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Jon Moxley Defeats CM Punk in AEW World Title Unification Match on Dynamite

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2022

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

All Elite Wrestling interim world champion Jon Moxley defeated AEW world champion CM Punk in an AEW World Championship unification match on Wednesday night's episode of Dynamite to officially become the first-ever two-time AEW world champion.

B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

UNDISPUTED CHAMP πŸ†<br><br>Jon Moxley defeats CM Punk to become Undisputed <a href="https://twitter.com/AEW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AEW</a> World Champion <a href="https://t.co/r4PkICkW5E">pic.twitter.com/r4PkICkW5E</a>

Punk hit Moxley with a roundhouse kick early, but he appeared to re-injure his left foot while doing so.

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

Did CM Punk just re-injure his foot in these early minutes?! Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/gTiqp9dRL0">pic.twitter.com/gTiqp9dRL0</a>

That opened the door for Moxley to dominate Punk in this match. He finished him off with a Paradigm Shift for the win and the belt:

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

UNDISPUTED <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEW?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEW</a> WORLD CHAMPION JON MOXLEY! It’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/CNHoCjaAqK">pic.twitter.com/CNHoCjaAqK</a>

Moxley celebrated the victory in the crowd, while Punk had to be helped to the back.

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

The undisputed <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEW?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEW</a> World Champion Jon Moxley celebrates, while a heartbroken CM Punk is helped out of the arena. Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/aQZxAPOlM4">pic.twitter.com/aQZxAPOlM4</a>

The path to the unification bout began shortly after Punk beat "Hangman" Adam Page for the AEW world title at Double or Nothing in May. Punk suffered an injury either during or some time after the match, forcing him to take some time off.

Five days after Double or Nothing, Punk announced he was going on the shelf, but he noted that AEW president Tony Khan would not allow him to vacate the AEW World Championship. Instead, an interim champion would be determined.

On a subsequent episode of Dynamite, a battle royal was held, with the winner going on to face Moxley in the main event. Kyle O'Reilly was victorious in the battle royal, but he fell to Mox.

Then, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Hirooki Goto faced each other in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and the winner would then clash with Moxley at Forbidden Door for the AEW interim world title.

Tanahashi defeated Goto and gave Mox a run for his money at Forbidden Door, but it was Moxley who prevailed and added an interim AEW world title to a resume that already included holding the AEW World Championship.

On the Aug. 10 episode of Dynamite, Moxley put the interim title on the line against Chris Jericho, who was the wrestler he defeated to win the AEW World Championship in 2020.

After Moxley retained, the Jericho Appreciation Society attacked him, which led to Punk making his anticipated return by fending off Jericho and his goons.

Punk and Moxley are two of the most popular wrestlers in AEW and pro wrestling as a whole, meaning the fanbase was somewhat torn on who to support leading up to their clash.

Regardless, there was palpable excitement since Punk is arguably the face of AEW, and there was undoubtedly something missing from the product while he was gone.

Punk's status as AEW's top guy took a hit on Dynamite, however, as Moxley scored the victory and officially signaled the beginning of his second reign as the undisputed AEW world champion.

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