Ethan Page seems to be in line for a bit of a push from AEW, and his latest work on the mic was very MJF-like. That’s bad news for MJF, who hasn’t been seen or heard from in more than two months. Neither of these two men is the first to cut this style of promo, and they won’t be the last, but Page’s behavior on camera, down to the mannerisms, made it look like he’d studied MJF’s work with the intent of essentially taking the gimmick over.
“All Ego” has always had plenty of attitude when it comes to the stick. Yet the similarity between his cadence, timing, and how AEW produced the promo segment was uncanny. That’s not to say that Page won’t take this schtick in his own direction and crush it. It just felt like Tony Khan was saying, “well, if we can’t have the real MJF, I can just recreate him with Ethan Page.” An anti-hero who never feels like he gets the respect he deserves and can do an excellent job on the microphone to get that over with the audience. It’s not quite Vince McMahon trying to recreate Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s characters in WWE after they bolted for WCW, but it’s in the same neighborhood.
While Page will undoubtedly do his best to make this heel run work, alongside a Stokely Hathaway and presumably Lee Moriarty, it might present AEW audiences with a clear picture of MJF’s future. And that, sadly, might be that he no longer has one with All Elite Wrestling. If he were still wrestling actively, Page’s characterization would have been outright gimmick infringement. There aren’t a lot of rules left in professional wrestling, but hijacking someone else’s schtick while they’re on the same roster is a serious faux pas. Especially in a company like AEW, where many performers have indie backgrounds.
Page squared up to the camera and began his firey promo. “I came out here to ask a question: Why? Why? Why the hell is Ethan Page not on TV every single week? Why the hell does Ethan Page not have an action figure? Why is Ethan Page not on the bus? Ethan Page deserves better.” He then took a moment to slam the Columbus, Ohio, crowd in a way that was reminiscent of an MJF line. “Why would you guys cheer? When Ethan Page’s t-shirt goes on sale on ShopAEW, you morons aren’t standing in line.”
Again, heels cut promos like this all the time. It was the way that Page delivered it and how AEW produced it that made it feel very similar to an MJF segment. There’s no denying that Wednesday Night Dynamite is less entertaining without The Salt Of The Earth on the mic. With there being no word on Friedman’s return, it seems like AEW has elected to attempt to recreate that vibe with another wrestler who is available for television every week.