Hangman Page ROH
Bullet Clubs' Hangman Page will have a match with Frankie Kazarian at Ring of Honor's War of the Worlds 2017. Ring of Honor

One of the biggest events on the 2017 professional wrestling calendar is scheduled for Friday night with Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds pay-per-view. The promotion that describes itself as the “Best Wrestling on the Planet” will showcase just that when it teams up with New Japan Pro-Wrestling at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

It’s a jam-packed card that features stars from both promotions. All of the ROH championships will be defended, and several matches will involve wrestlers from both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Among the few true ROH matches on the night is the one that pits Frankie Kazarian against Hangman Page. With so many talented performers on one card, the wrestlers know that it won’t be easy to stand out.

“When these guys come over here, it is a big deal,” Page told International Business Times. “There are a lot more eyes on us, even more so than normal, because they’re here. So you gotta raise your game a little bit.”

While no title is on the line, it’s probably the match with the longest-running storyline at War of the Worlds. Kazarian joined Bullet Club in early February, forming a partnership between himself and Page. But when Kazarian revealed that it was all a ruse in order to help Christopher Daniels win the ROH World Championship against Bullet Club member Adam Cole, the current feud was born.

It’s been a year since Page joined Bullet Club, which has dominated the world of professional wrestling for five years. The faction has members in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and remnants of the group can even be found in WWE, where former leaders Prince Devitt (now Finn Balor) and AJ Styles now wrestle.

Bullet Club has undergone plenty of changes over time, especially in the last year and a half. Wrestlers like Page, Cole and “The American Nightmare” Cody have joined under the leadership of Kenny Omega. Despite all of the moving parts, Page believes the group has remained strong.

“It’s been really good,” Page told IBT. “I think you get a lot of complaints about that kind of thing, and those a lot of the times for me are the people who are gonna complain about what you do no matter what. When you take it at face value, there are a lot of guys in Bullet Club. But then you look at the representation, and that’s really spread out. Guys like me and Cole, who are predominantly represented in Ring of Honor. Then you’ve got guys like the Guerrillas, Yujiro (Takahashi), (Bad Luck) Fale and Kenny, who are pretty much over there in Japan. Then you’ve got guys who are still Bullet Club guys who are elsewhere. So I think you have to take those complaints and look at it that way. It’s a lot of people, but it’s a lot of representation across the board.”

Before wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in the Tokyo Dome in January, joining Bullet Club was the biggest moment of Page’s career. Not only did it earn him much more exposure to wrestling fans, becoming a member of wrestling’s biggest faction at just 24 years old, but it allowed him to pursue wrestling as his only career.

Prior to joining Bullet Club, Page was a high school teacher, even as he was featured on Ring of Honor television. He taught for five years, finally quitting a year ago when he found out he’d be performing for New Japan.

“I knew I was gonna be going to Japan, and those tours when you go for three weeks, I just couldn’t fake being sick teaching for three weeks,” Page said. “I was doing it then, and I ran out of sick days last year because every few Fridays or Sundays I would be sick. I knew I just couldn’t swing it anymore, so I hung it up last year.”

Coming from a small town in Virginia, it would’ve been just about impossible for Page to keep his wrestling career a secret. He said his students knew about his life inside the ring, though it’s not something he discussed much outside of the first day of class.

For Page, being able to focus solely on professional wrestling was something that he had envisioned for years.

“A lot of people talk about how they want to be wrestlers when they’re little kids. Their dream is to main-event WrestleMania or whatever. People will press those questions on me, and I feel like that was never really my dream. My dream was just to be a pro wrestler. And then as I got a little bit older, what that meant to me was to be able to make a living being a pro wrestler. So this time last year, that was about the time I was able to do that for the first time in my life.”

Now that Page can place all of his focus on wrestling, he has new achievements on his mind. Page has been unsuccessful in matches to become the No.1 contender for both the ROH TV Championship and the ROH World Championship in recent weeks, though he’s hoping to win a belt sometime soon.

“As far as tangible goals, I guess being a champion of some sort in some capacity. Whether it’s the TV title in Ring of Honor, something in New Japan, or whether it’s the world title, I don’t know. But being a champion this year is something that is weighing on me more heavily than it has in the past.”

War of the Worlds is set to start at 9 p.m. EDT Friday night, and fans can order it at rohwrestling.com or with the Fite TV App. The show’s main event will feature ROH World Champion Christopher Daniels in a triple threat match against Cody and Jay Lethal.