The main event for All out is employed: Jon Moxley will defend his undisputed AEW World Championship cm punk in a rematch. But this match between two of wrestling’s top stars in a crowded Chicago arena is getting a surprisingly mixed reaction, at least online. A quick perusal of the Twitter or Reddit conversations on the subject reveals that fans are divided on whether this could be the biggest main event in AEW history, or whether AEW skipped the shark entirely.
For critics, the feud is seen as rushed, with Punk returning from injury, losing to Moxley in a squash match and teasing a retirement the next week before switching to the decision mid-promo, again against Moxley at the PPV to fight, all in the span of about three weeks. Additionally, some fans are having a hard time snapping into the angle where Punk lost the first match in three minutes due to his foot injury but is now ready for another round on Sunday. After all, Punk’s promo about his solidarity with the people of Chicago just wasn’t convincing to fans who weren’t already going for that angle.
Additionally, a subset of critics tend to appreciate wrestling from the perspective of someone analyzing and criticizing the business aspects of the sport, rather than enjoying the actual product. For these uber-smarks, it was a cardinal sin to give away the PPV main event on free-to-air two weeks before the show, and now that Punk has already lost once, they don’t buy him as a valid contender for the rematch. And I daresay there is a certain level of resentment at being swayed by the pre-match dirt sheet rumors that have changed some people’s views of CM Punk as the everyday hero (although he always comes across as a bit of an arrogant, self-centered idiot).
On the other hand, many fans loved Punk’s promo, as did most fans in the Chicago building seemed to do (remarkably, one fan in the crowd was spotted holding a baby up in the air, literally as a sort of ritual offering to Punk). But then again, it’s Chicago where the crowd will love CM Punk no matter what he does. Furthermore, few can argue that Jon Moxley hasn’t burst into flames since returning from rehab, and whether you loved or hated Punk’s promo, Moxley’s two promos on Dynamite last night were top-notch.
Although I’ve been following the backstage happenings of the wrestling biz since the mid 90’s when my favorite website was Scoops Central and reading was the highlight of my week Chris Hyattes cleanup On Tuesday morning (RIP Hyatte) I could never get too far into the super smark mentality. That’s just my opinion, but wrestling is less fun when you’re all about star ratings and attraction and whether something is a good deal or not. I like to enjoy the stories, the characters, the promos, the matches and, in the best of circumstances, the thrill of “tagging” that only pro wrestling can provide, even as I write about it conflictingly from a business perspective every day here at Bleeding Cool. I’m not saying I don’t notice or think about the business aspect of wrestling, but I do my best not to spoil the fun of the show and when it comes down to it, prefer something that’s entertaining but incredibly stupid is , or smart business, but boring, I will choose entertainment every time. give me prime Dixie Carter Era TNA via Prime John Cena Era WWE every day of the week is what I say.
So, as far as Punk vs. Moxley 2 goes, I’ve enjoyed the story for the past few weeks and I’m looking forward to the rematch All out. But the final verdict on the feud will have to wait until we see what happens in the PPV, as there are plenty of ways it could go. Punk regaining the title is the most obvious result, but that’s no sure thing. There are also questions as to whether Punk will emerge from the match as a heel or a face, and whether or not MJF will interfere, and if so, for what purpose.
Ultimately, the memory of Punk vs. Moxley 2 hinges largely on how well the main event is executed at All Out. The only thing you can guarantee is that whichever side turns out to be correct, as MJF so succinctly pointed out the last time we saw him, most people will claim to have been on this site all along.
All out takes place on Sunday at 20:00 on PPV. Get it on PPV, get it on Fite and as an absolute last resort if you have no other options get it on Bleacher Report.