Heading into the go home edition of Dynamite tonight (Aug. 31) there wasn’t an AEW World title match booked for All Out... a show that’s four days away.
Jon Moxley quickly and decisively beat CM Punk to unify the championship last Wednesday, and ever since questions have lingered about whether Punk returned from a foot injury too soon. He strutted into the former champ’s hometown to a mixed reaction, and didn’t hesitate to troll Punk over his lackluster performance.
In the new champ’s telling, Punk took on of his shots and folded. He used the injury as an excuse to get out of the match as quickly as possible. Mox alluded to some of the rumors that have been floating around about Punk’s return, saying the Best in the World disappointed everyone who welcomed him back to the company. Then, while putting himself over and warning anyone who might take it, he dropped an open contract for an All Out title shot in the middle of the ring and left.
The contract didn’t sit there for long. Friend of Punk (and AEW producer) Ace Steel showed up to take it as the first segment of the night ended.
An hour later, a despondent looking Punk made his way to the ring. He similarly got a mixed reaction, and snapped at a heckler early on in his promo. Punk said his comments were one of many mistakes he’s made in his career, and he wondered if his decision to come back on a surgically repaired foot was one of them. Maybe his love of wrestling and the fans love for him wasn’t enough any more?
That brought Steele back out. This wasn’t what they talked about backstage. Punk’s long-time trainer and friend gassed Punk up, but also questioned what happened to the guy who talks about getting back up when you’re knocked down. A slap to face and having that contract shoved into his chest was enough to bring back the old Punk.
"Life isn't about how many times you get knocked down; it's about how many times you get up!" Did Ace Steel's emotional plea get through to CM Punk?! Tune in to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/9MA4qjUyVE— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 1, 2022
An electric promo followed, with Punk rallying the people of his hometown with lines about how people have been trying to kill him ever since he was born alone, blue in the face with a cord around his neck. They haven’t found the person who can kill him yet, and Moxley isn’t that guy.
Punk headed to the stands to announce what we all suspected — he’ll challenge Jon Moxley for the AEW World title in the main event of All Out, this Sunday in Chicagoland.
The champ was back out a short time later to promise to send the local hero out of the building on his shield this Sunday.
#AEW Undisputed World Champion Jon Moxley responds to CM Punk's acceptance of the #AEW World Championship Open contract challenge: expect a display of brutality and glorious pro-wrestling violence! #AEWDynamite is LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/Q5tUMLvNFA— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 1, 2022
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Get complete results and coverage of everything from tonight’s Dynamite here.