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NEW ORLEANS — Despite CM Punk’s best efforts to exploit an unusual set of rules that worked to the his benefit, The Rock would not be denied his goal of trumping The Second City Saint at Elimination Chamber and returning to the main event of WrestleMania as WWE Champion for a match against John Cena. 

Enraged over Punk’s robbery of the physical WWE Title last Monday on Raw, the captain of Team Bring It had to be careful not to lose his temper and get disqualified, thanks to perilous match stipulation added last week in a last-ditch power play architected by Punk adviser Paul Heyman. The added stipulation removed the normal champion’s advantage: Per the orders of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, if The Rock were to lose by disqualification or count-out, the WWE Title would go back to Punk.

Debbie Feb 18, 2013

WWE Champion The Rock and CM Punk engaged in a war of words

After having his WWE Title stolen from him on Raw, The Great One re-emerged on SmackDown, informing his Straight Edge No. 1 contender that his act of thievery will only increase the severity of the beating his challenger will receive on Sunday, one that will “haunt [Punk] the rest of his life.”

Punk then appeared on the TitanTron — with the WWE Title still in his possession. Again insisting that the illustrious gold actually belonged to him, he reminded The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment just how much the odds are stacked against him this Sunday. For if The Rock gets counted out or disqualified, he will lose the championship.

Completely discarding his usual pageantry in a way that truly captured the severity of that new stipulation in the impending title conflict this Sunday, The People’s Champion made it clear to Punk that it was not going to happen.

Debbie Feb 16, 2013