AEW newcomer CM Punk says the arrival of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson to AEW from WWE dwarfs The Outsiders Kevin Nash and Scott Hall joining WCW.
In May 1996 the wrestling world was turned on its head when Scott Hall turned up unannounced on WCW Nitro. Two weeks later he was joined by another former WWF star in Kevin Nash who came to find out all about where the big boys play. Declaring themselves The Outsiders, the pair ran roughshod over WCW before forming the New World Order at Bash At The Beach 1996 when Hulk Hogan shockingly joined them.
After WCW’s demise in 2001, WWE has not felt the same level of competition that came from WCW until perhaps now. CM Punk, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson have all joined All Elite Wrestling in recent weeks seemingly setting the wrestling world on fire once again. While fans of a certain vintage may feel the likes of Hogan, Hall, and Nash leaving for pastures new in the nineties may have seen the bigger impact, CM Punk disagrees.
Speaking at the post-All Out media scrum, the former WWE Champion said:
“Gosh, obviously, I think it’s going to be very impactful. I’m not personally in the business of war. I know who competition is and who competition isn’t. To me, we focus on ourselves. We focus on the talent we have and we focus on the people in the building. I think that’s how we grow. It’s not about throwing stones. I know TNT loves ratings. I know everybody’s gonna look at stuff and compare the two. For a company that’s only been around for two years. I think they’re doing great and if you’re competing with somebody on another night, that’s got a 30-year head-start. Well, that’s fine.”
“But to me, our competition is our audience, and as long as we keep them engaged, and keep them happy, and I think that to bring it back around, that’s what we’re doing. So I’m not Hogan, I’m not Savage, you know, Daniel, Bryan and Adam Cole, they’re not The Outsiders. I see the parallels, but this is totally different and I’ll go ahead and say it and people can quote me and they’ll be p*ssed off about it. To me, this is bigger.”
Danielson and Cole debuted on the same night as another former WWE star in Ruby Soho. The former Ruby Riott drew the joker card in the Casino Battle Royale and won the whole thing, earning a future shot at the AEW Women’s World Championship.
At All Out, CM Punk wrestled his first competitive match in more than seven years after making the challenge to Darby Allin within minutes of making his AEW debut on Rampage. At the pay-per-view, Punk rolled back the years turning in an eye-catching performance eventually overcoming Allin with a GTS.
H/T to Fightful