Why AEW Has Just Pulled Off The Mother Of All Game-Changers

CM Punk and Daniel Bryan: the elusive bridge to the last lapsed fans?

cm punk daniel bryan
WWE

The word "surely" has reverberated around the pro wrestling fandom in recent months.

Surely, AEW Dynamite is on track to defeat WWE RAW consistently in the 18-49 Nielsen demographic and maybe even in overall viewership. The former already happened last week in the male demo, and there's a creeping sense that things are changing. Put simply: one show is too good, and one too sh*tty, for it not to happen. It's not just an incredulous, romantic, how-can-it-not notion, either.

With the wild news that broke yesterday, "surely" has never felt more viable: per Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful and Bodyslam's Cassidy Haynes respectively, AEW are set to bring in CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter hasn't confirmed Haynes' report, but has said on Observer Radio that "all signs point to the deal being done". It was Meltzer himself who speculated that Bryan was AEW-bound a few weeks back before a firmer report surfaced overnight. Nothing is yet official. The Punk deal in particular is always going to feel more precarious from the outside looking in; it was reported in July 2019 that neither party was on good terms. Punk ribbed Cody for allegedly texting him in an offer, if you recall.

These reports do however align with Tony Khan's cryptic teases that he has more than one major surprise lined up over the next few months, and AEW is the listening company. He knows better than to tempt fate with a Christian Cage-level name, not that Cage hasn't slotted in very well subsequently.

But if it does happen, Jesus Christ.

CONT'D...(1 of 6)

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Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!