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CM Punk & Bryan Danielson to AEW?

(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

Lots of chatter over the past week of CM Punk and Bryan Danielson both signing with AEW.

If true, that's cool. I'm not the biggest fan of Punk, but sure it'd be cool to see him wrestle a match again.

But I'm also seeing a lot of expectations that don't seem realistic to me. I don't see the combination of the two propelling Dynamite ratings a ton. I don't see either or both bringing a few hundred thousand eyeballs with them that will stick around.

That's not a knock on them, or AEW. But even Lesnar, Rock and Cena returns barely move the needle too much in WWE and certainly not for the long run.

I do wish WWE would've been able to retain Danielson. The dude is great, but can also be reckless with his body. With his issues, I feel like WWE would've done the best job of restricting him to not go balls to the wall. Just feels like it'll only be a matter of time before he injures himself in AEW (or NJPW), but hopefully not. Would like to think he'd know to tone it down himself.

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Topic starter Posted : July 25, 2021 10:55 PM
Jules and Eric W. liked
(@jules)
Moderator

So it looks like tonight will be the debut of Punk in AEW. Now very curious how they will space out the debut of Bryan. 

Very interesting opportunity here. Do the right thing and they have lightning in a bottle, but botch it up and Punk can easily become just another guy, definitely of more value than your average midcarder but AEW has enough legend announcers.

One problem looking from a distance is AEW lacks a true franchise heel. Their fans love Omega and no matter how you book him he's the golden child. Cody is equally liked by a different part of the audience and even those who don't love him certainly don't hate him. 

If Punk returned to WWE and dropped Triple H or Roman Reigns with a GTS, that's an instant moment and sets up a program that even casual fans wouldn't need explaining.  

AEW doesn't have a similar equal opportunity that I can see and that's something IMO they need to address. 

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Posted : August 20, 2021 8:39 AM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

I'd argue MJF is one of the top heels in wrestling.  He's been a little more subdued this year with being tied up with Jericho but now that he's 3-0 against him I feel it's time for him to move on.  MJF also has been booked incredibly strong in AEW with only one singles loss and is was due to "cheating" by Jon Moxley.

Speaking of Mox, I think that's Punk's first opponent.  Mox just cut a promo seeming bitter about guys jumping to AEW now that it's the cool thing to do and while he was talking about his opponent tonight there are definite seeds there.  Also convenient that Mox is on this same show.  He's a face but would call him more of a tweener so a feud with Punk works fine without forcing Mox to be a heel, which would also work.  Also though I want to see MJF vs Punk eventually because the promos alone would be amazing.

As for Bryan last rumor was he would debut at the New York show in September for AEW.

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Posted : August 20, 2021 5:23 PM
Jules liked
(@q5676)
Trusted Member Admin

Punk came back and that crowd was lit up for him. Hard to believe it's been 7 years already. Hopefully he and Danielson can stay healthy.  

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Posted : August 20, 2021 9:25 PM
(@sandman)
Trusted Member

Now I just hope he goes over Darby at All Out.  There's a litany of reasons why he should, but the fact that it's in Chicago and people may not make it out alive if Darby wins hopefully locks it in, lol.

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Posted : August 21, 2021 11:09 AM
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

I know, it seems like I'm overly harsh on AEW and that I'm just a jaded wrestling fan who's hating on the cool thing, but last night didn't blow me away.

The promo was nothing special, certainly not industry changing. A moment, sure, but the grown man crying about it was surely a Biden voter if ever one existed.

No matter how badly some folks wish it were, this is not the 90s. CM Punk showing up in AEW after being away from wrestling for 7 years isn't Razor Ramon showing up on Nitro.

Sadly WWE has little to no reason to care. They aren't on the same night, WWE gets a tremendous amount of money from both FOX and USA to produce their subpar product, and they aren't in the pay-per-view game anymore. Nitro and RAW were competition, Saturday Night and Action Zone weren't.

