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.
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In the first SmackDown of 2014, The Best in the World CM Punk and the high-octane Usos reigned supreme over a Shield trio who couldn’t seem to get on the same page. Plus, WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust withstood the formidable challenge of The Wyatt Family and Bray Wyatt himself delivered a creepy message about Daniel Bryan joining the fold.
At the opening of SmackDown, United States Champion Dean Ambrose addressed recent speculation about possible dissention in the ranks of The Hounds of Justice – informing CM Punk, in particular, that he couldn’t divide and conquer them. Roman Reigns added that there was no weak link to divide and Seth Rollins said that any setbacks they had were temporary, since in the end, they would do what they do best – come together and dominate.
Ambrose then joined the SmackDown announce team as his cohorts battled The Usos. However, when it looked as if Jimmy & Jey might close the door on their black-clad adversaries, Ambrose intervened – bringing an abrupt end to the match by disqualification.
The Shield’s post-match attack would be thwarted when The Straight Edge Superstar emerged to even the odds and helped to send the Hounds packing. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero would then create a huge SmackDown main event showdown on the WWE App: Ambrose, Reigns & Rollins vs. Punk & the Samoan warriors!
CM Punk & The Usos def. The Shield
With an absence of teamwork and apparent communication problems between The Shield in the final moments of a huge SmackDown main event, The Usos helped CM Punk take down Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. This cleared the way for The Best in the World to overcome Dean Ambrose with the GTS for the victory.
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The Shield confronted CM Punk
There’s something to be said for finishing a year off as strong as you started it. And for CM Punk, who began 2013 as WWE Champion with The Brahma Bull himself in his sights, nothing would do for a curtain call than calling out the biggest, baddest dogs in the yard: The Shield. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns – light years beyond the wild newcomers they were 12 months ago – were, of course, all too eager to take out the proverbial thorn in their collective paws. So much so, in fact, that the three Hounds of Justice nearly got into it with each other over who was the unit’s strongest link and therefore worthiest to face Punk. Thanks to a timely appearance by Raw GM Brad Maddox, though, The Shield’s tumult was quelled and Seth Rollins was selected as the lucky Superstar who would battle The Best in the World.
CM Punk def. Seth Rollins
The heightened expectation of being CM Punk’s handpicked opponent certainly didn’t slow Seth Rollins down in the former Tag Team Champion’s first one-on-one tilt against The Straight Edge Superstar. If anything, getting a crack at The Shield’s personal Kryptonite energized the wild man into one of his strongest efforts yet. And yet, even with bragging rights on the line, it wasn’t enough to stop the surging Punk from handing The Shield another humiliation.
Punk played fast and loose with Rollins while Ambrose and Reigns prowled the outside, improvising submission holds with the ropes as leverage and attempting a Go to Sleep only seconds into the contest. Rollins took control by throwing Punk into the turnbuckle, but his arms – to borrow a phrase – proved too short to box with God. Capitalizing on Ambrose’s distraction of the referee, Punk kicked out of Rollins’ strongest moves, sent the strategist flying into his fellow Shield-mates and finally reversed a springboard strike into a match-ending Go to Sleep.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State played host to WWE Tribute to the Troops 2013 as members of the U.S. Military and their families enjoyed an action-packed evening of WWE competition. Joining WWE this year in honoring the troops were “Access Hollywood” co-host Michelle Beadle, four-time Grammy nominee Daughtry and renowned comedian Jeff Dunham.
Daniel Bryan def. Bray Wyatt via disqualification
A Six-Man Tag Team Match was not originally scheduled for Tribute to the Troops. However, the intense rivalry between Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt Family would not allow for a singles match between the former WWE Champion and Bray Wyatt to play out for the men and women of the U.S. Military.
There certainly is no love lost between Bryan and Wyatt, and their confrontation quickly degraded into an all-out brawl. The Eater of Worlds was relentless in his early offense, but his aggression towards Bryan may have blinded him – allowing Bryan to take control and a huge advantage in the contest. As Bryan was about to pin Wyatt and secure victory, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper interfered, resulting in a disqualification.
As Daniel Bryan was overwhelmed by The Wyatt Family, CM Punk ran to the ring in an effort to even the odds. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero did not take kindly to the chaos and stated that the service members in attendance deserved order. As a result, she restarted the bout as a Tag Team Match pitting Harper & Rowan against Daniel Bryan & CM Punk.
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan via disqualification
The tag team battle began in similar fashion to the singles bout that preceded it. The animosity between Punk, Bryan and the Wyatt Family led to a physical and competitive match that saw the two former WWE Champions gaining an advantage thanks to their experience and speed. As Punk prepared to execute the Go To Sleep on Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt attacked, ending the match in another disqualification.
As The Wyatt Family attacked, John Cena made his way to the ring and unleashed on the creepy trio. The chaos that ensued again caught the attention of Vickie Guerrero, who announced a Six-Man Tag Team Match between Cena, Punk & Bryan and The Wyatt Family!
John Cena, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan def. The Wyatt Family
On the edge of their seats, the members of the U.S. Military at Joint Base Lewis-McChord were firmly in support of the trio of former WWE Champions as they battled the unorthodox and powerful Wyatts.
Momentum shifted back and forth, with the chaotic match starts and stops taking a toll on everyone involved – except the Cenation leader. Following The Second City Saint making the tag to Cena, the 11-time WWE Champion hit the ring in a rush of adrenaline. With Bray Wyatt and Rowan reeling on the outside of the ring, Punk hit the GTS on Harper, and Bryan nailed the massive competitor with a running knee before Cena secured the win with an Attitude Adjustment.
John Cena, CM Punk & Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston def. The Shield via Disqualification
If anyone can break The Shield, it’s two strongmen and The Best in the World. Yet, while the all-star trio of John Cena, CM Punk & Big E Langston didn’t hand The Hounds of Justice a Christmas loss per se — The Shield are still too tough to take out quite so easily — they left the men in black frostbit all the same. It was momentarily touch-and-go for Cena & Co. after strong start by the Cenation leader was undone by Roman Reigns, who initiated the numbers game against the 11-time WWE Champion. Punk similarly struggled with The Hounds’ strategy, and the X-factor turned out to ultimately be Big E.
Summoned by Punk when all seemed lost, Langston thundered through the ranks of The Shield and — with assistance from his teammates — struck United States Champion Dean Ambrose with the Big Ending, but The Hounds swarmed the three-count and stopped the bout via disqualifcation. The three villains set Langston up for a Triple Powerbomb that would send him to the South Pole, yet Cena and Punk were having none of it, dragging Reigns through the ropes and capitalizing on a Langston double-clothesline to Ambrose & Rollins with an Attitude Adjustment-Go to Sleep combo to end the holiday season on a high note.
And hey, Santa didn’t get run over this year. It truly is a Christmas miracle.