See more here.
Ryback called out CM Punk
The only thing Ryback and Paul Heyman like less than “bullies,” as it turns out, is “cheaters.” The mad scientist and his monstrous man-at-arms came to Pittsburgh in a huff over the events of WWE Battleground, where CM Punk took advantage of the referee’s distraction to low-blow Ryback into defeat.
With great indignation, the ECW mastermind ascended his personal pulpit and ran down his onetime champion’s ethics, even going so far as to demean Punk to his face when The Straight Edge Superstar showed up in person. But Punk’s open rematch challenge slightly backfired when Ryback invited the former WWE Champion to back up his famous talk in Pittsburgh. With Punk at a 2-on-1 disadvantage, the situation didn’t look all that great. Happily, though, R-Truth was on hand to offer his hand and even the odds.
CM Punk & R-Truth def. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel & Ryback
It was a rough night in Pittsburgh for Paul Heyman’s minions when Curtis Axel & Ryback fell to the combined efforts of CM Punk & R-Truth in an impromptu tag match on Raw. With Punk and Ryback circling each other for the majority of the bout, Axel felt the brunt of Punk & Truth’s offense at the outset when they isolated him from his monstrous partner. The Intercontinental Champion turned the tide for his team only when he tagged in Ryback, freeing “The Big Guy” to control the pace of the match.
With Truth now alone in the ring and unable to reach The Straight Edge Superstar, Ryback and Axel alternated offense against the former U.S. Champion while Heyman screamed instruction from the outside. Ryback’s showboating backfired when Truth lashed out with a heel kick and tagged in Punk, who made quick work of a freshly-tagged Axel with the Go to Sleep. Yet Punk allowed Truth to do the final honors and avenge his devastating loss at Battleground with a “perfect” scissor kick to Axel’s head.
CM Punk def. Ryback
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Brutalized for weeks at the hands of both Paul Heyman and his “big, bad, beautiful” protector, Ryback, CM Punk turned not to his fists but his mind to claim a hard-fought upset over the Superstar Heyman seems to have hand-picked his latest acolyte.
With Heyman positioned safely behind the man-mountain, Punk had no choice but to engage “The Big Guy” head-on and leave Heyman — whose “win” over Punk at Night of Champions has yet to be repaid — for another day. What Ryback lacked in technical precision he made up for in pure brute force: a man fighting not just for his own bragging rights against an old foe but the approval of a benefactor whose influence has already begun to poison Ryback’s mind. It was, after all, Heyman who planted the idea of Punk-as-bully into Ryback’s head, despite the fact that The Human Wrecking Ball has doled out harrassment to Superstars and civilians alike over the last several months.
The strategy went about as well as one would expect for The Second City Saint at the outset when he found himself muscled into the defensive by his much larger foe. With Heyman whispering words of encouragement into his guardian angel’s ear to reinforce their mission — “he’s a bully” — Ryback deployed a monstrous combination of power moves that all but turned Punk into a splatter.
Even though Heyman instructed his protégé to “hurt” the staggering Punk, The Second City Saint found his second wind, writhing free of Ryback’s rear chinlock and raining elbows upon the big man’s skull. Punk next planted Ryback with a swinging neckbreaker and signaled for the Go to Sleep, though Heyman cut the attack short by deploying the most efficient weapon in his arsenal: His mouth. With Punk moments from victory, the mad scientist seized a microphone and reiterated (in great detail) his ill-gotten victory at Night of Champions, distracting Punk long enough for Ryback to level him with the Meathook Clothesline.
As the bout neared its fever pitch, both men reached deep into their caches to put the other away, and Punk, again, hung just tough enough to keep it close. Ryback turned to the powerbomb as his maneuver of choice, and The Straight Edge Superstar transitioned into a hurricanrana to counteract it. Ryback answered by muscling Punk chest-first into the ropes, and that’s when Heyman lost his cool.
Unable to resist a chance at humiliating his prodigal son, Heyman slowly skulked toward the prone Punk with a Kendo stick while Ryback occupied the referee. But the intent — while appropriately vindictive — wasn’t exactly subtle, and with the ref now distracted by Heyman, Punk performed the match’s brutal coup de grace by mule-kicking Ryback right in the groin. As Heyman realized his folly, Punk quickly covered the shell-shocked “Big Guy” with a smile and completed his win with the 1-2-3.
