THOUGHTS | THE ALL-OUT MEDIA SCRUM AFTERMATH
For those who don't know what this is all about, here's the Denise Salcedo clip from when she just had her camera in Zapruder mode to capture this "elite" bit of wrestling history.
So here's the short version - CM Punk called out Hangman Page and the rest of the AEW EVPs because they had Page going into business for himself and they just let him be without any reprimand whats-so-ever. Also, CM Punk had a vendetta with the wrestling journalists who reported on this rumor that he used his political clout to remove Colt Cabana from the AEW main show.
And then a brawl happened to the delight of Jim Cornette and me... because Corny and Brian Last going apeshit on Kenny Olivier and the Kukamonga Kids is awesome.
Now, here's my take on this.
Yes, I am just a wrestling fan.
With that said...
Punk's gripe is never 100 percent with Hangman Page - this I believe is his smokescreen. Reports suggest that Page had already left the arena because some woman gave him a bottle of whiskey and he and the rest of FTR thought it was a good idea to consume it.
Yes, Hangman gave the speech but he's just following the marching orders.
So what happens now?
This beef was always between Punk and the "management". Up until late 2021, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have been the darling of Tony Khan's eyes. Then CM Punk un-retired. Punk thrived in the spotlight and at the same time, WWE was destroying their selves from within. The recent wave of releases decimated their main roster and while most of the wrestlers jumped to AEW, the roster all of a sudden became overloaded. Some of the former WWE wrestlers were virtually in the same position. Also, because of the AEW style of wrestling, most big names were injured. Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly have been "busts" with Andrade El Idolo, Malakai Black, Samoa Joe, Keith Lee, and Jay Lethal also in the same conversation.
Yes, Lee is a tag team champion but he is also barely featured as a top singles star prior to his team-up with Swerve.
The thing that messed things up though is when Cody Rhodes departed from the company. Of all the EVPs, Cody Rhodes handled the job to the best of his abilities. While the Bucks are busy with their Youtube show and Omega was wasting away Tony Khan's money because he can't get the game developers to follow his bidding, Cody was creating content and is probably the chief mediator between the indie guys and the WWE guys - since he has been to both worlds.
His departure from the company made the locker room atmosphere a bit tense and little by little, the spots were seen. All of a sudden, the AEW Dark guys never saw improvement in their standing. Women's wrestling is still lagging. Worse, factions arose. It also didn't help that the perceived stars took a step down from the main event scene. Yes, Kenny Omega is injured but all of a sudden, Bryan Danielson is part of a group alongside Jon Moxley, and the MJF and Wardlow storyline fizzled (in some ways, due to Cody Rhodes returning to WWE as a big deal) and this was when they gave the belt to Hangman Page and the belt felt like a secondary title.
Again, you have websites that can put you up to speed on the happenings.
CM Punk is basically the Michael Jordan of his team. He was acquired from free agency to beat the other team - then in their rebuilding phase. At first, Punk and The Elite were happy to co-exist but like most forced alliances, internal problems arose. Don't think for one second that Hangman gave that promo only thinking about himself. Of the Elite members, he is the only one without the EVP status. At this point, it's right for the Elite to send the lackey to do their bidding.
In case you're wondering why Page never charged Punk when he did that in-ring promo, it's because that is not his problem. In the first AEW Dynamite after the media scrum, Page is seen as one of the people invited to challenge in the tournament. Sure, he lost the chance to Danielson but he also continued his main event rise.
Khan is a sports guy and he knows about egos. In the presser, people are looking at him as if he's weak but right then and there, you can see Khan acting like the owner who could care less about his stature for the sake of giving his star player everything he wants. Omega and the Bucks will always be there on his side because not only are they employed by him, it's because they may have had some sort of internal discussion that Punk is bulletproof.
This is why Punk, up to this day, remains without the suspension tag. Also, apart from the legal implications, there is a reason why most of the management team got suspended. They might say that Punk suffered the injury from the Moxley match but Punk can always say that he got the injury from the unsafe workplace created by the heads of the company.
When Michael Jordan was suspended for his alleged gambling problem, the NBA shielded his stature by just making this his first "retirement". Again, all the top stars have grade-A skills and even bigger egos. The difference between Punk and The Elite is that he is a universally loved attraction. Basically, he's as larger than life as Brock Lesnar in the scheme of things in AEW and I doubt if they have a star of his magnitude for the next six to eight months.
First of all, with the current AEW setup that their episodic specials are better booked than their pay-per-views, I doubt if they have something better once the return of CM Punk is there.
The other thing? Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have gone stale - admit it or not. They also have a limited locker room to take on which is why they needed to import their opponents. The Forbidden Door emits a certain amount of characters once or twice a month and it also helped the reason why AEW failed to develop their other stars.
With that said, I guess the media scrum is the best thing AEW can do to battle WWE. Again, Tony Khan is a sports guy, and while I have been giving NBA themes as examples.
Well, here's another NBA example.
I don't really know much about American football.
When the Los Angeles Lakers were saddled with injuries and basically shoving Russell Westbrook under the bus, they are the league's most talked about team up until the NBA Playoffs. And then, when the Golden State Warriors captured the NBA title, they were displaced a couple of months later by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's preseason status.
Punk gave Khan a gift with this media scrum and it derailed Triple H's WWE landscape. The only way you can stop their momentum is by having this. Yes, this is a crappy way to get hold of the spotlight but I guess the only way for WWE to fight back is to have Bray Wyatt appear in Smackdown. The media scrum is wrestling's talk of the town and this has no timeslot.
Again, star players have egos but star players always have an ace in their sleeve to get things done.