There has been a lot of discourse online about the storyline launched on the November 30 AEW Dynamite. As a co-host of The Good, The Bad, and The Hungee, Voices of Wrestling’s AEW-focused podcast, and author of the weekly Dynamite review of the same name, I am here to offer my services as the AEW whisper for those that may have questions.

  • Adam Page challenged Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship on October 18. Moxley legitimately knocked Page out with a lariat, leading to the match being stopped early.
  • The November 30 episode of Dynamite began with Moxley cutting a promo in which he declared himself the top of the food chain, the AEW ring belongs to him, and that “there isn’t a man within 100 miles that has the balls to come out here, look me in the eyes, and tell me any different.” Page came out to face Moxley down.
  • Excalibur reminded everyone on commentary that Page had been knocked out by Moxley in their match six weeks prior and that he is in Indianapolis to get cleared. Taz also said Moxley had knocked out Page.
  • Moxley said to Page’s face, “You sure you want to do this, man, after what happened last time? Oh, I’m sorry. Do you not remember last time?”
  • Page took offense and punched Moxley.

That is the storyline.

There are no other beats necessary to understand this, no long history between the two going back years and years. This all happened over fifty days and involved a high-profile injury that was widely discussed. That injury is the only thing you need to know about that did not happen on the November 30 episode.

This storyline has been criticized as being underexplained by the likes of Lance Storm, Bryan Alvarez, Wade Keller, and Dave Meltzer. Storm, in particular, questioned why anyone in Page’s situation would be angry at Moxley, since he was knocked out with a legal maneuver. Meltzer insisted that a video package was necessary for fans to understand what had happened.

Given the experience of these men in covering or being part of professional wrestling, these takes are all extremely baffling.

Wrestling is littered with a history of “person #1 defeated or injured person #2, person #2 wants revenge.” This isn’t something being invented by Tony Khan in the year 2022. This is also all over the history of every sport. When the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals, the Lakers didn’t respond by shrugging and saying “aw, shucks,” to no one in particular. They had an intense rivalry for the rest of the decade that helped establish the NBA as a major force in the sport market.

Muhammad Ali didn’t calmly take his loss to Joe Frazier and never go back to challenge him again. They had two more legendary matches.

There is plenty about AEW to criticize at this point in time.

Last week had bad rating numbers for Dynamite and Rampage, and we discussed this very thing in the most recent episode of The Good, The Bad, and The Hungee. Wrestlers like Miro sometimes disappear immediately after winning a match in a feud with no explanation. Rising stars like Daniel Garcia have been shuffled to the back of the line for no reason. The AEW women’s division is generally struggling with the in-ring side of things.

When you have all of these things to be critical about a promotion, you don’t have to invent new things to be mad about. Moxley vs. Page isn’t James Joyce’s Ulysses; this is a basic storyline explained on commentary as it was being launched. Demanding an explanation when the explanation is already in front of you isn’t a problem with the promotion.