WWE Champion CM Punk def. John Cena and Ryback (Triple Threat Match)
INDIANAPOLIS — CM Punk did it again.
Sneaking away with a victory over John Cena and Ryback in a Triple Threat Match at Survivor Series, the WWE Champion continued his extraordinary, and now yearlong, title reign by the very skin of his teeth. And yet, things may have turned out very differently had it not been for the outside involvement of three individuals who aided The Straight Edge Savior when he needed it most.
Targeting the mighty Ryback in the closing moments of this brutal battle, WWE NXT competitors Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns attacked the powerful competitor like rabid dogs before smashing him through an announce table — the second one Ryback crashed through that night.The flagrant assault allowed the WWE Champion to pin a downed Cena, and raised endless questions about their involvement in the main event that remain unanswered.
One thing is certain, though: Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns changed the course of WWE history at Survivor Series
The involvement of three WWE NXT competitors may have allowed CM Punk to leave Indianapolis with his precious WWE Title still in his sweaty grasp, but he will be feeling the effects of this Triple Threat Match for quite some time. Showing unabashed cowardice from the opening bell, the WWE Champion attempted to flee his imposing challengers, but ended up running into the brick wall that is Ryback.
The WWE Universe had been desperate to see a showdown between the explosive Ryback and the Cenation leader. When the two behemoths finally locked up, it had all the epic intensity of the night Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior challenged each other for the very first time. The human wrecking ball proved he could take Cena’s best shot when he stood right back up after being slammed to the mat by the former WWE Champion. But the sight of Ryback being rendered helpless in the powerful grasp of Cena’s STF perfectly illustrated the strength of the Cenation leader.
Still, each time these heavy hitters got into a heated confrontation, the slimy Punk would worm his way into the fray in a desperate attempt to steal a pinfall and take off with his title. For CM Punk, the name of tonight’s event was quite literal. It was all about survival for The Straight Edge Savior, and every second that ticked away on the clock took him further away from that goal.
As is always the case with Triple Threat Matches, allegiances were formed and broken in the blink of an eye. In a moment no one in the WWE Universe expected to see, Punk and Cena worked together to suplex Ryback through an announce table and halt the onslaught of the destructive monster. There was no love lost between the bitter rivals, but taking the wrecking ball out of the equation was a bit of brilliance on the part of the veteran grapplers.
Now facing off one-on-one, Punk and Cena demonstrated their knowledge of each other’s arsenal. When Cena scored with a resounding Attitude Adjustment, the WWE Champion responded just as quickly with the Go to Sleep. Taking the best the other had to offer, the longtime opponents were nearly at a stalemate before Ryback came back to life like the monster in a horror movie.
Dismantling his opponents, Ryback Shell Shocked both Cena and Punk before three men dressed all in black hit the ring and attacked the human wrecking ball with unbridled intensity. Name checked by Michael Cole as WWE development system NXT’s Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, the three young competitors slammed Ryback through the Spanish announce table before escaping through the crowd.
Back in the ring, a groggy Punk threw himself on top of the Shell Shocked Cena to score the pin. The moment echoed the conclusion of October’s WWE Hell in a Cell, when The Straight Edge Savior received an unexpected hand from rogue referee Brad Maddox. Much like that night, Punk was granted another reprieve as WWE Champion, thanks to Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. Whether The Voice of the Voiceless has any association with these men remains unclear.
It was 364 days ago, at Survivor Series 2011, that Punk began his historic WWE Title reign by defeating Alberto Del Rio in Madison Square Garden. On that night, The Straight Edge Savior leaped into the audience with his championship to celebrate with the WWE fans who had overwhelmingly embraced him. Tonight, Punk limped to the back alongside his noxious associate Paul Heyman while the crowd in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse booed him relentlessly. What a difference a year makes.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Ryback (Hell in a Cell Match)
Screencaps — HQ Digitals
ATLANTA — Some WWE fans thought it would take an act of God for WWE Champion CM Punk to walk out of his Hell in a Cell Match against Ryback with the title still in his possession. In truth, all it took was an act of deception from the WWE Champion and a WWE official that won’t soon be forgiven.
