After one of the wildest weekends in recent wrestling history, WWE and All Elite Wrestling are moving forward through the rest of 2022 with several major questions left to be answered.
In AEW, the chaos that reigned following Sunday’s All Out pay-per-view and CM Punk’s comments during a press conference created a buzz around the company. As a result, many are asking if it can survive such a tumultuous time.
Meanwhile, WWE is carrying momentum after Triple H took control of creative and started bringing former Superstars back. Unfortunately, the terrible booking decision letting Roman Reigns beat Drew McIntyre nullified much of the goodwill from the WWE Universe.
Here are some of the looming questions in the industry for the rest of the year.
Will AEW Survive the Chaos?
Following a successful All Out, Punk went on a tirade that took aim at several of the biggest names in the company, including Adam Page, Kenny Omega and Matt and Nick Jackson.
According to the Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer, a physical altercation occurred between Punk, Omega, The Young Bucks and producer Ace Steel. The report also claimed some or all of the people involved were suspended by AEW President Tony Khan.
While everyone is talking about AEW, there are serious questions about how the company recovers from a major spat that included the world champion and three executive vice presidents. Add in the fact that all of the aforementioned talents had their titles stripped shows just how serious the situation has become.
Whatever actually happened behind the scenes, this is far from an isolated incident in wrestling, which has been plagued by giant egos and physical altercations—either confirmed or rumored—for years.
From Bret Hart punching Vince McMahon after the Montreal Screwjob to the Plane Ride from Hell to Booker T and Batista throwing hands backstage, confrontations are not uncommon. While a physical altercation should not be acceptable, it won’t be the end of AEW as we know it.
The key will be Khan regaining control of his company and its roster. Once he establishes a clearer set of protocols and expectations, and squashes any beef between the parties involved backstage, he should turn this into a storyline and capitalize on the attention.
With fans leaning into storylines that blend reality with kayfabe, AEW could take this situation and turn it into the best angle since the company’s current world champ took his title and "left" WWE during the Summer of Punk.
Not only will AEW survive the chaos, but the company will also be stronger because of it.
Who Will Defeat Roman Reigns?
Triple H has made several positive changes to WWE programming since taking over for Vince McMahon, but the company made an unforgivable mistake when it let Reigns retain his title over McIntyre in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday night.
Instead of cementing the Scot as a top star and moving into the fall with him holding the undisputed titles, he will be cast aside to a midcard feud while Reigns and his stale storyline continue to drag on through the rest of 2022.
So, who has the momentum and clout needed to dethrone the champion?
There are a number of Superstars on the roster who have the support of the WWE Universe who could conceivably beat Reigns with the proper push, such as Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens or even Seth Rollins. Unfortunately, none of them feel like they’re worthy of taking the title as things stand.
With that in mind, the answer to who will take the title from The Tribal Chief may be someone not currently on the active roster. While fans fear the name Goldberg in a situation like this, the reality is that WWE could look at WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles and book The Rock as the man who ends Reigns’ run at the top.
Rumors have run rampant that The Great One would return to WWE for the marquee event, and the speculation is that he would challenge Reigns for his claim to be the leader of the Anoa'i family.
A bout between the two family members doesn’t need the belts on the line, but Triple H and WWE Creative have seemingly made the choice to keep the championship around Reigns’ waist for the foreseeable future.
If the company leaves the title on him until WrestleMania, his part-time schedule means the next several months of WWE programming are going to be monotonous and repetitive.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).