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AEW, CM Punk & Jon Moxley Deserve Credit For Trying Something Different

CM Punk and Jon Moxley’s road to get to their All Out main event match wasn’t for everyone, but AEW deserves credit for trying something fresh.

Jon Moxley and CM Punk are in the main event of the upcoming AEW pay-per-view All Out, and everyone involved deserves credit for at least trying something different during the build. Until August 10, The Voice Of The Voiceless had been on the shelf due to injury, with Mox frequently defending the interim AEW World Championship. When Punk returned on August 10, it immediately set the two men on a collision course for the September 4 PPV. With only a few weeks to build the match, Tony Khan, Punk and Moxley got together and tried to come up with a different way to build hype surrounding the event.


The execution of the plan they hatched was head-scratching at times. Fans who bought tickets to All Out likely did so while assuming they’d be witnessing history in the making: AEW’s first-ever title unification bout between two of the biggest stars, not only in the company but in the business on the whole. Those hopes were dashed after Khan called to bump that unification fight up to the August 24 episode of Dynamite. There are no two ways about it: on that night, Moxley squashed Punk in the middle of the show, in the middle of the ring, in the middle of Ohio. It was a shocking outcome and one that we weren’t big fans of here. But you know what? Punk, Moxley, and AEW at least deserve credit for trying something fresh.

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Too often, wrestling gets boiled down to a predictable, A-B-C formula where the winners are easily predicted, and fans know who’s being protected the most. After just a few minutes on Dynamite, Moxley burying Punk blew the doors off of any expectations the audience might have had, and now All Out features a main event where literally no one knows what to expect. AEW could have dialed in some of the details better, but there’s no denying that they generated a ton of intrigue in this pay-per-view fight. It wasn’t the most cohesive story, and some of the build just felt off, but by and large, the capital-c Chaos that Khan allowed CM Punk and Moxley to create makes All Out a can’t-miss show.

There Are Lessons Here For AEW

Tony Khan and the rest of AEW know they’re in for a very different kind of competition from WWE now that Triple H is in charge. Vince McMahon never viewed the company as a threat, and his presence backstage in WWE was a competitive advantage for AEW. That’s vaporized now, and All Elite Wrestling suddenly finds itself as the more chilly product as WWE continues to pick up steam.

Standing by the status quo wouldn’t have moved the attention needle for AEW. On the other hand, Booking Moxley to beat Punk on a free television show 11 days before a pay-per-view does. Waiting until the go-home show to establish the main event can’t become a thing that AEW often does, but in this instance, the caliber of stars involved allowed Khan to produce the build like this. If All Out buy rates are high, it might encourage the company to try and think outside the box a bit more often.

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