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Match of the Month – July 2021 – Adam Page & Dark Order vs. Elite Squad

In North Carolina, the Dark Order and Adam Page duked it out with the Elite Squad at Fight for the Fallen in July’s Match of the Month. The back and forth battle was filled with action, laughs and drama.

If you want a top match, look no further than “the Elite.” This group, composed of Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks and formerly Adam Page, has demonstrated their ability to put together an amazing match. Members of the Elite have claimed three Match of the Month titles already this year and this will be their fourth.

Since the beginning of All Elite Wrestling, Adam Page has made it his mission to claim the top prize in all professional wrestling, the AEW World Championship. But he has only challenged once for it. After winning the Battle Royale at Double or Nothing in 2019, he earned an opportunity to wrestle for the championship. Ultimately, he would fall to Chris Jericho at All Out.

A couple weeks before Fight for the Fallen, the Hangman and the Dark Order did not back down from a challenge issued by Omega. If Page and the Dark Order won, they would have a title match for the World Championship as well as the World Tag Team Titles held by the Young Bucks.

Both teams came out of the gate with guns blazing. Each side’s entrance was spectacular. The Dark Order and Hangman had a brief video illuminating “what makes a cowboy” and spelling out how intertwined they have been over the last months. Page joined the Dark Order’s ranks and donned their purple as the two parties walked down to the ring as one.

Their opposition has been just as, if not more united. To a chorus of “boos” from the Charlotte crowd, ring announcer Justin Roberts gave the “starting lineup” for the Elite Squad. Wearing tracksuits and their own version of “Toon Squad” jerseys from Space Jam, the champions made their entrance. With “Get Ready for This” by 2 UNLIMITED heralding their arrival, Omega and the Bucks dribbled basketballs down to the ring and shot some hoops before the big match.

The Match

A typical tag team match ends when the legal member of either team gets pinned in the ring. In an elimination match, each individual on a team needs to be pinned to win the match. When one team member gets pinned, they are eliminated from the match.

Everyone in the Bojangles Coliseum wanted to see Omega and Page face off as the two stood toe to toe. But Omega, laughing at Hangman, backed away to tag in a teammate. With Adam Page’s attention now on this new adversary, Omega was able to slip behind Page and hit him with a cheap shot. This brought everyone into the ring from both teams and resulted in the Dark Order hitting four stereo reverse suplexes on the Elite Squad.

As the action heated up, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows were on the receiving end of offense from the Dark Order and Hangman. A flurry of kicks and punches culminating with a German Suplex and high stack pin attempt on Anderson was broken up by Gallows. The interference distracted the Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds for just a moment. But that was more than enough for Anderson who jumped on the opportunity. He quickly rolled up Reynolds with a fistful of tights for the first elimination.

The Elite Squad: 5 – Dark Order: 4

Down but not out, the Dark Order quickly answered back, they surrounded the ring with Anderson alone in the middle. Dancing his way out proved to be unsuccessful as he was passed around the party via punches before Evil Uno and Stu Grayson executed their “Fatality” finisher on him to pick up the pin and even out the numbers.

The Elite Squad: 4 – Dark Order: 4

Gallows and Grayson would pair off and brawl outside the ring, ultimately getting counted out by referee Rick Knox leaving a three on three. Evil Uno now stood in the ring with Kenny Omega. There was more than a bit of bad blood between the two, especially due to Omega’s geography lesson from a few weeks before. Uno, who had gotten in much better shape than at the onset of AEW, pulled out a hurricanrana on Omega. And after a reverse STO, nearly pinned the World Champion. But Omega is the champion for a reason and was quickly able to gain the upper hand, deliver a One Winged Angel and pin Uno.

The Elite Squad: 3 – Dark Order: 2

Matt Jackson is a master of mockery. This has been evident during this run of fantastic form by the Young Bucks almost every week. In North Carolina, it was no different. Matt pretended to flex his muscles like John Silver to try and get in his head. But Silver decided to spear Matt out of his shoes instead. Heading into the commercial break, the remaining members of the Elite expertly cut the ring in half to isolate Silver, issuing more punishment.

