Despite the moniker, “All Ego” Ethan Page is quite the opposite. He’s a good conversation, especially if you get him going and talking about nostalgia and all things nerd-related. The AEW and now Ring of Honor mainstay chatted with SlamWrestling.net about his career thus far, his love for toys and collectibles, and the Great White North… good ol’ Canada!
The reveal of recent big news for All Ego opened the discussion as his Alpha-1 Wrestling promotion announced its return for early 2024. Some names already announced for Alpha-1’s setlist of comeback dates are AEW’s own Daniel Garcia and Ortiz.
Page described what he looks to showcase in the new-look version of his promotion: “When it comes to Alpha-1, my goal is always the complete show. So, will there be friends of mine from AEW? For sure. But, I’ve also made so many friends and relationships… I’ve been in so many locker rooms through my entire career. From EVOLVE Wrestling to Dragon Gate Wrestling, that whole WWN era of my career. I still have a lot of those relationships with Impact Wrestling or TNA… I still have a lot of buddies there. So, I’m just gonna cover the card up with what I feel like will make people want to come back for the next show. Every single show is going to build up to the next. That’s why we announced three shows off the bat. I’m going to invest in the company and make sure there’s stories that are catching people’s attention. And yes, I’m going to have the best wrestlers in the world come (smiles).”
There’s a draw to showcasing more unknown talent in his revived Alpha-1 promotion. “There’s people I would love people to know who they are, instead of bringing in the people they already know,” he said. “It’s gonna be a big mix of the up-and-coming stars that I truly believe in from Canada and the U.S., and big names across the country. And, always surprises.”
Page was recently granted American citizenship. “I think as a Canadian, I hope other Canadian wrestlers hear this, since they probably relate to what I was feeling. Everyone as a wrestler wants to be World Heavyweight Champion, main event big stadium events, and become a huge superstar. That is 100% on my list of things to do. But, the number one was making sure I could make a living in America, get the right documents, being able to stay, and really make a life here,” he explained. “That’s really the biggest dream that professional wrestling could offer me. The freedom to come to the U.S. and live here. And that’s no knock on Canada whatsoever, I love Canada. This is just the land of opportunity when it comes to entertainment and I have my hands in so many aspects of entertainment. In 2024, I have so many projects coming out, that being here in the U.S. permanently benefits every business venture that I want.”
Ethan Page had been a prominent name on the Canadian independent circuit before national exposure in Impact Wrestling and now All Elite Wrestling and Ring of Honor. Being a Canadian wrestler means a lot to All Ego. “It’s incredible. The pride that I have wrestling out of Canada in general… I had it so much that I opened my own company,” he chuckled. “This is another reason why I make sure to be announced from Hamilton, Ontario, instead of everyone automatically saying Toronto… That’s where I was born and I want everybody to know where I was born and raised. I’m very proud of being from Canada and I’m very proud of building a legacy as a Canadian wrestler who made it.”
Going further to describe the Canadian independent wrestling scene, All Ego sees it in this light: “It is like there’s a giant black smudge across the Canadian indies and no one knows what’s going on there. But, there’s the best pro wrestlers in the world, and they’re all hidden. I wanna bring whatever solution I can to clean that black smudge, and bring as many eyes to Canadian wrestling as I can. That was always the goal.”
There are plenty of Canadians in AEW, including the recent arrival of Adam Copeland, formerly known as Edge. “I would probably say both Edge and Christian are on my Canadian Mount Rushmore. Both of those guys, if you look at Ethan Page’s career, there’s a huge chunk where I spent as a tag team wrestler. So, Edge and Christian were a huge influence on so many Canadian wrestlers and I was definitely one of them,” he said. “The fact that we have both of them in AEW is amazing and it looks like we’re gonna get Edge… I mean Adam Copeland versus Christian Cage for the TNT title in Montreal, which is wild. And as a fan, I’m just glad we have these brilliant minds backstage and they’re willing to help constantly, offering their advice to anyone. I mean they’re legends.”
And the rest of his Canadian Mount Rushmore? “Oh, if we’re talking Canadian-ness, the first name you think of is Bret Hart. For sure. For sure. And, I mean [Chris] Jericho is another one, obviously. And I think after the last four years with AEW and the crazy matches he had in Japan… Kenny Omega will go down as one of the Canadian greats, ever.”
The veteran Page had advice for younger Canadian independent upstarts trying to build their name in professional wrestling. “I would say do everything and anything to get noticed in America or internationally. And with the internet, it’s extremely available to make your name known everywhere and anywhere. Do anything you can to stand out… Just don’t take any unnecessary risks,” he added, motioning a thumbs up to the camera during the video call. “Right now, there’s three dudes. Vaughn Vertigo, Gabriel Fuerza, and Mark Wheeler. All three guys are out of Canada. I see them traveling, I see them trying to make a name for themselves across North America and I think they just had tours of England as well, at least one or two of them. But I usually check out who’s making waves that’s coming out of my area (Hamilton) and those three guys are doing their best right now. So kudos to all three, keep kicking ass. And, I’m sure you’ll see all three of them in Alpha-1 Wrestling.”
Moving over to the other side of All Ego, he was happy to discuss his well-known hobby of toys and collectibles, as well as his recently halted series of YouTube toy hunt vlogs.
