CM Punk & Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
Thanksgiving may be days away, but after not only surviving, but prevailing in, a dangerous brawl against The Wyatt Family at WWE’s fall classic, The Best and The Beard have plenty to be thankful for.
Despite competing at an immense size disadvantage and having to contend with the ringside presence of Bray Wyatt, the potent combination of CM Punk & Daniel Bryan dealt a huge loss to Luke Harper & Erick Rowan at the 27th annual Survivor Series.
At just under 17 minutes, Punk hit the GTS on Harper to score the winning pinfall. Though the victory was undoubtedly gratifying to The Second City Saint and WWE’s “Yes!” man, it was anything but easy.
For weeks, the wicked trio’s sneak attacks have decimated the popular Superstars, with The Eater of Worlds blaming their actions on “the devil” and urging Punk and Bryan to “run.” The Wyatt Family laid out Punk & Bryan as recently as two days ago on SmackDown, but on the Survivor Series Kickoff, The Best in the World made clear that he and Bryan were not afraid of their opposition but, rather, eager to scrap.
And what a scrap it was. To the sounds of the sold-out T.D. Garden chanting “Yes!” and “This is awesome!” the contrasting styles — Harper and Rowan’s ferocious fisticuffs, and Punk and Bryan’s technique — played out in an evenly fought contest. Sitting in his trademark rocking chair, Wyatt watched on as his lurching monsters mauled their smaller opponents in the early goings, despite Punk and Bryan’s best efforts to strike and move.
The Best and The Beard did land a series of double-team maneuvers, including a double dropkick and an homage to The Hart Foundation’s Hart Attack, but a savvy distraction by Rowan gave Harper time to regain composure and drop Punk with a massive boot to the face.
From there, the Wyatt Family members’ backwoods brawling style took over in impressive form.
MIAMI — Paul Heyman tried running from CM Punk, but in the end, the managerial mastermind simply couldn’t hide.
In a wild Handicap Hell in a Cell Match pitting the vainglorious advocate and his caged monster, Ryback, against The Best in the World, the outnumbered Punk scored some well-earned vindication, not only pinning The Human Wrecking Ball nearly 14 minutes in, but also finally dishing out punishment to the man who betrayed him months ago.
From the get-go, it was clear Heyman had no interest in being locked in the merciless structure with The Second City Saint. After Ryback entered the Cell by himself, Heyman rode to ringside in a motorized scissor lift. Microphone in hand, Heyman boasted about being “Satan himself” while the lift rose the extreme architect to the top of the Cell, where he remained for the duration of the match.
With Heyman glaring on from overhead, Ryback plowed into Punk with his high-power offense. “The Big Guy” tried squeezing the air from Punk’s lungs with a tight bear hug, and once he got hold of a kendo stick, the juggernaut teed off on The Straight Edge Superstar. Ryback repeatedly suplexed his outsized opponent into the Cell’s chain link wall and dropped Punk with the over-the-shoulder Boulder Holder.
Savvy as ever, Punk survived the early onslaught and fought back with kendo stick strikes of his own, as well as hauling off with his running knee in the corner. The point of no return for Ryback, however, may have been when Punk connected with a low blow, harkening back to their match from WWE Battleground, and then drove Ryback through a table with a flying elbow drop. After connecting Ryback’s chin to his knee with a GTS, Punk scored the pin.
Then, the real fun began.