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Hangman Page is trying to warn us about CM Punk

All Elite Wrestling

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

For complete results and the live blog for Dynamite this week click here. To read a complete recap & review of all the night’s events click here.