AEW’s CM Punk is injured
Before All Elite Wrestling World Champion CM Punk could tackle the Ontario, Cali., crowd on Friday night’s episode of Rampage, his eyes are red. As tears flowed around his cornea, it was easy to see what was going on in the mind of the Second City Saint. And he didn’t open his mouth.
Five days after winning the top AEW title, Punk was sidelined with a leg injury that required surgery. However, he has yet to give up the title as the company will be naming an interim champion. There is an obvious choice as to who that man should be. It’s the MJF. Maxwell Jacob attacked Friedman. Anyone else will fall short.
If the promotion on Wednesday is on Gunpowder It’s not a shooting at all and AEW Chairman Tony Khan would be a fool to let someone as spiteful with a gab gift as MJF pick up the mic on live TV without at least some understanding knowing about the insults he’s going to spew, there’s a direction for AEW’s 2nd minute draw going with the 1st towards the shelf. Of course, the MJF pointed that out on its own.
There is a slot for the MJF to enter with the bracket set to crown an interim champion, match royals on Wednesday. He’s shady and somehow going into that match and winning it is simple. He then beat out No. 1 contender Jon Moxley later that night and continued Forbidden Door and won the strap, by pinning Hiroshi Tanahashi. That would be a win in resume building.
This scenario is not as simple as replacing Punk with another famous star. Moxley going back to the top will be fine. But why would AEW settle for something we’ve seen recently, no matter how good it is? What’s different about Mox now, between his Blackpool Combat Club storyline, if he becomes the champion? His personality fights over his own works. And will he change it to champ? Count me out. If you have to win the title inside the BCC, give it to Bryan Danielson. He and Moxley are the two best in the barn? That would be great, if Moxley loses. And Danielson vs. Tanahashi would be awesome.
Like Danielson, a lot of good options exist in AEW to be its next champion. There is only one perfect choice. A working shooting ad that delivers epic proportions is extremely rare in professional wrestling. The last one before MJF’s was apparently, and coincidentally, CM Punk’s “tube bomb” from June 2011 where he expressed his grievances against his employer similar to MJF. Punk’s personality blends fourth wall breaking and on-camera canon in a solid style. Va no multi-activity. Later that year, Punk began his 434-day WWE Championship reign.
AEW now has the opportunity to make a similar plot, one of WWE’s best since the turn of the century, better. What better way for the MJF to give Khan and every employee in it a middle finger from the top down? He will hold the company hostage with his most valuable asset in hand. Do not like it? Try to beat him. MJF can easily prove his worth in the squared circle and hold the interim championship position until Punk comes back. All of that sounds similar to a Ring of Honor storyline ending with Kevin (Owens) Steen as the wildcard champion.
Punk’s feud with MJF preceded his title chances and included his only loss in the ring to the hopeful interim champion since his return to professional wrestling in August 2018. last. MJF would have been at the top of the company without Punk, but with a giant asterisk, would have served as the final lever that kept Khan from actually recognizing AEW as MJF territory. And guess? There’s no public timeline for Punk’s return, but whenever it does, MJF needs to win that unification match with full funding.
AEW has plenty of time to build a star that can beat MJF, which will be an extraordinary opportunity for an ultimate hero. Until then, it’s time for Max to shine. Imagine how many great matches it would lead to: another one with Wardlow, who just beat him. Easy MJF at Double or nothing, Kenny Omega returns, Danielson in the “World’s Best vs. “Better Than You” confrontation, Eddie Kingston and many more. Anything else won’t compare.