On the other side of the break, it looked like John Silver had the upper hand. He delivered a big boot to the back of Nick Jackson’s head into a German Suplex followed up by a Spin Doctor. Knox was one millisecond away from counting the pin, but Nick kicked out in time. Then the numbers game caught up to Silver. After a thunderous suplex by Omega, they rolled him to the edge of the ring. With evil intentions, Matt picked him up and held him upside down. The Elite were poised to deliver an Indie Taker to Silver on the floor outside the ring.

If there are three people who know how to make the most out of their environment, it would be Omega and the Bucks, and they did just that. They wheeled the basketball hoop over and Omega held a basketball for Nick to dunk. Nick missed the dunk but still delivered the Indie Taker on the outside. To make amends for his error, he got the ball back and slammed it home before proceeding to shout down the camera, “that’s what was supposed to happen.” After a BTE Trigger, Silver was pinned, leaving only Hangman against the Elite.

The Elite Squad: 3 – Dark Order: 1

There was a beautiful callback to Revolution in 2020 and arguably the greatest tag team match ever. Page, the Bucks and Omega remained in the ring. But in last year’s match, Omega and Page were teammates. As the Hangman stepped into the ring with Omega, the latter took off his shirt. Fans have seen in the past Omega keep his shirt on when he does not value or respect his opponent. A year ago, at Fight for the Fallen in 2020, he kept his shirt on. That happened during the beginning of a match against Marko Stunt, a wrestler standing at just 62 inches.

The three opponents seemed to get the edge on Hangman. But with everything on the line, he dug deep to stay in the match. He kicked out of both a triple superkick and a 450 splash. After initially missing a Buckshot Lariat on Matt Jackson, Page hits both brothers moments later and then pinned Matt.

The Elite Squad: 2 – Dark Order: 1

After Matt’s elimination, Omega tried to get out the easy way by using the Tag Team Championship. However, referee Rick Knox spotted him. Knowing this would happen, he grabbed the AEW World Championship and swung for the fences, but missed. Page delivered a Deadeye, but Omega kicked out. As Hangman readied himself for a Buckshot Lariat, Nick clung to his leg on the outside.

In another great callback, this was reminiscent of when Page grabbed Nick’s leg. That interaction happened back on August 27, 2020 in a Tag Team Championship Gauntlet match. And then it goes even further back when Matt did this same thing at 2020’s Revolution on February 29. Knox noticed the interference and shooed Nick away. Hangman launched himself to hit Omega, but the champion ducked out of the way and spun around. Wielding his title belt, he thumped Page in the forehead with it and went to pin Hangman. But the cowboy kicked out which enraged Omega. After berating Knox, Omega issued two brutal V-Triggers and a One Winged Angel. Omega closed out the match, throwing away the title hopes of Hangman and the Dark Order.

The Reception

Kenny Omega, Adam Page and the Young Bucks are geniuses at constructing a wrestling match. When you combine all four, you have the ecstasy of gold on your hands. There was no doubt that such a big match with these great minds at work would not produce a match of the year candidate. The crowd in the Coliseum and the fans at home fully bought into the match. Despite the numbers disadvantage, when Hangman pinned Matt, the thought of “could he really do it?” flashed through everyone’s minds. They measured the drama perfectly. The Elite Squad taunted and disrespected the Dark Order like only they can. Everyone in this match was spot on with their execution.

Now, with Hangman Adam Page seeming to go away for a bit, what will be next for the Dark Order? Can the Elite stay on top of the wrestling world? Will Omega continue to be champion, or will someone emerge as the best in the world? Stay tuned to Back Sports Page to keep up to date on everything you need to know.

To catch up on a previous Match of the Month click here: June, May, April, March, February, January

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