In a shockingly brief match, Jon Moxley dominated and defeated CM Punk to become the official AEW World Champion in a title unification match. The match lasted less than ten minutes when Punk appeared to injure his surgically-repaired foot. Moxley took advantage and quickly dispatched Punk in a one-sided match that must have given Punk flashbacks to his time in UFC.
It's hard to say for sure what led to the outcome tonight. Rumors have swirled since last week when Punk reportedly made shoot comments on former AEW Champion Hangman Adam Page, leading to questions about whether Punk had become disillusioned with AEW and "lost his smile," and, if he was, whether "cool boss" Tony Khan was even capable of reigning Punk in. At the same time, there are those who believe the whole thing was a work. A third theory is that maybe Punk's injury will take longer than originally thought to fully recover from and he decided to put over Moxley fully until he can come back. Try this one on for size: maybe all the heat last week was really a work to make sure people would cheer a Moxley title win.
Whatever the case, Punk showed up and put over Moxley, with commentary attributing the loss to Punk's injury and perhaps coming back too soon, and this will be all anyone is talking about for the next week. While it's sad that Punk's championship run never had the chance to really get started, it's great for Moxley, whose first championship run started right before the coronavirus pandemic shut down live audiences, and who now gets to have a do-over without the "interim" label. Punk, meanwhile, has an obvious path to a rematch when (if?) he returns.
After the match, Moxley cut a firey promo about his victory and performed a rendition of John Cena's theme song. Watch that, and highlights — what highlights there were — from Punk vs. Moxley below.