Successfully executing a plan that could only have sprang from the twisted mind of Paul Heyman, CM Punk became the first Superstar to defeat the human wrecking ball after WWE official Brad Maddox revealed himself to be working in collusion with The Straight Edge Champion. The same referee who garnered Punk’s wrath after some questionable officiating on the Sept. 17 edition of Raw, Maddox changed the course of WWE history by low-blowing Ryback as he was about to finish Punk with Shell Shocked and then counting the pin in less than three seconds while helping the WWE Champion hold down Ryback’s massive legs.
Punk and the underhanded official may have pulled of a devious plan, but both men ended up in pieces after a very angry Ryback tore apart the ref and Shell Shocked the cowardly champion on the roof of Hell in a Cell.
Tonight’s deception was the exact kind of dishonesty WWE fans have come to expect out of the arrogant Superstar and his slimy associate. Three hundred and forty-three days into his reign as WWE Champion, Punk recognized that he was facing his most imposing and unpredictable challenge yet and it would take more than just some outside interference from Heyman to beat Ryback.
An indestructible phenomenon who somewhat unexpectedly found himself in the WWE Title hunt, Ryback did not enter tonight’s Hell in a Cell bout with the type of trepidation typical of a Superstar competing in their first WWE Championship Match. Instead, he walked in with an unshakeable confidence usually reserved for experienced veterans. Punk, on the contrary, appeared nervous and hesitant as he hugged Paul Heyman before entering the Cell, unsure of whether he would see his ally again.
The WWE Champion was right to be anxious. The moment the imposing Cell was chained shut, Punk’s 291-pound opponent terrorized him like the villain in a horror movie. As the desperate titleholder tried his damndest to stay out of Ryback’s grasps, the scary strong Superstar maintained his focus, allowing the champion to get close enough that he could grab him and tear him up like a pit bull with a chew toy in its mouth.
Never so desperate, The Voice of the Voiceless franticly clawed at the Cell’s padlock for escape and even crawled under the ring to get away from his challenger. A blast from a fire extinguisher momentarily turned the bout in Punk’s favor, but Ryback turned it right back by sending a steel chair right into the champion’s incisors. Barely 10 minutes into his showdown with the human wrecking ball and CM Punk was confident of one thing — he was in over his head.
So what do you do when you’re locked inside an inescapable cage with a 291-pound monster who does not feel pain like a normal man? If you’re any other Superstar, you accept your fate as a stain on the mat. If you’re CM Punk and sports-entertainment iconoclast Paul Heyman is in your corner, though, you have a plan.
It happened like this — just as Ryback prepared to finish the WWE Champion off with Shell Shocked, referee Brad Maddox stood in the machine’s path. It only took a moment, but with the mighty Superstar halted, Maddox dropped to his knees and delivered a vicious low blow to the big man. When Ryback fell over, Punk rolled him up and the crooked official threw himself on top of the cover while performing the fastest three-count the WWE Universe had ever witnessed.
There was no celebration on the WWE Champion’s behalf — just a hopeless struggle to get out of Hell in a Cell before Ryback came to. Punk wouldn’t be so lucky this time. After dispatching of Maddox by throwing him out of the ring and directly into the unforgiving steel of the Cell, Ryback chased his rival to the very top of the towering structure. With nowhere left to run, Punk was snatched by the wrecking ball who Shell Shocked his prey in front of a wild WWE crowd in Atlanta’s Philips Arena. Ryback lost the bout, but as he put a foot onto the chest of his fallen opponent, he looked every bit the victor.
Tomorrow night on Raw, Punk may wear the scars of the wounded, but he will still have the WWE Title. The underhanded Superstar will continue to count his days as champion, but with Cena at 100 percent and Ryback hungrier than ever, those days may finally be counting down.