And while I don't care, the over-hyped praise AEW gets online for literally everything they do is annoying to me. All Out's going to have a 47-year-old that just returned to wrestling this year wrestling for the the championship. An almost 43-year-old Punk is going to come in and beat young Darby. I've seen plenty of people complain about WWE's big SummerSlam featuring old Goldberg and Cena coming back... I guess Christian and Punk are leaders of some new youth movement.

Now I'm not a Darby fan, nor do I think Punk should lose his first match, but given the way they've booked Darby I don't think him losing to Punk in his first wrestling match in seven years helps him. Don't care if it goes 40 minutes; a loss is a loss and carries with it the "I can come in off the street after years and do this better than you who have doing it weekly for years can" mantra. 

Andrade, another WWE guy, comes in get a match at All Out.

Let's just look at the announced card for All Out right now:

Omega vs Christian
Pac vs. Andrade
QT Marshall vs. Paul Wight
Darby Allin vs. CM Punk

Bring in Bryan Danielson, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman. Hell, get Brock Lesnar.

How is not the same thing CM Punk whined about in WWE a decade ago? 

The have over 80 men signed to the roster right now... how many do you need for three hours of TV when you already have plenty that only ever see action on YouTube shows that are way too bloated?

When's the last time Hikaru Shida, who just happens to be my favorite in the whole company, had a match on Dynamite?

With all the talk about creative freedom, it's okay for a garbage wrestler like Nick Gage to show up and send glass flying into the crowd, but Max Caster gets benched and sent to "sensitivity training" because he made a "rape joke" on a YouTube show?

Think that would happen to Mox, Punk, Jericho or any of those guys if they said what Caster said?

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Topic starter Posted : August 21, 2021 12:46 PM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

I know, it seems like I'm overly harsh on AEW and that I'm just a jaded wrestling fan who's hating on the cool thing, but last night didn't blow me away.

The promo was nothing special, certainly not industry changing. A moment, sure, but the grown man crying about it was surely a Biden voter if ever one existed.

No matter how badly some folks wish it were, this is not the 90s. CM Punk showing up in AEW after being away from wrestling for 7 years isn't Razor Ramon showing up on Nitro.

The promo wasn't supposed to be anything special, it quite literally was a thank you to fans and formerly announcing his signing.  It remains to be seen the long term effects but it's certainly going to draw in more eyeballs.    The clip on AEW's Youtube channel already has 2.7 million views in 15 hours.  So it's undeniable that the moment was pretty big and is drawing more eyeballs.  Will those eyeballs watch the product, some will some won't. 

Regardless of what you think of Punk, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger more sustained ovation. 

And while I don't care, the over-hyped praise AEW gets online for literally everything they do is annoying to me. All Out's going to have a 47-year-old that just returned to wrestling this year wrestling for the the championship. An almost 43-year-old Punk is going to come in and beat young Darby. I've seen plenty of people complain about WWE's big SummerSlam featuring old Goldberg and Cena coming back... I guess Christian and Punk are leaders of some new youth movement.

I think you are missing the point.  If Goldberg was capable of putting on matches even up to the low standard he had established in his career nobody would care about his age.  His age becomes the sticking point when you get in the ring and not only have subpar matches but are putting your opponent in danger because of not being physically able to do what you are attempting.  Lashley is 45 but damn if you'd know it. Same with Steamboat.  Nobody whined about Steamboat's brief comeback because he could perform.

I don't have an issue with Cena coming back as he'll always be an attraction like the Rock.  The issue is when you lean too heavily on the attractions which WWE in particular has been guilty of come Wrestlemania season in the past.

Now I'm not a Darby fan, nor do I think Punk should lose his first match, but given the way they've booked Darby I don't think him losing to Punk in his first wrestling match in seven years helps him. Don't care if it goes 40 minutes; a loss is a loss and carries with it the "I can come in off the street after years and do this better than you who have doing it weekly for years can" mantra.

Andrade, another WWE guy, comes in get a match at All Out.

