The injury to CM Punk ended AEW head guy Tony Khan’s “Summer of Punk” before it started, but credit due, Khan did well with the makeshift plan.
Jon Moxley won the interim title, then dominated Punk in a unification match on “Dynamite” last month, setting up tonight’s rematch on “All Out” (PPV, pre-show 7 p.m., main show 8 p.m.).
The event is being held in Chicago, Punk’s hometown, and the setup for a Punk win at the end of the night is in place.
Punk was basically squashed by Moxley two weeks ago in the unification match, losing in 3:09 after apparently re-injuring the foot that he broke before a June 1 “Dynamite” trios match.
That makes Punk a massive underdog, which will only rally the hometown crowd behind him even more.
He’s clearly set up to be the winner, and really the only question is, does MJF, also out since the June 1 “Dynamite,” after delivering a “pipebomb”-like promo aimed at Khan, come out at the end of the show to declare himself the new top world title contender?
(I think yes.)
AEW women’s title four-way
The scuttlebutt in the women’s world title picture has been that Toni Storm was being booked to win the belt from the current champ, Thunder Rosa, but then Rosa had to be scratched from the match with a back injury, setting up a four-way with Storm, former champs Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida, and Jamie Hayter.
I’m thinking Baker wins this one. The division isn’t the same without the belt around her waist.
A Baker win would set up Baker-Rosa for a rematch from their title change in San Antonio from earlier in the year.
Flip side, a Storm win gives you another person to be an eventual former champ at the top of the card.
I still say Baker leaves tonight as the champ.
Casino Ladder Match
The winner gets an AEW title shot. The lineup includes Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Penta, Ray Fenix, Andrade El Idolo, Rush, Dante Martin and a mystery guy.
The mystery guy will be Will Ospreay, who all but confirmed himself in the match with his tweet this week saying he’s done in AEW.
Will Ospreay-CM Punk on an upcoming “Dynamite.”
The final in the trios tournament pits The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) vs. Dark Order (“Hangman” Adam Page, Alex Reynolds and John Silver).
Short and sweet as to the winner: Khan was waiting for Omega to return from injury so he could put the belts on The Elite.
The surprise tonight will be Page rejoining The Elite, finally getting him away from the dorks in the Dark Order.
Tag title change
Swerve in Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) haven’t had the tag belts that long, but it’s time for The Acclaimed, the second most over tag team in the company (to FTR) to finally win championship gold.
TBS champ Jade Cargill vs. Athena: Cargill goes over.
- Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho: Danielson needs the win.
- Jungle Boy vs. Christian Cage: We haven’t seen Luchasaurus in a while. Maybe he interferes in favor of Cage to keep this one going a little longer.
- Wardlow and FTR vs. Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley): Could we be setting up FTR and the Guns? I’m all for that.
- Ricky Starks vs. Powerhouse Hobbs: I hate seeing either guy lose. Starks seems to be the one getting the push.
- House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews) vs. Darby Allin, Sting, and Miro: If Miro doesn’t turn, this one is a waste of time.
- AEW All-Atlantic champ Pac vs. Kip Sabian: Good match with no build.
- FTW champ Hook vs. Angelo Parker: Another Magnum T.A.-like squash win for Hook.
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Eddie Kingston: I saw these two at the New Japan show in D.C. in June. Should be a great curtain-jerker for the pre-show.