All Out was a stellar show packed with high-end matches, but all AEW fans seem to be paying attention to is CM Punk’s media scrum and the aftermath.
All Out was a stellar pay-per-view right when AEW needed it most, but instead of fans focusing on the in-ring action, all anyone is talking about is CM Punk’s media scrum and the subsequent physical fallout. The situation between The Voice Of The Voiceless and AEW EVPs (plus Hangman Adam Page) is getting so multi-layered that a CliffsNotes version has become impossible to produce. For the uninitiated, know that Punk and the Being The Elite guys have heat with each other that dates back to 2019 and that it only just now truly came to a head following the All Out media gathering.
It’s truly a shame because All Out was the kind of show that reminded fans why they fell in love with AEW in the first place. With WWE picking up steam every week under the guidance of Triple H, the pressure is on Tony Khan and the All Elite Wrestling roster to pick up the pace and put on high-end matches with intriguing storylines. The September 4 pay-per-view delivered that even if the road to Punk Vs. Jon Moxley was a little wonky.
Fans ought to be on Twitter and Reddit discussing whether or not The Acclaimed should have beaten Swerve In Our Glory for the tag-team titles. Those four men pieced together one of the best bouts in AEW pay-per-view history, but it might as well have never happened, based on where all the eyeballs are. Toni Storm’s long and arduous road to championship gold came to a head at All Out, yet no one seems to be celebrating. Kenny Omega’s incredibly painful and challenging rehab from multiple injuries culminated in him winning the trios titles with his good friends, The Young Bucks. It’s a moment they’ve been dreaming about since AEW came into existence three years ago. That isn’t why the Being The Elite crew has been trending for the last day, though.
Backstage Drama Can’t Be Center Stage For AEW
(The following video contains a ton of adult language and is NSFW)
Instead, all fans have been concerned with is Punk’s media scrum and the fight that reportedly broke out after. That’s not hyperbole, either. Google search trends aren’t the end-all, be-all of interest, but it’s a pretty good proxy for what the general public is interested in at any given time. Over the last 24 hours, 14 of the top 25 most-searched phrases next to AEW are related to the media scrum and the brawl that happened after. It isn’t until the 22nd-most searched phrase (aew all out results) that something about the pay-per-view itself appears in the zeitgeist. No one else on the card pops up. Not even Omega, The Young Bucks, or Jon Moxley.
A glance at AEW’s subreddit and the SquaredCircle subreddit show the same thing. No one is talking about how excited they are for MJF to be back after more than three months. Or what’s next for Moxley, or whether or not The Acclaimed Vs. Swerve In Our Glory II will happen soon. All the focus is on Punk’s harsh words and the backstage response they drew. It’s tough to call it anything besides bush league when the world champion enflames AEW executives so severely that it comes to blows. This might happen in WWE sometimes, but it doesn’t become the center of attention. Not like it has with AEW following All Out. That isn’t a sustainable model, and Tony Khan and Co. need to get a handle on these situations before it truly is too late.