AEW World Title Match Between CM Punk, Jon Moxley Has Bizarre Result

The drama around Punk is likely not over yet

by

August 24

CM Punk and Jon Moxley wrestled to decide who would be the undisputed All Elite Wrestling World Champion on Wednesday night’s “Dynamite,” and the match didn’t exactly go as expected.

First off, the match was not the main event of the show. It began the top of the hour of the two-hour program, and Moxley won — which isn’t that shocking — but he won in three-minute match. The more accurate way to put it is Moxley squashed Punk.

They played up Punk’s foot injury in the match, but it took two quick Death Riders to beat Punk. Moxley is now officially a two-time AEW World Champion. He also cut a great promo later in the show.

The now former AEW World Champion suffered a foot injury during the match he won the belt at “Double or Nothing.” Punk stepped away on the June 3 episode of “Rampage,” and Moxley won the interim championship at the “AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door” pay-per-view. Punk returned on Aug. 10, and the unification match was set for “All Out” on Sept. 4.

But the match was instead moved to Wednesday night. AEW President Tony Khan did not give a clear answer as to why. However, speculation around unrest in AEW because of Punk was a leading theory from fans.

Punk reportedly went “off-script” in a promo he cut on Aug. 17, where he called out former AEW Champion Hangman Page for a rematch of their “Double or Nothing” encounter, who himself threw shade at Punk due to his falling out with former friend Colt Cabana. Punk and Page were not scheduled for a rematch at the time, so it was odd for Punk to pull that move.

As for Punk’s issues with Cabana, it stems from Punk not paying Cabana’s legal fees from a 2015 lawsuit involving former WWE doctor Chris Amann. The two former friends went to court in 2018, and while things were settled legally, their personal relationship still has not been mended.

Cabana has largely been absent from AEW television and has mostly wrestled for Ring of Honor — a company Khan owns but is not directly tied to AEW. And it has people like Page directing their anger toward Punk. Moxley’s fiery promo on that Aug. 17 show added fuel to the fans having his back in the match, but Punk’s attitude could easily be played off as him being a heel, like he was during his feud with Page.

Punk played up the fact of former WWE wrestlers getting more shine in AEW. It’s what made Page an even stronger babyface heading into the match.

However, Punk has a history of getting into dustups backstage, and there are some wrestlers who have worked with Punk who have called him “hard to work with.” It may be why Khan finally held a talent meeting Wednesday to likely try to settle things down in the locker room. Punk hasn’t fully addressed the rumored unrest, but he did tell those who did have a problem with him to come tell him personally.

It’s hard to say where things go after Wednesday. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported on Aug. 19 the plan is still for Moxley and Punk to go at it at “All Out.” If this is true, AEW will likely play up an angle of Punk returning too soon from his injury and wanting a rematch against Moxley.

AEW had a good problem. Punk or Moxley winning the title would be great for their business, but of course, with Moxley winning, it only adds to fan speculation over Punk’s AEW status.

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