Gut-punching news broke over the weekend, deflating the high surrounding All Elite Wrestling’s groundbreaking move to premium cable TV in the US: the highly-anticipated match between Hangman Page and PAC is no longer scheduled for Double Or Nothing. The cancellation, as first broken by Dave Meltzer, arose from “creative differences”. Immediately, the Dave Meltzer Derangement Syndrome quarters of Wrestling Twitter rinsed AEW for their apparent incompetence.
How could the company not know that PAC is unwilling to job as Dragon Gate’s Open The Dream Gate Champion? He hasn’t taken a clean loss on any of his UK dates. It must be a visa cover-up, etc.
On Sunday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, however, Meltzer broke down the situation thusly:
PAC was scheduled to wrestle Jody Fleisch and Robbie X for the WrestleGate promotion, before the write-off angle materialised as an open challenge. A flown-in Hangman Page answered. Page went over by disqualification, after which PAC Pillmanised his ankle and told his opponent that he only ever wished to hurt him. Having accomplished that, he refused to fly to Vegas, and he refused to compete for AEW.
This angle sought to explain the cancellation of the Double or Nothing match in kayfabe. In reality, as can most reasonably be inferred, PAC refused to play his prescribed role in AEW’s long-term plans. “New things came up very recently,” Meltzer wrote, cryptically, in response to a Twitter follower concerned by a possible lack of planning—or indeed competence—on AEW’s part. This might suggest that PAC had originally agreed to the finish upon initial negotiations, only to disrupt plans under two weeks ahead of the show.