I also added some HQ Digitals to the gallery.
Ryback crashed WWE Champion CM Punk’s 365-day celebration party
So here we are, 365 days later. One full turn around the sun since CM Punk made Alberto Del Rio tap in New York City and took the WWE Championship for his very own. Eleven months since his first defense of the reign at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. Seven months since he walked into and out of WrestleMania XXVIII as champion, and one night after Punk proved his own prophecy right by defeating John Cena and Ryback, The Second City Saint stood in Dayton and celebrated the one-year anniversary of his second reign as WWE Champion.
And after some introductory oration by Paul Heyman, Punk took to the ring and, with no small amount of pleasure, quickly placed himself above the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock and proclaimed himself to be, as ever, The Best in the World. The Second City Saint then set his sights squarely on a date in the future: July 25, 2018, the 355th episode of WWE Main Event, when he would surpass Bruno Sammartino for the longest title reign in history. As for his greatest victory? For Punk, that answer was simple: His historic victory over Cena and Ryback, a win nobody said could be done save for Punk and Heyman himself.
It was a victory Punk seemed eager to relive, but at least one man wasn’t feeling the same nostalgia. Ryback’s music hit and the beast stomped down to the ring, fine/suspension be damned, to sink his claws into CM Punk finally. But once again, Ryback would be stopped short by the same men who cut him down the night before. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns swarmed Ryback halfway down the ramp, stopping him from getting to Punk (who seemed as surprised by their presence as anyone) before once again hoisting Ryback on their shoulders and pummeling him through the announce table.
While the three attackers stood stoically in the ring, Punk decided to bask in the moment all the same. The Second City Saint sauntered down to the prone Ryback, planted one foot on his chest, and for the first time in year No. 2 of his WWE Title reign, proclaimed himself The Best in the World.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. John Cena and Ryback (Triple Threat Match)
INDIANAPOLIS — CM Punk did it again.
Sneaking away with a victory over John Cena and Ryback in a Triple Threat Match at Survivor Series, the WWE Champion continued his extraordinary, and now yearlong, title reign by the very skin of his teeth. And yet, things may have turned out very differently had it not been for the outside involvement of three individuals who aided The Straight Edge Savior when he needed it most.
Targeting the mighty Ryback in the closing moments of this brutal battle, WWE NXT competitors Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns attacked the powerful competitor like rabid dogs before smashing him through an announce table — the second one Ryback crashed through that night.The flagrant assault allowed the WWE Champion to pin a downed Cena, and raised endless questions about their involvement in the main event that remain unanswered.
One thing is certain, though: Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns changed the course of WWE history at Survivor Series
The involvement of three WWE NXT competitors may have allowed CM Punk to leave Indianapolis with his precious WWE Title still in his sweaty grasp, but he will be feeling the effects of this Triple Threat Match for quite some time. Showing unabashed cowardice from the opening bell, the WWE Champion attempted to flee his imposing challengers, but ended up running into the brick wall that is Ryback.
The WWE Universe had been desperate to see a showdown between the explosive Ryback and the Cenation leader. When the two behemoths finally locked up, it had all the epic intensity of the night Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior challenged each other for the very first time. The human wrecking ball proved he could take Cena’s best shot when he stood right back up after being slammed to the mat by the former WWE Champion. But the sight of Ryback being rendered helpless in the powerful grasp of Cena’s STF perfectly illustrated the strength of the Cenation leader.
Still, each time these heavy hitters got into a heated confrontation, the slimy Punk would worm his way into the fray in a desperate attempt to steal a pinfall and take off with his title. For CM Punk, the name of tonight’s event was quite literal. It was all about survival for The Straight Edge Savior, and every second that ticked away on the clock took him further away from that goal.
As is always the case with Triple Threat Matches, allegiances were formed and broken in the blink of an eye. In a moment no one in the WWE Universe expected to see, Punk and Cena worked together to suplex Ryback through an announce table and halt the onslaught of the destructive monster. There was no love lost between the bitter rivals, but taking the wrecking ball out of the equation was a bit of brilliance on the part of the veteran grapplers.
Now facing off one-on-one, Punk and Cena demonstrated their knowledge of each other’s arsenal. When Cena scored with a resounding Attitude Adjustment, the WWE Champion responded just as quickly with the Go to Sleep. Taking the best the other had to offer, the longtime opponents were nearly at a stalemate before Ryback came back to life like the monster in a horror movie.
Dismantling his opponents, Ryback Shell Shocked both Cena and Punk before three men dressed all in black hit the ring and attacked the human wrecking ball with unbridled intensity. Name checked by Michael Cole as WWE development system NXT’s Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, the three young competitors slammed Ryback through the Spanish announce table before escaping through the crowd.
Back in the ring, a groggy Punk threw himself on top of the Shell Shocked Cena to score the pin. The moment echoed the conclusion of October’s WWE Hell in a Cell, when The Straight Edge Savior received an unexpected hand from rogue referee Brad Maddox. Much like that night, Punk was granted another reprieve as WWE Champion, thanks to Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. Whether The Voice of the Voiceless has any association with these men remains unclear.
It was 364 days ago, at Survivor Series 2011, that Punk began his historic WWE Title reign by defeating Alberto Del Rio in Madison Square Garden. On that night, The Straight Edge Savior leaped into the audience with his championship to celebrate with the WWE fans who had overwhelmingly embraced him. Tonight, Punk limped to the back alongside his noxious associate Paul Heyman while the crowd in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse booed him relentlessly. What a difference a year makes.