I thought Double or Nothing’s AEW World title program was another story about Hangman Page wrestling with his insecurities. But his promo (and eventually physical) showdown with his challenger CM Punk last night (May 25) on the final Dynamite before the PPV told me I was wrong.
Our Cowboy champ thinks Punk is full of Straight Edge shit. And he’s convinced that if the Chicagoan captures the company’s top prize, he’ll revert to his true self. The guy that “crucified” Raven, terrorized Rey Mysterio’s daughter, and defiled Paul Bearer’s ashes. More than that, a dude who threatened to leave two different company’s while holding its main belt (both in the summertime, and one that Tony Khan now owns...hmmm).
It wouldn’t be a Punk angle without some work/shoot, and by mentioning Phil’s recent pro-worker tweets surrounding Sasha Banks & Naomi’s situation with WWE, Hangman tied in the charges filed against the Best in the World by both Eddie Kingston & Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Punk’s a judgmental hypocrite, and he’s only ever looking out for himself.
And look — it’s not like Punk hasn’t been dropping hints ever since he came back at “The First Dance”. He’s soaking in the cheers while repeatedly asking audiences if they’re tired of cheering for him yet. He revels in trips to Long Island where he can openly antagonize the audience. It’s like he’s just itching to let the old asshole out.
Punk’s repeated “it’s not personal, it’s just business” line to Page a justification/rationalization on his part. It also serves to make Hangman our avatar. This might just be transactional for the veteran, but it is personal to the younger man, and to us. Hangman already saved us from an egomaniac who thought he was bigger than the promotion in Kenny Omega. Now he’s trying to protect us from a sociopathic one.
Maybe Punk will prove the champ wrong. Maybe AEW should have delivered last night’s segment earlier in this feud to give these ideas time to breathe. But it’s still a hell of a piece of business, and I can’t wait to see the war these dudes are going to have on Sunday night... and maybe beyond.
I’m a little afraid of what might happen if we get a title change. But we won’t be able to say Hangman didn’t warn us.
Let us know what you think, 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.
- Did Wardlow Overcome MJRef and Shawn Spears Inside the Cage?
- Samoa Joe Advances to the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Finals
Unprovoked attack by #JerichoAppreciationSociety on one of our staff members sending a message ahead of TONIGHT's match: #PrivateParty v @MadKing1981/@JonMoxley w/ Special Guest Commentators @IAmJericho & @RealKingRegal!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/L4XP1LQP7C
Things are heating up! #TBS Champion @Jade_Cargill defends her Title for the 2nd time against @annajay___ at #AEWDoN (Double Or Nothing) LIVE on PPV from Las Vegas, NV on Sunday May 29!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/B2OQvixyuX
.@JonMoxley and @Madking1981 get the victory! But the #JerichoAppreciationSociety take this opportunity to unleash chaos here at #AEWDynamite! We are LIVE on @TBSNetwork right now! pic.twitter.com/LoY4cyttSr— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
"You're gonna be disappointed. Because you can never beat your heroes."— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
ELITE vs DELETE! A Tag Team Dream Match is set for #AEWDoN Double or Nothing as the @youngbucks face #TheHardys @MATTHARDYBRAND & @JEFFHARDYBRAND LIVE on PPV!
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/tKIxRqccCZ
The #AEW World Tag Team Championship landscape just got extremely intense as #Limitless @realkeithlee takes out @luchasaurus and @truewilliehobbs, ahead of their championship match this Sunday LIVE on PPV at #AEWDoN ! pic.twitter.com/2j22mgxi40— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
.@Thee_Red_Velvet provides some... tips to @realrubysoho ahead of #OwenHart Women's Semi-Finals match Ruby v @callmekrisstat this FRIDAY on #AEWRampage!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/eo1vtBHPg8
Dr @realbrittbaker DMD has stolen the victory and advances to the #OwenHart Foundation Tournament finals this Sunday at #AEWDoN Double or Nothing! Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork right now! pic.twitter.com/YowjUPIRkW— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 26, 2022