CM Punk def. Luke Harper
GREENVILLE, S.C. – As last week showed, CM Punk vs. The Wyatt Family is hardly a fair fight. Happily for the former WWE Champion, he had some help when the buzzards came circling seven days later. Punk avenged his beating at the hands of The Wyatt Family by defeating Luke Harper in a singles match on Raw, despite a commanding effort by the backwoods hulk. With Bray Wyatt observing at ringside, Harper mangled The Straight Edge Superstar within an inch of defeat, though a missed discus clothesline allowed Punk to pounce with a roll-up pin for the victory.
This, needless to say, did not go over well with the Family. Erick Rowan initiated a post-match attack on Punk and the master himself quickly joined, though the trio was immediately thwarted by the arrival of Daniel Bryan. With chair in hand, the submission expert charged down the ramp to save Punk from certain doom and avenge his own attack the previous week. Judging by what ensued next – the two former WWE Champions pummeled their opponents into retreat with the steel – it’s safe to say Bryan succeeded in both endeavors … at least for the time being.
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CM Punk addressed Paul Heyman and Ryback
The WWE Universe knows CM Punk has a way with words, but it’s when he keeps his missives short and sweet you know he means business. Such was the case on Monday when he arrived in Memphis with very little fanfare and a whole lot of attitude on his mind. With a quiet rage that vibrated through the entire FedEx Forum, Punk made his cruel intentions known in his own cruelly succinct way:
“My plan isn’t to pin Paul Heyman, shoulders to the mat. I’m not even considering locking him in a wrestling hold and making him submit. The plan is to put Ryback to sleep,” said Punk. “And then I’m gonna enjoy watching Paul Heyman wiggle around like a little worm on a big hook. And then I’m gonna corner him like the dog he is, and I’m gonna smash his face into every single inch of steel that structure has to offer, because that’s what he deserves.”
Big E Langston vs. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel never happened
Big E Langston’s moment of respect with CM Punk seems to have ballooned into something more: Far from just sharing a head nod with The Straight Edge Superstar, the big man is now taking issue with Punk’s enemies. Pushed by a backstage argument to face Curtis Axel in the ring, the former NXT Champion didn’t even get a chance to fight Axel proper before the champ’s partners in crime struck the powerhouse with a group attack. Even Heyman got a shot in on Langston with a Kendo stick, but the gang-up brought out Punk himself to even the odds. With the fight spiraling out of control, SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero (filling in for the, well, indisposed Brad Maddox) made some proverbial lemonade out of a sour situation by turning the melee into a tag team match.
CM Punk & Big E Langston def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel & Ryback
The mantra “no new friends” clearly doesn’t apply to CM Punk & Big E Langston, who cemented their out-of-nowhere solidarity with a tag-team win over Punk’s Paul Heyman-coached enemies, Curtis Axel & Ryback. The out-of-nowhere friendship proved as effective on Raw as it did on SmackDown, although Punk briefly found himself isolated by Axel and Ryback.
Punk fought back slowly and incapacitated Ryback with a kick to the head, ultimtately leaving Langston himself to do the honors. The super-sized Superstar bulldozed all over his opposition, pulverizing the Intercontinental Champion with the Big Ending to bring his team the win and allowing Punk to chase Heyman through the crowd after the final bell.