What were some of the best memories and guests to come out of the countless episodes? “Man, picking a favorite guest is hard, because I love so many guests for so many different reasons. Like people would probably get mad if I said Stokely Hathaway was one of my favorite guests because he couldn’t have given a crap about the toys. But there was like this spark of genuine interest as to why anyone would buy anything from a toy store,” he laughed. “There was like this endearing thing of having him on. People say the A-team was Danhausen, Brody King, and Charlie… All three of the guys I would love to have on.”
He loved having “Smart” Mark Sterling on the show.
But Anthony Bowens (Anthony) from The Acclaimed was his MVP. “Every one of his appearances was memorable. So, I’m gonna go with Anthony Bowens as my favorite guest ever,” said Page.
“And my favorite episode? Man that’s so tough. I would say maybe one of the ToyHio episodes, cause they’re so chaotic… So many crazy guests and big purchases. Or I would go with the one where Brody (King) and I bully ‘Smart’ Mark Sterling into buying a retro Star Wars figure… I think we were in Milwaukee at Happy 8 Collectibles? Yeah, those two really stand out to me.”
The interview delved further into love for all things nostalgia as Page and myself discussed our mutual interest in Power Rangers, and why a franchise like Power Rangers holds such a dear place in the hearts of many ’90s kids (despite being a ’00s kiddo on my end).
“I honestly think there’s something to the simplicity of it, but I could be totally wrong and it’s just people’s attention spans and not caring enough anymore. There’s just something so visually pleasing about all that stuff, like you named the Ninja Turtles too… Like, go watch the old cartoons to everything that’s coming out now. Everything now is just so over the top or so detailed. They’re like CGI or ultra-realistic,” said Page. “I will throw on the old cartoon for my kid now, the one made in like ’86’ or ’87. I would rather watch that. Same, with the old Spider-Man cartoon. But with Power Rangers, those episodes were so simple. But the real charm to the Power Rangers wasn’t even them in the suits, it was them out of the suits. And I think that’s kinda lost now. There was this like sense of innocence to them back then? I mean, watching them kinda reprising those roles now is a little unsettling. The one on Netflix? It’s just not it.”
Nostalgia is at the root of modern fandom. “This is the toy collecting theory of the 30- to 40-year mark. Now, everyone in their 30s to like late 30s-early 40s, they have all their expendable income, so whatever hits their nostalgia will be revamped and made popular. They’re redoing Street Sharks? They’re bringing back Biker Mice from Mars? These were literally shows people said were terrible back then, but because they hit nostalgia and the logo flashing just brings you back, ‘like, of course, I’m gonna watch that!’ Sure, it wasn’t good, but we’re the ones with the expendable income now. We’re the ones deciding that Batman and Robin, the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger is now a good movie — just because it reminds us of our childhood.”
Circling back to All Ego’s current stint with Ring of Honor, he talked a little bit about trying to help bring ROH into the new generation.
“Right now to be given the opportunity to work in Ring of Honor, I’ve taken whatever I can to help elevate the product. Going to try and make people sign up for the app (Honor Club) as humanly possible. Which is cool because the next PPV (Final Battle) is going to be on the app, so people are going to be signing up for that,” he said. “Last week, we had Ronda Rousey as a surprise on Ring of Honor. So, we’re getting a lot of momentum and it makes me real proud to be a part of that team. I just wanna see it do well. The crew is just incredible. I think the Iron Savages are three of the most entertaining guys, they’re so hungry and just want to do great work. The two Lees, Lee Moriarty and Lee Johnson, I think both of them are so talented and both of them are in Ring of Honor right now. So yeah, I’ve got a small chip on my shoulder.”
As far as dream opponents go in terms of Ring of Honor, Claudio Castagnoli, a former ROH World and Tag Team champion, is the top name on his list: “I have like a very unique history with him. After we had a match in Canada, he helped me get into the Young Lions Cup tournament in America. I think I was like 18 years old or something like that? And because of his word, I was booked to do the Young Lions Cup, and through that,” reminisced Page. “That really started my independent career in the U.S., landing me my gig with Ring of Honor [he was briefly Ethan Gabriel Owens in 2014]. I would love for him to lose because he helped this young kid), when he was 18 years old. That’d be such a great story. He’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, I’d love to work with him in Ring of Honor.”
Page has had a fair share of character reinventions over his 16-year career, in the ever evolving sport of pro wrestling. He remains confident, All Ego, if you will.
“There’s an experience and comfort that I have now that I’ve never really had in my entire career. Now, I don’t know if that’s from physical changes or just how long I’ve been in the game. I just feel very confident,” he said. “But, there’s also that chip on my shoulder that I had in EVOLVE Wrestling. There’s that chip on my shoulder that I had when I first came to Impact Wrestling. I definitely have something to prove and I truly think I’m one of the best professional wrestlers in the world today. And I know I would do very well in the spotlight of AEW, on any of their television shows. So, I have a lot to prove. And I’m happy that’s given me the motivation to become what I think, is the best Ethan Page version ever, and I’m excited to climb my way back up to national television… Show the whole world what I’ve got going on.”
TOP PHOTO: Ethan Page at WrestleBash 2 on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Fairfield Hotel and Suites in Fairfield, New Jersey. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com