DIGITAL PICTURES — SCREEN CAPTURES
CHICAGO – For weeks upon exhausting weeks, Chris Jericho attempted to publicly humiliate WWE Champion CM Punk and damage his family’s reputation with wild accusations.
At Extreme Rules, in front of a sold-out crowd that included his sister and other family members at ringside, Punk finally got an opportunity to destroy his most hated adversary once and for all. Fittingly, the two Superstars battled in WWE’s second-ever Chicago Street Fight, a grueling contest where the only way to win was by pinfall or submission – with no count-outs and no disqualifications. (PHOTOS)
The last time Punk fought on a pay-per-view in his hometown of Chicago, he pulled off a remarkable upset over John Cena to capture his first WWE Championship. With that stunning win at Money in the Bank still fresh in the Chicagoans’ minds, Punk was showered with deafening cheers at the Allstate Arena as he made his way down the entrance ramp to take on Jericho.
Wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed “Drug Free” on the front and “Poison Free” on the back, Punk wasted no time dishing out punishment by lashing his opponent with a kendo stick. Jericho weathered the initial attack and returned the favor while brawling with Punk on the outside. Tempers flared when Jericho taunted Punk’s sister at ringside, a bold action that resulted in a slap across Jericho’s face from Punk’s sister as The Straight Edge Superstar flew into a rage.
After beating each other mercilessly with the tops of the announce tables, Jericho reached for a can of beer and drenched the WWE Champion. However, as with his previous attempts to embarrass Punk, it just added fuel to his competitive fire.
Punk rallied back and went for the Go To Sleep, but Jericho evaded the finishing move and slapped on the Walls of Jericho, which Punk then countered and nearly notched a pinfall. Further showing his resiliency, Jericho kicked out following Punk’s big elbow drop from the top rope, and later slipped out of a second Go To Sleep attempt.
As Jericho locked Punk in the Walls of Jericho following a Codebreaker, The Straight Edge Superstar crawled to escape the hold, but under the rules of a Chicago Street Fight, he was unable to break the submission by grabbing the ropes. In an act of desperation, Punk reached under the ring and discovered a fire extinguisher, blasting his rival in the face to regain momentum in the match.
With a breathtaking leap to the outside, The Straight Edge Superstar drove his elbow into Jericho’s chest, shattering the announce table. Even that devastating blow wasn’t enough to keep Jericho down for good, as he escaped an Anaconda Vise attempt by whacking Punk repeatedly in the head with a kendo stick.
After Punk survived a Codebreaker onto a steel chair, Jericho tried to mock the WWE Champion with the Go To Sleep, holding up Punk above his shoulders while screaming “I am the best in the world!” The moment to gloat backfired, though, as Punk reversed it with a slingshot into the turnbuckle and followed with the Go To Sleep for the incredible victory.
At one point, it seemed like The Straight Edge Superstar would never shake the constant harassment from a rival intent on taking away his title. As The Second City Savior leapt into the crowd Sunday night and soaked in the ovation from his Chicago supporters, all of the ridicule and torment from Jericho appeared to be a distant memory.
Mind games couldn’t break Punk; they only made him a stronger WWE Champion.