The Shield def. CM Punk & The Usos
Good news for The Hounds of Justice: Their brief lapse in synchronicity that led to their loss at TLC has been rectified. The Shield looked as united as they ever had in their bout against CM Punk & his WWE App-chosen partners, The Usos, on Raw. Despite their reaffirmed resolve, though, The Shield looked shaky at the start. The Usos’ freewheeling attitude rubbed off on Punk, who had run afoul of Shawn Michaels before the match thanks to his persistent, anti-Authority rhetoric. Despite the confrontation, The Second City Saint fought loose and delightedly vamped with the Texas crowd as he and The Usos cruised to an early advantage; Seth Rollins in particular caught a bit of his team’s own medicine when he was isolated from his comrades.
The men in black stayed alive by sheer force of will, but not even a fresh Roman Reigns could save them from an uphill struggle. Thankfully for them, their team instincts kicked in at the opportune moment when Dean Ambrose tagged Reigns and occupied an oblivious Punk, who was quickly blindsided by a freight-train spear from Reigns that gave The Shield a much-needed rebound.
CM Punk def. U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose
How’s this for Insult of the Year? Despite the fact that CM Punk bested the self-proclaimed “baddest man in The Shield,” Dean Ambrose, it was the star-spangled champion’s ascendant teammate Roman Reigns that truly left The Straight Edge Superstar humiliated after the match was over.
Suffering through a set of bruised ribs, the bout was an uphill battle for Punk from the word go. Ambrose ruthlessly exploited his opponent’s injury, countering a cross body with a knee to the chest that left the former WWE Champion writhing in pain. Punk slowly fought his way to an advantage with body blows of his own, and Ambrose’s hasty dismissal of his Shield-mates after a ringside spat left him vulnerable to a surprise roll-up from Punk. The Shield’s pack-of-Hounds mentality kicked in immediately, though, when Rollins distracted Punk at ringside and Reigns capitalized, obliterating the battered victor with his Slammy Award-winning Spear.
WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena met in a ‘Championship Ascension’
With 20 former WWE and World Champions gathered in the ring, John Cena and Randy Orton exchanged their final words as individual champions, and, just as in their contract signing, the peace broke down in epic fashion. Orton delivered a cheap-shot to Cena following a handshake from The Champ and signature maneuvers were soon flying left and right: CM Punk received a retaliatory Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels after he went to town on Triple H; Daniel Bryan responded by blasting HBK with a running knee; but disaster really struck when Bryan dodged the RKO and shoved Orton full-speed into a defenseless Stephanie McMahon.