CM Punk returned to AEW two weeks ago after a spell on the sidelines, seemingly setting up a showdown to crown the one true champion at All Out. That wasn’t the plan as was revealed shortly after. Punk and Interim Champion Jon Moxley’s unification match was announced for Dynamite instead. Wednesday’s Dynamite, and now AEW once again has just one World Champion.
That man is Moxley, and the surprises kept on coming before and after the match. The first surprise was that not only was AEW not saving what was arguably one of the biggest matches in its short history for a PPV, but it didn’t even save it for Dynamite’s main event. Moxley’s music hit midway through the show, indicating the match was about to begin at the halfway point.
Both Punk and Moxley proudly held their respective titles aloft as the announcers promised multiple times that AEW would stick with the action for as long as it takes. A sign to some that the match might go the full second hour and other scheduled bouts would need to be pushed. It was the exact opposite of that. Moxley beat Punk shockingly quickly, solidifying himself as AEW’s one true champion.
CM Punk appeared to re-injure his leg in the closing stages of the very short match.
Punk hit Moxley in the side of the head with a well-placed roundhouse kick during the early goings, and even though it sent Mox to the mat, Punk also went down like a shot too. As soon as Punk landed, he clutched his standing leg, the same one he injured. That opened the door for Moxley to take the advantage, dominating Punk from there on in which wasn’t long at all.
Mox took his title and celebrated in the crowd as Punk was helped to the back. What remains unclear hours after the match is whether Punk’s injury was legitimate or not. This whole situation has been entirely unpredictable and a little bit bizarre from the moment Punk returned.
Despite Jon Moxley winning the AEW World Championship unification match in dominant fashion on “AEW Dynamite” this week, the planned main event for the upcoming All Out PPV has supposedly remained unchanged. According to Dave Meltzer on the latest “Wrestling Observer Radio,” the match slated to headline the show next Sunday is still Moxley vs. CM Punk for the AEW World Championship, though it’s unknown if any stipulations will be getting added.
It had been reported before the unification match happened that the two men would meet for the unified title at All Out, which many fans expected to be their first collision in AEW, but after the way their encounter was booked on “AEW Dynamite,” doubts began to creep in. While some sort of outside angle or controversial finish was widely expected to setup a rematch at the PPV, that was not the case, as Moxley picked up the victory clean. Punk connected with a kick at the start of the match, then began selling a foot injury — the reason he’s been off television for several months, and the reason Moxley became Interim Champion in the first place.
From there, Moxley focused on the foot and secured a quick, clean win in just over three minutes, to the surprise of everyone watching. Punk was helped to the back by doctors, while Moxley cut a passionate promo about how it’s his time, but no official announcement or angle was done to set up a potential rematch. With the PPV taking place on Sunday, September 4, that leaves just one more episode of “AEW Dynamite,” as well as two episodes of “AEW Rampage,” for Tony Khan to get the match booked if it is, in fact, still taking place.