So, to recap: in one fell swoop, CM Punk outsmarted Paul Heyman, defeated Ryback, and left his former mentor stewing on pay-per-view. It was a textbook win that proved true everything CM Punk has said about himself, and left Heyman to sit and ponder what might have been had he truly acted like the mastermind he calls himself. For Heyman, it was a missed opportunity. For Punk, it was mind over muscle, strategy over brutality, student over teacher. It was big, it was bad and it was beautiful.
As for Ryback? Well, now he knows what happens to bullies.
CM Punk demanded a fight
BILOXI, Miss. – It’ll take more than a two-on-one thrashing and a trip through a table to keep CM Punk down. Still banged-up from his beating at the hands of Ryback and Curtis Axel last week, The Second City Saint took to the stage in Biloxi, Miss. for one final address before he fights The Human Wrecking Ball at WWE Battleground.
The former WWE Champion promised to keep his fight going until he got his hands on either Heyman or his cronies, but Raw GM Brad Maddox wasn’t about to allow Punk to jump the gun on Battleground. Maddox did seem ready to offer Punk the “outlet for his aggression” the former champion so desired, yet the arrival of (and subsequent surprise attack from) Big E Langston pre-empted any official decision. Conveniently, though, Maddox was all too happy to capitalize on Langston’s attack, and ordered a referee down to make the melee official.
CM Punk def. Big E Langston
CM Punk has a tall task ahead of him on Sunday against Ryback, but the former WWE Champion showed size doesn’t necessarily matter on Raw when he toppled the mighty Big E Langston in an impromptu match to start the show. Reeling at first from Big E’s vicious surprise attack, Punk fought from underneath for the majority of the contest, attempting to chop the big man down with precision strikes while Langston relied on pure strength to keep The Straight Edge Superstar at bay.
Two attempts to administer the Go to Sleep ended in disaster for the fighting-mad Chicago native, yet it proved to be endurance that made the difference in the bout when The Second City Saint found his wind and unleashed a stream of offense that left Langston staggering. A running knee and clothesline got the ball rolling, a flying elbow set the big man up, and Punk’s third GTS finally hit home, blasting the titan into unconsciousness and sealing the win for CM Punk.
Paul Heyman ‘proposed’ to Ryback
Daniel Bryan’s not the only one who had a big proposal in mind this week. Ever since he was “saved” by Ryback at Night of Champions, Paul Heyman’s had a spring in his step and he decided to make it official in Mississippi: Promising to make an “honest man” out of Ryback, Heyman quite literally bent the knee before “The Big Guy” and humbly proposed that he become the latest Paul Heyman Guy.
Before Ryback could respond, though, CM Punk’s music sounded once again and the former WWE Champion made his entrance through the crowd, though he apparently tweaked his knee hopping the barricade. With his defenses lowered, Heyman slowly approached his former protégé and Punk revealed the injury was a ruse, producing a Kendo stick from beneath the ring and going to town on Heyman, Ryback, and finally Curtis Axel, who ran down to save his boss and was promptly put to sleep for his troubles.
Paul Heyman confronted CM Punk
CM Punk has come home to Chicago, Blackhawks jersey and all, and he’s got a few things on his mind. In his first appearance since being pinned by Paul Heyman at Night of Champions, a visibly happy-to-be-home Second City Saint addressed his hometown with a twofold apology: First, for failing to bring the Stanley Cup to Raw, and second, for failing to make good on his promise to annihilate the mad scientist eight days earlier.
While Punk vowed to channel his beloved ‘Hawks and bounce back from his slump, Heyman ruined the moment by rolling out on a scooter to goad the “Second Best in the World” into a frenzy. The ECW mastermind’s escape plan hit a snag when his wheels broke down, but before Punk could reach his target, he was intercepted by Curtis Axel and Ryback, who brought the hometown hero’s night to an ugly ending by putting him through a table at ringside.