Pro wrestling is simple, or at least it always used to be. One guy has problems with another guy, they air that out in the form of a promo, the other guy shows up to air out his own grievances, they talk some trash to each other, and then they fight over it all. The business has turned into something else as WWE has moved it more into Vince McMahon’s vision of “sports entertainment.” AEW follows that same playbook at times, at least in terms of its characters and their presentation, but there are some who have the ability to turn back the clock and give us a good ol’ fashioned pro wrestling feud.
That’s what CM Punk and Eddie Kingston, who will square off at tonight’s (Sat., Nov. 13, 2021) Full Gear pay-per-view in Minneapolis, Minnesota, have done.
It started with Kingston interrupting an interview Punk was giving after he lost a match. This really upset the latter, who demanded an apology out in the ring. As it turned out, these two had some deeply personal issues dating back some 15 years, and that came out in the ensuing face-off.
That’s arguably the best back-and-forth of all of 2021, and all they did was go back to the basics. Punk himself said it best in an interview with Bleacher Report:
“We’ve kind of breathed life into what some of the classic legends of pro wrestling used to do on the regular. It’s just two normal dudes talking normal trash. The fun part about pro wrestling is you get to go in a ring and you get to beat the crap out of each other.”
Kingston told DAZN this is “definitely the most personal” match of his career.
It’s amazing what you can do when you take two talented wrestlers and let them use some real life issues to promote a match. That’s what we’re getting here.
AEW is also getting better with their production, with videos like this hyping it up:
"You can change, you can become a better CM Punk. But first, You have to get through me. I’m your Karma."— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 12, 2021
15 years of animosity is unleashed TOMORROW at #AEWFullGear on PPV when @MadKing1981 faces @CMPunk. Order on all major providers, @BleacherReport & internationally on @FiteTV pic.twitter.com/zQKEbxSAaA
That’s another fun angle Kingston introduced there — that Punk has always been an asshole and while his story has been so much about how he was mistreated by WWE and what it did to him, there were many others he mistreated on his way to WWE and it clearly did something to them. If he truly wants a full redemption arc in AEW, he’s going to have to reckon with his own karma, and Eddie is that karma coming to collect.
So they’ve managed to make it simple while also weaving in a compelling backstory that advances the character arc of the main player and makes his antagonist look like a huge star.
What a fantastic piece of business.
This poll is closed