Let's just look at the announced card for All Out right now:

Omega vs Christian
Pac vs. Andrade
QT Marshall vs. Paul Wight
Darby Allin vs. CM Punk

Bring in Bryan Danielson, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman. Hell, get Brock Lesnar.

How is not the same thing CM Punk whined about in WWE a decade ago?

I could do with out QT vs Wight but I get it and it'll be short and I'd prefer they had pulled the trigger on Omega vs Page but I have no issue with the card.

Punk's issue was with part timers, all of those guys on the card minus Wight are full time performers.  Given it'll be Punk's return but the selling point is just that in his case.  Also the logic is flawed.  Hypothetically if Rock became a full time performer again WWE isn't going to bring him in and immediately job him in his first match to anybody.  Saying Darby having a match with Punk and losing doesn't help him is just wrong.  Darby right now is basically a midcard to upper midcard act.  Having a competitive match with a main event talent is going to elevate him further.

The have over 80 men signed to the roster right now... how many do you need for three hours of TV when you already have plenty that only ever see action on YouTube shows that are way too bloated?

When's the last time Hikaru Shida, who just happens to be my favorite in the whole company, had a match on Dynamite?

The roster is a little hefty for sure but I think a lot of it is bottom heavy as they clearly want to build a solid development pool for the Youtube shows.  The shows are solid but as we've talked before even as a big AEW fan it's hard to commit to that much wrestling.

I'll actually agree with you 1000% on Shida.  It's criminal how much she carried that division and has basically disappeared to Dark since losing the belt.  They are slowly building a decent women's roster but they need to start booking more stories on their televised product for them. 

With all the talk about creative freedom, it's okay for a garbage wrestler like Nick Gage to show up and send glass flying into the crowd, but Max Caster gets benched and sent to "sensitivity training" because he made a "rape joke" on a YouTube show?

Think that would happen to Mox, Punk, Jericho or any of those guys if they said what Caster said?

I'd imagine/hope Gage was a one and done more for the shock value.  Yeah I know I brought it up before but I'd expect they won't use glass again.

The Caster thing is stupid but at least they are consistent as Sammy got a time out for his rape joke as well.

 

The short version, I get it you don't like AEW and you don't particular care for Punk.  You can't deny though that signing Punk is a big deal in the current wrestling climate no matter who the company was.  You also can't deny that the fans blew the roof off the place last night.  Your feelings beyond that obviously are your opinion which you are entitled to and I respect but I will also respectfully disagree with you on some points.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago 2 times by THE MONKEY
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Posted : August 21, 2021 2:02 PM
Sandman liked
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

I don't have a problem with AEW nearly as much as I have a problem with a lot of AEW fans and the wrestling media.

I would have less of a problem with AEW if the people running it would just focus on their product, and not run their mouths so much about what another company does or says.

I don't even dislike Punk as a performer; used to be a Punk fan. Punk's return was a moment, and I took nothing away from his ovation. As far as return goes, it was exactly what it needed to be and they did a good job with it.

My saying the promo was nothing special was because looking at wrestling places online and some of the news sites, were treating it as if it was the greatest thing that I had ever happened in wrestling. "Industry changing." "I watched the entrance and speech 10 times already and still get goosebumps." "Vince McMahon is shitting himself."

I will say that I didn't particularly care about the line that he left wrestling in 2005 and is now back. AEW is every bit the sports-entertainment that WWE is. You can have issues with the company, but don't pretend like that many people would be remotely interested in a CM Punk return in 2021 if WWE hadn't actually pushed him and made him a main event star.

I think you are missing the point. 

I get it. It's not apples to apples and I don't mean match quality. And yes, Goldberg and Cena will both be gone again after tonight.

Full time or not, AEW gets no flack for the amount of 40+ year-olds they have while its constantly used as a criticism against WWE.

We see it every time WWE releases a younger talent.

And I know that Punk's statements back then were about part-timers coming in and taking spots a few times a year. But even with that being the case, he wasn't getting bumped off the card entirely his match just wasn't the main event.

