If you follow pro wrestling, you know about the WWE/AEW “war”. Often there’s an obvious reason we’re talking about it, like when performer leaves one company and lands at the other, or verbal shots are fired across the inter-promotional divide. Even when the topic doesn’t seem to lend itself to comparing Vince McMahon and Tony Khan’s companies, it’s often only a matter of time before someone finds a way to make it about WWE vs. AEW.
That happened last night, in the aftermath of a WrestleMania Saturday show that nearly everyone seemed to enjoy something about.
A prominent wrestling tweeter mused about CM Punk’s state of mind after Kevin Owens got the main event match against Stone Cold Steve Austin that Punk sought when he was in WWE. Punk responded to dispute the behind-the-scenes details of the story (the old shoot interview with KO that’s central to the debate backs up Punk’s account).
Then a few minutes later, he tweeted this:
Happy for Kev. Happy for Cody. VERY happy for Steve. Also happy for Sting. Happy for myself. Happy for Bryan. This isn’t controversial. Fuck Eddie Kingston. Oh, happy for Edge!— player/coach (@CMPunk) April 3, 2022
Kayfabe-maintaining (we think?) jab at Eddie aside, it’s an overwhelmingly positive message. And why wouldn’t it be! This is an amazing time for pro wrestling/sports entertainment! Fans can see legends playing the hits, the stars of today delivering classics, and future stars tearing it up every night of the week. Wrestlers have options, and the ability to make good money whether they decide to prioritize creative freedom or mainstream attention. Punk’s right. It’s not controversial. It’s worth putting cynicism and tribalism aside and being happy about.
There are legitimate reasons to criticize every wrestling promotion & show, and even when there aren’t, the so-called war between AEW and WWE can be fun to play into. But while we’re doing those things, it’s important to remember we’re watching and talking and arguing about this stuff because it’s fun, and we really like it.
So let’s be happy for KO, Cody, Stone Cold, DB, Sting, Edge, Punk and everyone else making a living doing what they love. And for all of us being entertained by what they get to do.
Especially Eddie Kingston. Love that dude.