Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The worst possible scenario at the worst possible time

 "Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten us into!"---Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel, many times.

AEW CEO Tony Khan, whose family also owns the NFL's moribound Jacksonville Jaguars, has a mess on his hands with his 3 year old promotion.

Following Sunday's marathon All Out PPV in Chicago, things really got out of hand. Newly re-crowned champion and hometown hero CM Punk (Phil Brooks) lashed out at newly crowned trios champions Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), "Hangman" Adam Page, and former compadre and fellow Chicago native Colt Cabana (Scott Colton) during the post-show presser. Khan sat to Punk's left (viewer's right), and had to be shocked.

It got even worse after, with reports of a fight among Punk, Omega, and the Bucks. Rumors are these surrounding Punk:

1. He may have suffered a torn pectoral muscle.

2. His 2nd reign as champion may be a short one, with talk that he could be released as of tonight.

As of this morning, Omega, the Bucks, their respective hangers-on, Michael Nakazawa & Brandon Cutler, and agent-producers Pat Buck, Christopher Daniels, and Ace Steel, the latter another friend of Punk's, have been placed on suspension, and Moxley, along with Chris Jericho, has been summoned to Buffalo for tonight's episode of Dynamite, with the promotion's Albany debut at MVP Arena a week away.

For Khan, the timing couldn't be worse.

After Punk first won the title, he had to step aside due to a foot injury. A tournament was held to crown an interim champion, won by Moxley, who subsequently defeated Punk two weeks ago. Punk won the rematch on Sunday. Punk's comeback, which began last year after a 7 year hiatus, during which time he wrote comic books and dabbled in MMA, looks like it's stalled with a potentially burnt bridge if he & Khan agree to part ways. That means another tournament, almost certain to put the title on Long Island product Maxwell J. Friedman, who returned on Sunday after a prima donna episode of his own.

With a resurgent WWE under new management, AEW conceivably could be crumbling under the pressure. Albany native Bobby Fish was let go last week, but as of Monday was challenging Punk to a fight. Add to this the new management of Warner Bros Discovery, which already has fans fearing the worst, and suddenly, the future doesn't look so bright for AEW.

Part of what set Punk off were rumors he had something to do with Cabana being moved to the Ring of Honor roster (Khan acquired ROH from Sinclair Broadcasting earlier this year), something Punk denies. I'd venture to suggest that putting the trios titles on Omega & the Bucks, who double as officers in the company, wasn't a good idea, other than for public relations or stroking egos, or whatever other rationale possibly exists.

It might be worth watching Dynamite just for the drama.

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