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WWE Director of Operations Kane apologized to CM Punk

Hell has indeed frozen over when The Devil’s Favorite Demon offers up an apology. Kane – the same man who once electrocuted Shane McMahon in the groin and Tombstoned a man of the cloth – offered up an Authority-mandated mea culpa to CM Punk just a few days after attacking The Second City Saint on SmackDown, though the forced act of contrition didn’t exactly calm the former WWE Champion’s anti-establishment demeanor. In fact, Punk not only made light of Kane’s apology but literally threw it in his face when he clobbered the corporate demon in the head with the microphone. The Director of Operations seemed ready to unleash the monster within until Brad Maddox arrived to contain the situation, offering Punk up one of The New Age Outlaws – Billy Gunn, determined via Rock, Paper, Scissors – as an opponent instead.

CM Punk def. Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn’s actions of late have been as crooked as the double-letter in his nickname, but the former King of the Ring got his comeuppance when he was laid low by the scruffy Chi-town savior, CM Punk, in an impromptu match from Raw GM Brad Baddox. The Road Dogg’s presence at commentary at ringside gave Gunn an early advantage over Punk, who was distracted moments into his opening barrage.

Gunn’s brief comeback was cut short when he paused to gloat for a bit too long, and the showboating gave Punk a leg up – literally; he kicked Gunn in the head – and some breathing room to properly pounce on Road Dogg while Gunn recuperated. The two-pronged attack briefly compromised Punk’s focus and the former Intercontinental Champion managed to stay in the match, though Punk sent Gunn up in smoke with a Go to Sleep after the Famouser missed its mark. And his reward, courtesy of Kane? The No. 1 entry in the Royal Rumble Match.

Debbie Wiseman Jan 24, 2014
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CM Punk’s stand was unseated by Kane’s chokeslam

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After The New Age Outlaws left CM Punk holding the bag during their Six-Man Tag Team Match against The Shield Monday on Raw, a furious Second City Saint called out all of his enemies at once — The Shield, The Outlaws, The Authority and anyone else he could think of.

However, just as The Voice of the Voiceless launched into a diatribe against The Game himself, Triple H, both The Hounds of Justice and The New Age Outlaws surrounded the ring. When order was about to break down, however, Director of Operations Kane came out to quell the tensions.

Telling Punk that his anger is misplaced, Kane tried to assure The Best in the World that The Authority is actually on his side and that Kane’s top directive is to make sure the former WWE Champion is treated fairly. Punk wasn’t buying it, however, and when The Big Red Monster attempted to exit the ring, The Second City Saint struck with a vicious verbal assault that led to a ring-shaking chokeslam to The Best in the World as SmackDown went off the air.

Debbie Wiseman Jan 18, 2014
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The Shield def. CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws

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Many in the WWE Universe assumed the anti-authority (and anti-Authority) CM Punk was tempting fate when he teamed with Triple H’s former stablemates The New Age Outlaws to take on The Shield last week. Now, after Raw, he knows why. Despite a strong – if unsuccessful – show of solidarity among the unlikely allies on SmackDown last week, the DX veterans showed their true colors and left Punk to the mercy of The Hounds of Justice.

Initially, before the betrayal, it looked as though the three rebels’ campaign would amount to a win when the Outlaws – yep, they still got it – set the table for a fired-up Punk to seal the deal. Roman Reigns lived up to his heavy-artillery reputation by knocking Punk down a peg or two with an astonishing dropkick outside the ring, though the former WWE Champion battled through the numbers game to set up The Shield for defeat. When the war-torn Punk went for the tag, though, The Outlaws saddled up and abandoned The Straight Edge Superstar to a spear from Reigns that all but cut him in two.

Debbie Wiseman Jan 14, 2014
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The Shield def. CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws

Before Friday night’s massive main event commenced, Roman Reigns stood in the middle of the ring and declared himself “The New Best in the World” after he pinned CM Punk on Old School Raw. Coming to SmackDown for the first time in nearly 14 years, The New Age Outlaws teamed with The Second City Saint, hoping to humble Reigns and his black-clad cohorts.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans, and The Shield ultimately prevailed over the fan-favorites after Reigns drilled Billy Gunn with a devastating Spear, sending a bold-faced message to the WWE Universe that the black-clad trio is as strong as ever.

Debbie Wiseman Jan 12, 2014
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The Shield appeared on ‘Piper’s Pit’

As the WWE Universe knows, just when you think you know the answers, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper changes the questions. Even The Shield, despite their insistence otherwise, isn’t immune from Hot Rod’s mind games, as the WWE Hall of Famer stirred The Hounds of Justice into a froth by bringing up their recent string of losses to CM Punk on “Piper’s Pit”. Even Roman Reigns – the one Hound yet to fight Punk one-on-one – wasn’t in the mood to take Piper’s guff, and the WWE Hall of Famer’s line of questioning seemed to set him up for a very immediate beating. That is, until Punk himself – with The New Age Outlaws in tow – sprinted to Piper’s aid and sent The Shield scrambling.

Roman Reigns def. CM Punk

Believe this: There is, as it turns out, one member of The Shield who can defeat CM Punk, and his name is Roman Reigns. After weeks of torment at the hands of Punk, The Hounds of Justice’s resident Doberman backed up his group’s fierce rhetoric and feasted upon The Best in the World …  although the favor was certainly repaid at the end of the night.

Even with The New Age Outlaws backing him up at ringside, Punk was forced into an uphill battle by Reigns, who slowly wore him down over the course of the match. Reigns’ repeated targeting of Punk’s banged-up ribs kept The Second City Saint in neutral for a long time, though Punk found separation by countering Regins’ Superman punch with a kick to the head that brought  the match back to an even level. The two Superstars threw signature maneuvers back and forth until Ambrose provided a timely distraction and Reigns pounced with a spear that finally put Punk down for the win.

The Shield was hardly out of the woods yet, though, as none other than Jake “The Snake” Roberts made his way to the ring and – with an assist from Punk and The Outlaws – unleashed his trademark pet serpent all over a beaten Ambrose while Rollins & Reigns made their escape. Now that’s old-school.

Debbie Wiseman Jan 12, 2014