There’s been some confusion about the AEW World title program for Double or Nothing. A lot of folks thought Hangman Page turned heel last week when he mocked CM Punk’s “masturbatory” Bret Hart homages and promised to destroy Punk on May 29 in Las Vegas. Heel turn or no, many have wondered if the feud didn’t need more time to develop.
Valid observations we won’t have a final determination on until the story plays out. For now, AEW is putting a lot of trust in Punk and Page to flesh out their conflict without spelling it out for the fans, and trusting most of those fans will pick up on what the two are doing.
Each man’s biggest obstacle isn’t the person they’ll be wrestling Memorial Day weekend. It’s themself. Punk’s been competing against his own legend since he returned last August. The wily veteran’s been up to the task so far, but at times just barely, or not without assistance. Can he do it against a guy in his prime whose clicking on all cylinders?
Meanwhile, despite victories over Bryan Danielson, Lance Archer & Adam Cole, the doubts that plagued Hangman before he beat Kenny Omega at Full Gear are never far from the surface. The prospect of facing the Best of the World on a nine month roll with crowds behind him has the Anxious Millennial Cowboy feeling, well, anxious. His spicy promo last week, and defiant middle finger to Punk on the May 11 Dynamite, are Page’s way of firing himself up for one of the biggest challenges of his career.
And so far, Punk’s been more successful at triggering the champ’s insecurities than vice versa. He did it last night... after poking his old nemeses in Long Island by entering in a John Tavares sweater (former #1 draft pick and team captain of the local NHL Islanders who left for a big money deal from the Toronto Maple Leafs a few years back)...
The most pointed jab at Hangman was beating hometown guy & Page pal John Silver while the champ watched from commentary, with the champ’s finisher:
And the #BestInTheWorld just beat @silvernumber1 with a Buckshot Lariat?! #AEW World Champion #Hangman @theadampage is NOT pleased! Tune in to #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork right now! pic.twitter.com/y4qi9OYG4A— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
Punk twisted the knife by telling Page their match is just business to him, and that in his mind, he’s already the champ. It left Hangman with nothing but the bird, and his doubts.
"It's just business."#AEWDoN (Double Or Nothing) can't come soon enough! Sunday May 29 is just around the corner and the #AEW World Championship between @CMPunk and champion #Hangman @theadampage is on the line! pic.twitter.com/9n5eiUktxF— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
The question for the next couple weeks is whether the champ can get under Punk’s skin, maybe by pointing out he needed a Wardlow assist to beat MJF, or that he hasn’t taken down someone of Danielson’s — or Page’s — caliber since returning from seven years out of the game?
Let us know what you think of Double or Nothing’s main event feud, and check out the rest of the highlights from last night’s Dynamite. As usual, AEW doles out YouTube videos slowly. But we’ve compiled what they’ve released as of this morning in a playlist, and tried to catch you up with the rest of the episode via Twitter clips below that.
- Dax Taps and Adam Cole Advances in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament
- Could We Actually See HOOK-Hausen?
- MUST SEE Darby Allin vs Jeff Hardy Push it to the Limit
Allies @darbyallin & @jeffhardybrand stand opposite in the ring for the #OwenHart Foundation Tournament Quarterfinals later on tonight! Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on @tbsnetwork! pic.twitter.com/7A25xf89c7— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
All seems well in the land of DMD as the #OwenHart Foundation Tournament continues with @jmehytr v #ToniStorm later tonight! Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on @tbsnetwork! pic.twitter.com/w82TwYxJRb— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
We're witnessing a face-off between #Limitless @RealKeithLee, @swerveconfident, #TeamTaz & the #AEW World Tag Team champions @luchasaurus, @boy_myth_legend w/ @Christian4Peeps! What does this spell for the future of the #AEW World Tag Team titles? pic.twitter.com/TCRnvXA3Xy— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
The #AEW Women’s World Championship is officially on the line at #AEWDoN (Double or Nothing)! Champion @ThunderRosa22 faces no. 1 contender @SerenaDeeb LIVE from Vegas, NV on PPV Sunday, May 29th!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/fpz0F3YzOv
Former #AEW World Tag Team Champions, @FrankieKazarian and (current TNT Champ) @ScorpioSky, share a deep history. But this Friday, their paths will collide when the TNT title is put on the line at #AEWRampage!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 12, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/DZMP9m3CaL