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Though Jeff Hardy and some members of the WWE Universe might think otherwise, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk maintained that he did nothing wrong in cashing in his Money in the Bank on Hardy following his Ladder Match against Edge. On Raw, The Charismatic Enigma had an opportunity to win the World Heavyweight Title back from The Straightedge Champion, but with the added complication of The Rated-R Superstar’s presence.
In the course of the match, Punk appeared to injure his leg after landing wrong on the ring steps, moving outside the ring for WWE’s athletic trainers to attend to him. The World Heavyweight Champion made a miraculous recovery however, launching into action after Hardy hit Edge with a Swanton Bomb, pulling The Charismatic Enigma out of the ring and covering Edge to retain his championship gold. After the match, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long emerged, congratulating CM Punk and revealing that his next title defense would be against Jeff Hardy at The Bash.
At The Bash, the fateful roads of squared-circle passion and championship retribution will collide, as World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk puts his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Jeff Hardy.
Extreme Rules saw Jeff Hardy prove triumphant over Edge in a career-threatening World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match that propelled both Superstars to heights of grueling insanity, the likes of which neither one had ever experienced before. It was time for celebration, as The Charismatic Enigma had finally overcome all that had stood in his way to stand alone in the glorious splendor of WWE supremacy.
But then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over. Suddenly and without warning, CM Punk brought Hardy hurling back to earth, cashing in his Money in the Bank opportunity on the war-torn Superstar to rip the gold from his waist as quickly as it had been placed there.
The Straightedge Superstar had also overcome unimaginable odds at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, beating out seven other Superstars to climb the rungs of the ladder and snatch his second Money in the Bank briefcase. This gave him the right to cash in that opportunity anytime he wished. Some claim that he simply exercised a move of strategic brilliance, picking the moment that the World Champion would be most vulnerable to attack and taking the title.
On Raw’s special three-hour edition 3-For-All, Punk put his title up against both Hardy & Edge in a Triple Threat Match. Hardy looked to once again close-in on victory over The Rated-R Superstar. However, Punk blocked Hardy’s path to glory once again, hurling him away from the win to cover Edge himself and retain the title. This further intensified the tension between the two Superstars and raised as many question as it answered.
At The Bash, a true moment of destiny will be revealed. There will be no ladders or no promises of glory hanging above the ring, only the white-hot intensity of reckless abandon. Two of the most tenacious Superstars in WWE will dish out every bit of their heart, strength and unbridled skill to determine who has the right to possess the gold. And in the end, only one of them will walk out the ultimate conqueror.
Jericho has been angry for weeks over not being considered for an opportunity at the World Title. After expressing his displeasure to Teddy Long, the GM announced Jericho could face new champion CM Punk. So, just before joining the announce team for the main event, Punk took on Jericho one-on-one. Despite Jericho’s bold prediction, his guarantee for victory did not come true, as Punk dropped him with a Go to Sleep. The win was Punk’s first as new champion.
In a back-and-forth struggle, Hardy and Edge pushed themselves to the limits of endurance. As the action spilled to the arena floor, Edge tossed Hardy onto CM Punk, who was seated at the announce table. Mayhem then ensued, when Punk pursued Edge back in to the ring and assaulted him with a series of punches.
Realizing he lost the match due to Punk’s interference, an angry Jeff Hardy reigned down blows on Punk, then took out his frustration on Edge with a Twist of Fate. But it was the champion who had the final word when he destroyed Hardy with a Go to Sleep.
As Punk stood over the fallen former champions, GM Theodore Long made the blockbuster announcement from his office that it will be Edge vs. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk in a Triple Threat Match on Raw for the World Heavyweight Championship.
In a wild turn of events surrounding the coveted World Heavyweight Championship, CM Punk emerged the new champion after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract against Jeff Hardy, who moments earlier, defeated former champion Edge in a brutal Ladder Match.
Before Hardy could fully bask in the glory of being crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk crushed Hardy’s dreams by cashing in the contract he has wielded since winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. With a double dose of Go to Sleep, Punk easily put away the exhausted Hardy.
The victory was Punk’s second of the night at Extreme Rules. Earlier, he defeated Umaga in a vicious Samoan Strap Match. CM Punk overcame the odds stacked against him at Extreme Rules, defeating Umaga at his own game – a Samoan Strap Match. While Mr. Money in the Bank was strapped to the 350-pound brute Sunday night, he amazingly dragged his opponent to three corners of the ring, hit him with a Go To Sleep, then hit the last ringpost in succession for the victory.
Umaga had been the thorn in the Straightedge Superstar’s side for more than a month. Not only has The Samoan Bulldozer thwarted several of Punk’s attempts to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on SmackDown, he brutally defeated him at Judgment Day.
But their last meeting before Extreme Rules foretold the future, and it certainly looked bright for Punk. Friday on SmackDown, Punk defeated Umaga after hitting him with an astounding Go To Sleep, just as he did at Extreme Rules. It was a feat that some thought was impossible, but not to Mr. Money in the Bank.