Strap onto your spurs. Hangman Page is riding into Las Vegas to defend the AEW World Championship against CM Punk at Double or Nothing. It has all the makings of a fantastic main event. Both competitors are in peak form for a rare occasion where the result truly feels unpredictable.
The basic story was Punk earning his way to #1, calling his shot at the world championship, and Hangman Page accepting the bout. At the core, this feud is about two top wrestlers battling for the biggest prize in AEW. Given how well Punk and Hangman perform in the ring, that’s enough for any fan to get eager about this matchup.
Wrinkles were added with Punk instigating mind games. He finished a match with the Buckshot Lariat, so Hangman stole the GTS for his next win. On the surface, Hangman’s emotion seems to be raging out of control. Punk believes he is inside the champ’s head. This could play out for the finish. Will Hangman try to make a personal statement of dominance instead of taking care of business? If so, that could lead to a pivotal mistake and defeat.
Hangman dropped a bomb in the go-home promo by feeling the need to protect the company from Punk. Hangman left us hanging as to why he said that. It could lead to an interesting story arc or just as easily be shoved aside as the winner moves on to their next opponent.
Digging deeper, this match represents the future direction of AEW. They can choose to ride with Hangman Page as a home star or jump the hot wave of CM Punk’s popularity.
Hangman would likely be the better long-term choice. At 30 years of age, he can carry the company for the next ten years. Defeating all the legends on the roster would cement his legacy as a legend himself to set up a home-grown AEW star for the rub to win the world title. With a loss to Punk, Hangman’s momentum might taper off. He doesn’t have any side feuds brewing, unless Kenny Omega returns soon to ignite the Undisputed Elite saga. AEW will have to get creative to keep Hangman on the superstar pedestal if he drops the belt.
Punk would likely be the better short-term choice. At 43 years of age, he is reaching the end of his career. Making the most of the time Punk has left is smart. The crowd pop is enormous whenever Punk steps on stage. Imagine the reaction if he wins gold at Double or Nothing. There is a strong chance it would also transition to better TV ratings. There is no shortage of money matches for Punk as champ. Line up Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Kenny Omega, Samoa Joe, the Darby Allin rematch, or even Sting. The world title isn’t needed for those bouts, however, it would increase the big-time aura. It might feel a bit like AEW youngsters being shoved aside for older veterans, but those are high-profile fights the fans want to see. If Allin is the one to dethrone Punk, it would bring Punk’s AEW arc full circle.
The best part is that there is no wrong answer in this scenario. That is what will make the Double or Nothing main event so much fun.
Which direction should AEW choose? Are you rooting for Hangman Page or CM Punk?
Who will win?
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