newsis double or nothing cm punks night to take over aew

Is ‘Double or Nothing’ finally CM Punk’s night to take over AEW?

cm punk hangman adam page aew
Photo courtesy All Elite Wrestling.

AEW founder Tony Khan lured two top WWE stars, Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, to his start-up last summer, and put the two on different tracks.

Danielson entered the world title picture almost immediately, challenging then-champ Kenny Omega in the New York supershow in September, then fighting to a memorable 60-minute time-limit draw with the new champ, “Hangman” Adam Page, on “Dynamite” in December, before dropping a clean pinfall decision in a rematch in January.

Punk got a slower build, debuting with a win over Darby Allin, beginning a string of victories that included wins over Daniel Garcia, Powerhouse Hobbs, John Silver, Eddie Kingston, then coming out on top at the end of a marquee feud with MJF.

It kind of feels like the kind of long-term build that Khan gave to Page, who will defend his AEW world title Sunday night at “Double or Nothing” against Punk.

“He worked his way to the top,” Khan told reporters on a media call on Thursday. “He came into AEW, and he was somebody who we thought was going to be a future champion, and he did from the very beginning as a spotlighted star. But he also didn’t just get handed a championship. It took years of hard work.”

Page’s rise included having him win a battle royale at the first “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view in 2019 to earn a shot at the world title, dropping that match to the first AEW world champ, Chris Jericho, then beginning on an odyssey toward an eventual match with Omega that had those two teaming, winning the AEW tag belts, falling out, and Page eventually challenging and defeating Omega at “Full Gear” last November.

Page has been on a nice run since, with his kingmaking win over Danielson and a couple of wins over former NXT champ Adam Cole among the highlights.

Khan likes to emphasize the won-loss records of AEW stars. Heading into Sunday night, Punk is 18-1 in AEW; Page is 51-17-1, including a 5-0 mark in singles in 2022.

Gotta give credit to the build here. This one, like Page eventually dethroning Omega, has been several months in the making.

“I think it makes a lot of sense now that based on how CM Punk fought through that very personal feud and beat MJF and has earned that number one spot in the rankings, and based on ‘Hangman’ taking down the great champion, his former partner, Kenny Omega, and so many awesome, awesome legendary wrestlers along the way, I think it’s very fitting, like two trains colliding, that on Sunday, it’s ‘Hangman’ Page vs. CM Punk for the world title,” Khan said.

Story by Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].