Ethan Page vs. Zema Ion from Absolute Intense Wrestling 2013
Post by Bill Thompson
Ethan Page has always been an anomaly to me. In a world full of colorful characters, super workers, etc. he’s kind of just a “that guy” sort of wrestler. He’s never engaged me in a way that caused me to be super excited to see him wrestle or to loathe seeing him wrestle. The latter is the emotion I most see ascribed to Page among the wrestling fans I frequently talk to online. I’m not sure why they feel that way, but with them Page seems to have go-away-heat. Keeping all that in mind, it had been quite a long time since I had seen Page in a non-EVOLVE Wrestling setting. That being the case, I can safely state that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Page in this match.
What I most liked about Page is that he doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. He plays a shit-eating heel, and he plays it in the simplest of fashions. He’s the sort of character that one wants to punch in the mouth after spending mere minutes in his presence. Throughout the match, Page sprinkles in little heel-ish moments that connected with me and made me enjoy the match just that much more. Character work isn’t all that Page has to offer though; he’s a pretty good physical worker in this match as well. Again, there’s not much flashy about what he does, but he times his offense really well, feeds for his opponent right when it is needed, and builds off of the heel/face & big/little man dynamics of the match very smoothly.
This is pretty much my first exposure to Zema Ion. I know next to nothing about him other than he has spent some considerable time in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Seeing as I have watched very little of that promotion in the past few years and Ion’s previous indie work came during a time when I wasn’t watching any wrestling, it’s only natural he’d be a blind spot guy. I wasn’t blown away by Ion in this match, but I liked him a fair amount. He’s a speedy-spot guy, but he’s very crisp and clean in his execution. He’s quite the talented little bumper. I really liked how Ion worked off of Page’s size, and how he never forced his offense. Instead, everything Ion did seemed to flow naturally and that in turn gave the match a very organic feel.
The end run of the match does get too indie-riffic in a few spots. I’m not one to harp on the finisher kickout approach, but it did feel (near the end at least) like Page & Ion were simply running through spots as opposed to setting them up and integrating them into the story of the match as they had been previously doing. Still, for what this match is and wanted to be, I enjoyed myself very much. Like I said earlier, nothing that will reinvent the wheel or knock your socks off. Ion & Page deliver a quality pro wrestling match though that would be right at home on any midcard anywhere. That may seem like a small thing, but in the world of wrestling what Ion & Page did is very much appreciated.