Who loves Bret more? We didn't find that out but we did see more evidence of Dax Harwood's prowess as a singles wrestler despite his comparative lacking in experience compared to his tag experience. We are going to dig deep into this match this week; it's quality over quantity, rather than covering every match.
CM Punk vs Dax Harwood - In-ring Statistics
With only 2% difference between the competitors and nothing to pick between them for Total Offence and Big Offence respectively, this is an interesting match to pick apart. The nearness of this one is underlined by the mere 3 strikes difference between them.
Harwood's strikedowns do manage to double Punk's in an unusual gap between the two performers. Punk's only areas of advantage came via an extra grapple achieved and almost 20 more seconds of cumulative submission time.
Despite not trying to steal a win via cheating, Harwood did skirt the rules on 5 occasions to Punk's 0. An important story-beat to protect Punk's superior standing in the AEW singles landscape. The extra pin attempts also suggest he's in a rush to snatch a win.
Despite the general downturn in the rate of total offence throughout this match, the two men went hard throughout. There were only 5 minutes where one of the wrestlers didn't achieve any offence, however there were no full minutes of this match where both competitors failed to achieve offence.
Additionally, the Flow of Offence chart highlights and underscores the competition communicated via this performance. Punk achieves 3 offensive peaks compared to Dax's 2, and achieved the advantage in 7 of the match's minutes compared to Dax's 5.
When compared to other matches to gain context, a couple with one of the competitors in each and the final one being a Bret match, we can get an idea of what was significant about these performances.
What really jumps out is the considered pace of this match. All the metrics were used to a notable level but none of them with the exception of grapples were used more than most of the other performances.
The structure of this match is much smoother than the matches used as a comparison. Peaks and throughs are built throughout consecutive minutes rather than the rather quick accelerations and decelerations in the other matches.
This match has the slowest pace of offence of the 4 matches, but the second highest pace of tide change. Fascinatingly it's pace of tide change is almost the same as the Hart versus Hart match at Wrestlemania 10.
On WhatCulture's review of this week's Dynamite, Michael Sidgwick stated that Dax and Punk wrestled a match in the manner of Bret Hart rather than cosplaying as Hart through tribute spots. It may be a complete coincidence but the statistics suggest they captured the pace that the brothers Hart handed over control of their famous encounter.
Significant? Possibly not but serendipitous nonetheless.