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CM Punk’s challenge to The Wyatt Family thwarted by Curtis Axel
CHARLOTTE — With Survivor Series on the horizon, both The Champ and his new No. 1 contender, Alberto Del Rio, faced fierce adversaries on SmackDown, while CM Punk and Daniel Bryan stood united against The Wyatt Family.
CM Punk kicked off a blockbuster episode of the blue brand with a pointed message aimed directly at The Wyatt Family, who mysteriously targeted The Best in the World Monday on Raw. In the middle of challenging the terrifying trio to a showdown on SmackDown, however, The Second City Saint was interrupted by Intercontinental Champion — and Paul Heyman guy — Curtis Axel.
The third-generation Superstar began by thanking his “father figure,” Paul Heyman, who is currently laid up in a hospital bed in Europe and promised to make Heyman proud by defeating Punk in a one-on-one match on SmackDown made by General Manager Vickie Guerrero!
CM Punk def. Curtis Axel
While CM Punk ultimately took control of his bout against Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel, the untimely distraction of The Wyatt Family’s creepy tone opened the door for the third-generation Superstar to rally. The Second City Saint doused the flames of the comeback, though, kicking out of the Perfect Plex to nail Axel with the GTS for the win.
But that wasn’t the end of the story, as Punk’s celebration was cut short by the ominous presence of Bray Wyatt, whose eerie laughter could be heard echoing through the arena.
Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper via Disqualification
After The Wyatt Family’s brutal Oct. 28 backstage attack on Daniel Bryan and the subsequent clash this past Monday on Raw that saw Bryan lend a helping hand to CM Punk, the bearded wonder battled Luke Harper one-on-one on SmackDown.
Or, at least, he tried to.
Still donning bandages over his injured right shoulder, Bryan valiantly put up a fight against the scarily aggressive Harper. When The Beard somehow managed to kick out after being planted with a thundering power bomb, the submission specialist snapped in the “YES!” Lock on the Wyatt disciple. But Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan emerged to once again assault Bryan, this time leading to a Disqualification victory for the former World Champion.
Proving that one good turn does, indeed, deserve another, CM Punk rushed back down to the ring to help Bryan, returning the favor for the submission specialist’s Monday night save and scattering the creepy Wyatts to the wind.
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.
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Moments after CM Punk reigned supreme in an ultra-intense matchup against WWE’s “young gun” Big E Langston – turning back the up-and-comer’s Big Ending to hit the GTS – Paul Heyman congratulated his former friend on the victory over a “marginally talented rookie, barely out of the NXT division.” While Punk had already won the right to face Ryback & Heyman in a Handicap Match inside Hell in a Cell at the pay-per-view in nine days, the “mad scientist” hurled another 2-on-1 situation in the direction of The Straight Edge Superstar – sending The Human Wrecking Ball and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel storming to the ring.However, some surprising assistance would soon even the odds, as a revitalized Big E suddenly rose to join in The Second City Saint’s fight and help send the Heyman Guys packing!
CM Punk def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in a Beat the Clock Challenge
Axel’s task was relatively simple: Survive five minutes against the former WWE Champion and give Ryback the home field advantage at Hell in a Cell. But Punk came into the match like a man possessed, immediately peppering Axel’s sternum with strikes and chops against the turnbuckle. The titleholder gave as good as he got, bringing Punk to the precipice of the time limit with the Perfect Plex, but The Second City Saint countered with the Go to Sleep with seconds to spare.
Punk’s stipulation? Not only would he meet Ryback inside Hell in a Cell, but Heyman would join Ryback inside the Cell against him.