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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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.