The much-hyped Jon Moxley-CM Punk AEW world title unification match helped “Dynamite” top a million viewers Wednesday night, but the quick match had fans scratching their heads.
Moxley, the interim champ, scored a clean fall over Punk in 3:09, in his first singles match since winning the title at “Double or Nothing” on May 29.
Punk had been out after injuring his left foot on June 1, and the injury factored into the quick finish.
Punk connected with a spin kick to Moxley’s head, but his left leg gave as he finished the follow through, opening the door for Moxley to take control, and Mox finished the match with a pair of Death Rider DDTs to score the fall.
The finish apparently wasn’t a way to get the belt off Punk to get him off TV for a longer period to allow him more time to recover from the injury.
Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer is reporting today that Moxley-Punk is set for the main event at “All Out” on Sunday, Sept. 4, 10 days from now, though that hasn’t yet been announced publicly by AEW, online or on TV.
The thinking here from me is that the booking of the quick Moxley win with a Punk injury angle is being done to set up Punk for a win in the rematch in front of the hometown crowd in Chicago, akin to the booking in 1987 that saw Ric Flair drop the NWA world title to Ronnie Garvin on Sept. 25 to set up Flair winning it back in the main event at that year’s Starrcade pay-per-view in November.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see MJF make an appearance toward the end of the Moxley-Punk main event to give the event a shock return to get buzz, and to set up MJF as Punk’s next feud.
News and notes
- Women’s champ Thunder Rosa will not defend her title at the pay-per-view due to a reported back injury, so AEW will crown an interim champ with a four-way match featuring a pair of former champs, Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida, along with Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter.
- Will Ospreay and Aussie Open, not surprisingly, defeated Death Triangle in the trios title tournament, setting up a match next week on “Dynamite” in the tourney semifinals with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. Ospreay and Omega have been feuding online for the past couple of months, and they’re clearly headed toward a singles match at some point soon.
- Jim Ross seems to want the match to be in AEW. Ross, on commentary, noted last night during the trios match that he hoped AEW would sign Ospreay, the former IWGP world champ.
- Also set up last night for “All Out” were matches between Bryan Danielson and Chris Jericho, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs, and Jungle Boy and Christian Cage.
- Notably, the tag champs, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee, aren’t locked in on an opponent for the pay-per-view yet. It may be a match with The Acclaimed, after the two shared a brief promo segment last night, but it’s not clear if that was to set up a match for one of next week’s free TV shows or “All Out.”
- Also without a dance partner for “All Out” is the best tag team in the world, FTR. You know, the Briscoes aren’t doing anything that night, either, so …