WWE Champion CM Punk confronted WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart
Fifteen years later, Bret “Hit Man” Hart finally came home, returning to the site of his most infamous match as Raw descended upon Montreal’s Bell Centre. And for a minute, the WWE Hall of Famer’s presence was all the WWE Universe needed, as they showered the humbled “Hit Man” with cheers and praise (and more than a few “Thank you Bret” chants) while he thanked the people of Montreal for their unwavering support in the 15 years since Survivor Series 1997 (WATCH: RAW HIGHLIGHTS | EXCLUSIVES)
And while the people of Montreal cheered their hometown hero, WWE Champion CM Punk took the opportunity to make his presence known.
WWE Champion CM Punk attacked Jerry Lawler, interrupted Sheamus’ address of the WWE Universe
CHICAGO – A storm was brewing in the Windy City before Raw even began, when WWE Champion CM Punk attacked Jerry “The King” Lawler in the bowels of the Allstate Arena, incapacitating the WWE Hall of Famer and rendering him unable to attend to his duties at the commentary table (WATCH: LAWLER REACTS | MORE EXCLUSIVES)
Nonetheless, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus took to the ring to address the WWE Universe, but his fighting words for Alberto Del Rio were quickly cut off by none other than Chi-town’s favorite son, The Second City Saint himself. One week after Punk’s controversial pummeling of Lawler inside a steel cage, Punk (showered by adulation from his hometown fans) was still singing the same tune, bemoaning the lack of respect shown to him by the WWE Superstars and Universe alike. In this case, the champion took exception to Sheamus’ attempts to “try and talk to my hometown.” Punk played the native son card against The Celtic Warrior and claimed Lawler had attacked him from behind, provoking the “Chicago-style” beating at the hands of Punk.
Punk and Lawler engaged in a heated war of words; Punk wanted Lawler in a match
Raw kicked off with Jerry “The King” Lawler demanding an apology from WWE Champion CM Punk, who kicked the Hall of Famer in the head on last week’s show. But instead of a sincere apology, Lawler received a string of insults from Punk, who still holds a grudge after Lawler’s claims on Raw 1,000 that Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe. After the bitter words — which included Punk calling into question Lawler’s manhood — Punk suggested they fight, leaving the decision for Lawler to think about it, which he agreed to do.
Jerry Lawler agreed to face CM Punk in a match
After CM Punk tweeted that he’d give Jerry Lawler the first punch if they met in a match, Lawler responded by addressing the entire WWE Universe in attendance and around the world. After rattling off his formidable opponents from back in the day, the WWE Hall of Famer vehemently agreed to face Punk. “I know I’m not the best in the world, but I don’t think you are either. … I’ve never backed down from a challenge in my life and I’m not about to start. … You’re damn right I’ll fight you tonight.”
WWE Universe decided Punk vs. Lawler match format in a RAWActive vote
Putting the WWE Universe in control, Raw General Manager AJ Lee declared the match format between WWE Champion CM Punk and Jerry Lawler would be decided by a RAWactive vote. The three potential matches were: Tables Match (#WWETables), Steel Cage Match (#WWECage) or No Disqualification Match (#WWENoDQ).
Steel Cage Match: 48 percent
Tables Match: 20 percent
No Disqualification Match: 32 percent
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Jerry Lawler
In a match decided by a RAWactive vote, WWE Champion CM Punk goaded Jerry Lawler into hitting him first to stat their bout. When the WWE Hall of Famer took him up on his offer, he sent the stunned champion reeling. After the shock wore off, Punk mounted a dominating and punishing offense against Lawler.
At one point, Lawler struck Punk down and went for an escape from the cage. But the champion dragged him back to the center of the ring to exact more punishment. Next, Lawler battled back, shoving Punk face first into the stinging steel cage, then delivered a series of blows finished off with a clothesline and more punches. Then, after Lawler climbed to the second rope, he blasted Punk with a fist drop.
As the battle waged on, Punk put an end to the war by making Lawler submit to the Anaconda Vise.
But Punk wasn’t done yet.
After the win, Punk grabbed a lock and chain from under the ring and locked himself inside the steel cage with his downed opponent. With Lawler in his clutches and a microphone shoved in his face, Punk demanded Lawler call him the best in the world. When the WWE Hall of Famer remained defiant, Punk repeatedly pummeled him.
With Lawler in severe pain, John Cena rushed to ringside and called for the cage to be lifted. Despite Cena’s presence, Punk continued reigning down more blows on Lawler. When the cage finally lifted, Punk quickly exited, while Cena and WWE officials rushed in, coming to Lawler’s aid.
DIGITAL PICTURES — SCREEN CAPTURES
Raw General Manager AJ Lee responds to CM Punk’s TOUT
Earlier in the evening, WWE Champion CM Punk Touted that he thought AJ Lee should show him respect and let choose the next No. 1 contender. Raw’s General Manager responded by telling Matt Striker that she was fine with it, so long as she approves the WWE Champion’s choice.
WWE Champion CM Punk confronts Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Cena
On Raw 1,000, Jerry “The King” Lawler said that CM Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe. Twenty-four hours after retaining the WWE Title in a Triple Threat Match against Big Show and John Cena at SummerSlam, WWE Champion CM Punk demanded an apology from the WWE Hall of Famer. But before Punk could get his apology, John Cena made his way to the ring. (PHOTOS | WATCH EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)
The Straight Edge Superstar was clearly unhappy with Cena’s interruption, claiming that since WrestleMania, the champion has taken a “back seat” to Cena, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Triple H. Punk explained to Cena that he didn’t mind out of respect. The WWE Champion reminded Cena and the WWE Universe how many times he has defeated the Cenation leader. With that in mind, CM Punk named his one condition for accepting the match: Cena must admit that The Second City Saint is the “Best in the World.”
Cena retorted that despite nine months of not being the WWE Champion, the Cenation was still strong because of the one thing CM Punk desired: respect. Cena refused to adhere to Punk’s demand, because in his heart, he is the best.
The 10-time WWE Champion highlighted the stark contrasts between himself and the current champion and how he never demanded anything from anyone. Willing to sacrifice the No. 1 contendership, Cena would not give Punk what he wanted. Cena reminded The Straight Edge Superstar that if he wanted to prove he was the best once and for all, he must face Cena at Night of Champions.
After the Cenation leader left the ring, CM Punk once again turned his attention to Jerry Lawler, calling the WWE Hall of Famer into the ring to once again demand an apology. Lawler apologized, but the WWE Champion was still not satisfied and wanted “The King” to declare him the “Best in the World.”
The Memphis, Tenn., native refused and tried to return to the announce table only for CM Punk to kick him from behind. As Raw came to a close, the WWE Champion, still lacking whatever respect he felt was deserved, silently looked down at Lawler and to the WWE Universe. (WATCH: PUNK EXPLAINS HIS ATTACK)
DIGITAL PICTURES — SCREEN CAPTURES
Three men entered, three men collided and three men fought. When the dust was settled and all was said and done, CM Punk — on the 274th day of his reign — was still standing tall as the WWE Champion, defeating John Cena and Big Show in a Triple Threat Match at The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam. (PHOTOS)
For weeks, the embattled champion had been insisting that WWE had not been affording him due respect as its standard-bearer. He made a particular point of telling Raw General Manager AJ Lee that a Triple Threat Title Match — a contest where Punk would not even have to be pinned to lose his championship — was an extension of that mindset. And when Cena refused to shake Punk’s hand earlier in the week on Raw, The Second City Saint seemed to be in a particularly foul mood heading into WWE’s summer classic.