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CM Punk defeated “Hangman” Adam Page at Double or Nothing on Sunday night to win the AEW World Championship for the first time.
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CM PUNK WINS THE AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 🏆 pic.twitter.com/KHqSLWW3WW
Page didn’t land the full Buckshot Lariat but connected with a thunderous lariat on Punk that might have won him the match had the referee not been inadvertently taken out.
The champion picked up the title belt and briefly grappled with whether to embrace his dark side and take out the challenger for good. Page ultimately put the belt aside and lined up another Buckshot Lariat.
However, Punk caught him and hit the GTS for the victory.
Punk has progressively worked his way up the ladder in All Elite Wrestling and established himself as a world title contender since ending his seven-year hiatus from pro wrestling in August.
Darby Allin, Eddie Kingston and Wardlow were just a few of the opponents The Best in the World defeated en route to a title opportunity. He also got retribution for his first AEW loss to MJF by beating him in a dog collar match at Revolution in March.
After beating MJF, Punk made it clear that he was interested in pursuing the AEW World Championship and was eventually given that chance.
In the wake of the former WWE Superstar winning a match against Dustin Rhodes on the April 20 episode of Dynamite, he and Page crossed paths on the ramp, leading to a staredown.
Given his status as the No. 1-ranked male singles wrestler in AEW, Punk was granted his title shot shortly thereafter.
While the 43-year-old was a sentimental favorite to reach the top of the mountain in AEW, he was far from guaranteed to do so given everything Page went through to win the title and keep it.
Hangman wanted the AEW World Championship from the time the promotion started, but it wasn’t until he beat Kenny Omega at Full Gear in November that he finally got it.
Since then, Page has faced and beaten all comers, including Bryan Danielson, Lance Archer and Adam Cole.
Leading up to Double or Nothing, Punk and Page both cut passionate promos about why they had to win at the pay-per-view.
Punk noted that he respected Page, but he wanted to prove he could still compete at the highest level. Meanwhile, Hangman expressed his desire to “destroy” and “embarrass” his opponent.
Ultimately, it was Punk who prevailed at Double or Nothing, making him the fifth different AEW world champion in the company’s history and marking the start of his first world title reign since dropping the WWE Championship in 2013.
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