I slowed down and learned more tricks along the way, then present day Ryan (that’s me) wouldn’t be constantly exhausted from continuously picking myself up and sprinting to stay on track.

Hangman Page’s All Out

On The Road to All Out Episode 7, Jim Ross spoke to Hangman Adam Page about not being ready.

I Was There for All Out 2019 - Adam Page Discusses with Jim Ross

Ross: A lot of people say this is too much too soon for you. Have you thought about that? Maybe it is too much. You’re 27 years old.

Page: When I think about what All Elite Wrestling is at its core, it wasn’t built by recognizable faces or corporate sponsorships. It was built by people doing some cowboy shit. It was built by thousands of fans around the world that wanted to see something different, and I think I can be that guy to give them something different.

When the dust settled from All Out, Adam Page walked away the loser. Perhaps he wasn’t ready. As I write this post with the benefit of 8 months of hindsight, I think people universally agree that Chris Jericho made the better champion. All the same, if I were Adam Page, hearing that would tick me off. We don’t know if the fans would have accepted or rejected Page as champion in August of 2019. We do know that when given a spotlight a couple months later, he became one of the company’s biggest stars with his “hold my beer” character. Just as everyone universally believed Jericho made the better champion in August, I think people would universally agree that Page makes a more believable championship contender today.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

For those in power that need to decide upon Adam Page’s readiness, he has become a much safer bet today than he was in August. But now Jon Moxley is on top and the timing for Adam Page to ascend to world champion doesn’t feel right. Adam Page is ready, but the timing isn’t right for AEW.

In my consulting career, I was constantly on the look out for these situations. I would take the “you’re not ready” feedback, gain an understanding of what I needed to improve, and then look at my situation. In a lot of cases, I could clearly see that the timing of me being ready was totally out of synch with opportunities for advancement. In other words, there wasn’t anything holding me back except that the business couldn’t support another top guy. To add more brevity, they would say “It’s not you, it’s me.”  This situation gave me a lot of anxiety, and made me feel helpless. With patience being one of the virtues that I’m least skilled at, I would grow frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I was light years ahead of my peers and everything always worked out for me eventually. . . .I just didn’t want to wait.

Lessons From I Was There for All Out 2019

Adam Page lost the match with Chris Jericho and it sent him on a downward spiral. Today, we never see him without a drink in his hand. While that has made him an endearing character and led to some humorous moments, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking Page has found a healthy coping mechanism. I certainly don’t want to take the storyline too seriously, but this reaction is real. Millions of people turn to alcohol as a way of dealing with career related stress, and it isn’t funny. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time watching Hangman Page. I love the “hold my beer” scenes. But the most important aspect of the storyline is that his friends haven’t abandoned him. While the Elite have wavered on the edge of writing him off, there is always at least one person convincing the group to give him another chance.

I don’t know if the “hold my beer” shtick is here for good or how that storyline finishes, but what I do know is that people working stressful careers need the love and support of their friends and families. To me, that’s the most important lesson of the Hangman Page story.

Our journeys (to the world title, to career milestones, or whatever in life) are filled with bumps along the road. Have a drink or several if you want, but don’t mistake alcohol for support. When times get especially bumpy for your loved ones, make sure to help them. If you’re the one dealing with the bumpy road, make sure you get help.

Thank You – I Was There for All Out 2019

Thanks for reading this week’s installment of “I Was There.” Pro Wrestling is at its best when we can relate to it, and that’s why I felt compelled to write about All Out in this manner. I realize that the event itself is hardly covered at all, but the goodness is really in the fan experience. That is what I’ve shared with you this week. Stay well and keep safe during the pandemic. Follow me on Instagram to stay current on all I’m doing.  If you have any questions or want to talk wrestling, feel free to reach out. – Ryan ([email protected]).


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