Saying Darby having a match with Punk and losing doesn't help him is just wrong.  Darby right now is basically a midcard to upper midcard act.  Having a competitive match with a main event talent is going to elevate him further.

I don't disagree with that entirely. Like I said, I don't think Punk should lose. But, even though I don't like him, they've done a solid job of building up Darby and I don't see the logic in making him Punk's first match in seven years. It's face vs face, old vs young, guy who hasn't wrestled in seven years vs guy we've booked to where you have to damn near kill him to beat.

IMO, someone like Ethan Page or Scorpio Sky would've been a better first match for Punk.

I think Punk coming to AEW is all around a good thing. I don't dislike AEW. It's a better show than RAW, easily. For a number of reasons though, I don't think it is remotely as industry changing as Hall and Nash on Nitro (or even Luger on Nitro for that matter) and I see a lot of people trying to paint it as being as big or bigger than that.

Just don't like certain aspects of AEW, a lot of which are exactly the same things I don't like about WWE.

But I realize I'm also old man yelling at clouds because the wrestling style and presentation I like best is long gone and not coming back.

 

 
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Topic starter Posted : August 21, 2021 5:01 PM
(@sandman)
Trusted Member

Yeah, the issue with Goldberg is that every time he picks someone up, I fully expect to witness that person's life become ruined, if not ended within the next few seconds.  If he could actually still do what he used to do, as Monk said, there'd be a lot less complaining about it.

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Posted : August 21, 2021 5:14 PM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

Yeah I definitely disagree with any fans who have a problem with older guys sticking around when they can have good matches.  Sting is 62 and obviously he's limited and outside the table bump no sell (it's Sting I'll allow it once lol) he's presented in a fun way at least.  He's not out there trying to do things outside of what he's physically capable of and thus has safe fun matches.  Goldberg actually makes me nervous as a fan.  We talk crap but as fans none of us want to see somebody hurt in the ring.  Multiple times now it's seemed like he could hurt someone with the Jackhammer, so it needs to be removed from his arsenal.  He can't have long drawn out matches so maybe having some no rules brawls is better suited for him.  That would allow for some smoke and mirrors to hide his deficiencies.

On some level I am hoping Punk goes heel as I think he plays a great one.  I know on his return it would have been impossible to not get a pop but I hope we make it down that road eventually.  I wouldn't have been mad about Ethan Page or Scorpio Sky clashing with Punk but I also want those guys to make some traction as they've been just kind of spinning wheels.  Hopefully they don't just get run over by Archer.  I like Archer but it won't hurt him to lose a competitive bout.

Hall and Nash's debut will never be replicated sadly.  Even if wrestling's popularity reached that levels it'd be impossible for fans as a whole to think guys from another company are essentially staging a takeover.  Will Punk's debut be industry changing?  Probably not but it could be company changing.  That's the big thing the 1-2 punch of adding CM Punk and Daniel Bryan immediately gives AEW more credibility and draws more eyeballs.  Is Dynamite going to suddenly be drawing Smackdown numbers?  Doubtful but you have to start somewhere.

In terms of people online....Riot you know better than to read stuff online lol.  Average online wrestling fans have to take everything to the extreme.   WWE fans have to shit on AEW, AEW fans have to shit on WWE and both have to exaggerate anything to try and one up the other. 

AEW for all it's flaws is fun and right now the audience is having fun.  I just hope they continue to build off this momentum and tighten the areas that need to be tightened. 

 

 

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Posted : August 21, 2021 5:55 PM
Sandman liked
(@jules)
Moderator

I'm actually perfectly good with how they handled the return. That babyface pop was in the top 2 or 3 wrestling moments of the last decade. Like Daniel Bryan winning the title at WM30, Edge returning at the Rumble, and that Punk return. Probably forgetting some others, but they had the perfect storm of a major star, in his hometown, and the payoff to a long absence which many thought was going to a permanent one. AEW has crazy momentum right now. Hopefully they don't screw it up.

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Posted : August 22, 2021 11:59 AM
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