CM Punk def. U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose
How’s this for Insult of the Year? Despite the fact that CM Punk bested the self-proclaimed “baddest man in The Shield,” Dean Ambrose, it was the star-spangled champion’s ascendant teammate Roman Reigns that truly left The Straight Edge Superstar humiliated after the match was over.
Suffering through a set of bruised ribs, the bout was an uphill battle for Punk from the word go. Ambrose ruthlessly exploited his opponent’s injury, countering a cross body with a knee to the chest that left the former WWE Champion writhing in pain. Punk slowly fought his way to an advantage with body blows of his own, and Ambrose’s hasty dismissal of his Shield-mates after a ringside spat left him vulnerable to a surprise roll-up from Punk. The Shield’s pack-of-Hounds mentality kicked in immediately, though, when Rollins distracted Punk at ringside and Reigns capitalized, obliterating the battered victor with his Slammy Award-winning Spear.
WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena met in a ‘Championship Ascension’
With 20 former WWE and World Champions gathered in the ring, John Cena and Randy Orton exchanged their final words as individual champions, and, just as in their contract signing, the peace broke down in epic fashion. Orton delivered a cheap-shot to Cena following a handshake from The Champ and signature maneuvers were soon flying left and right: CM Punk received a retaliatory Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels after he went to town on Triple H; Daniel Bryan responded by blasting HBK with a running knee; but disaster really struck when Bryan dodged the RKO and shoved Orton full-speed into a defenseless Stephanie McMahon.
It may have been a while since CM Punk dropped a pipe bomb, but that doesn’t mean the scruffy savior of The Second City has lost his particular touch for poking the corporate hornet’s nest. In fact, Punk arrived in the Boomer Sooner State with a proverbial bang in the form of a verbal assault on The Authority for their supposed involvement in The Shield’s attack the previous week (retribution, Punk said, for his off-the-cuff insult towards Triple H). While Stephanie McMahon and Kane took issue with the accusation that they had ordered such a strike, they did come up with an on-the-spot ruling in the name of business when The Hounds of Justice emerged – to the apparent surprise of everyone – for yet another go at the former WWE Champion: A 3-on-1 Handicap Match between Punk and The Shield at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.