Royal Rumble was not just day No. 434 of CM Punk’s historic WWE Title reign. It was also the end of his self-described “life’s work.” (VIEW PHOTOS)
With his mother, Ata Johnson, in attendance, The Rock fulfilled his promise of dethroning The Straight Edge Savior in Phoenix and reclaiming the championship he last held August 2002. But thanks to an alleged attack that transpired under the veil of darkness and seemingly had The Shield’s fingerprints all over it, The Great One’s eighth WWE Championship victory very nearly didn’t come to fruition.
Nearly 20 minutes into highly physical championship contest, which saw the tide swing repeatedly and both competitors target each others’ well-documented injuries, The Rock signaled for his patented People’s Elbow. As The Brahma Bull sprang off the ropes, however, the lights of US Airways Center went out and moments later, the familiar sound of a body crashing through the commentators’ desk echoed throughout the arena.
After WWE Champion CM Punk called out The Shield, The Rock responded
A letter from WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon has made it official that if The Shield interfere in the WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble — the way they did when they attacked The Rock four days ago on Raw.
The Straight Edge Champion admitted he was scared, but only of his own potential. Because he knew The Shield could now get in the way, Punk called out the dangerous faction. The Shield emerged from the crowd and surrounded the WWE Champion. Punk claimed he never asked for or wanted their help and told them that if they believed in justice, they would stay out of his way. In response, The Shield opted to leave without incident.
But when Punk began to talk again about his WWE Title Match against The Rock, The Great One stepped onto “his” show. A very focused People’s Champion called Punk a liar for saying he was never working with The Shield. But more importantly, Rock said it won’t matter this Sunday when he becomes the WWE Champion for the eighth time!
WWE Champion CM Punk addressed the WWE Universe
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Brodus Clay
Call your mommas and lock up the fine china, Brodus Clay and CM Punk have beef. Taking The Straight Edge Superstar’s snide remarks the previous week to heart, The Funkasaurus stepped into the ring against the reigning WWE Champion to see if Punk could back up the tough talk of his “pipe bombs.” The champion obliged Clay and then some, earning a gritty victory over a raging Brodus in the Toyota Center on Raw’s 20th anniversary. The big man came out swinging with a vicious array of power moves that left Punk reeling, but The Straight Edge Superstar proved his mettle by toughing it out through the big man’s attacks and felling Brodus with several neckbreakers and a flying elbow. With The Funky One down, Punk quickly wrenched his foe into the Anaconda Vise, forcing Clay to tap out.
The Rock performed a “Rock Concert” and brawled with CM Punk
It’s time for The Rock to sooth his soul, WWE Universe. As Raw turned 20, The People’s Champion strolled to the ring, guitar in hand, to perform his signature sing-along for the WWE Universe. And The Great One had an audience of two in mind for his latest ditties: Paul Heyman (in absentia) and Vickie Guerrero (in person). The Brahma Bull eviscerated them in song, spinning vicious tunes that left the WWE Universe rolling in the aisles to the tune of his dulcet strumming.
But Rock changed his tune just as he finished it, calling out CM Punk when the concert reached its end. The champion who The Rock snidely dubbed “Cookie Puss” last week obliged and The Great One let loose with a little “pipe bomb” of his own.
“You said that facing you would be like boxing with God. Well you ain’t God. But God as my witness, in 13 days I will beat you for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble.”
That was enough for Punk to drop all pretense of civility, sending the champion sprinting down the ramp. He swarmed The Great One, instigating an all-out brawl between the two that only stopped after scores of referees and WWE officials stormed the ring to separate the warring Superstars. So Raw turns 20 with a knock-down, drag-out fight. In the end, could it really ever have happened any other way?
WWE Champion CM Punk delivered a message to The Rock
Just days after their epic confrontation Monday night on Raw that ended with WWE Champion CM Punk on the wrong end of a Rock Bottom, Punk and Paul Heyman delivered a pair of pointed messages to The Rock. Emanating from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Punk made it clear to his Royal Rumble challenger that The Rock’s glory is in the past. He claimed that “This is my house now. This is CM Punk’s WWE. We live in the CM Punk era.”