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Tony Khan chalks CM Punk’s unscripted call out of Hangman Page up to ‘unresolved anger’

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AEW is getting ready for one of, if not the biggest television match in the company’s history on Dynamite tonight (Aug. 24) — the World title unification bout between CM Punk & Jon Moxley. Much of the wrestling world still wants to talk about something that happened in the course of setting up that match, though.

In his first promo since returning from a broken foot he suffered shortly after winning the World championship at Double or Nothing, Punk went off script to call out the man he beat for the belt. Hangman Page wasn’t expecting to hear his name, didn’t appear, and was accused of “coward shit” by Punk. This led to a lot of rumors and reports about backstage heat between the two men and others, and some humorous explanations from Page’s locker room allies.

We now have some comments from AEW head honcho Tony Khan. TK did his best to keep his latest appearance on Busted Open focused on tonight’s main event, but he couldn’t avoid addressing the Punk/Page flap:

“It’s unresolved anger, I think, from the World title match at Double or Nothing, and we had not really tied up all of those issues. CM Punk made one appearance to wrestle after Double or Nothing and then it was immediately after that, that he got injured and was forced to step away. So there was clearly some stuff that never got resolved at Double or Nothing.”

For Khan the promoter, this is a good answer. It gives the impression that whatever legitimate hard feelings there are from the Double or Nothing build (which allegedly stem from Page’s pointed remarks about Punk being a hypocrite behind-the-scenes, and/or how Colt Cabana’s been marginalized since his former friend joined the company) will be used to fuel a continuing on-screen story.

It’s not as great an answer if it’s coming from Khan the manager. In that role, it’s not unreasonable to think he should have been aware of an “unresolved anger” that’s been dividing his roster so he could broker some kind of peace before it boiled over on television. He’s basically acknowledged that’s a problem with the organization by announcing a new talent relations team to fix it.

Or there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and this delicious drama is good business. You decide.

We’ll wait and see how this plays into tonight’s big match.

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