DIGITAL PICTURES — SCREEN CAPTURES
The Rock proclaimed he will fight for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble
WWE Champion CM Punk jumped on the opportunity to pour salt on Bryan’s wounds as the stranded groom continued to throw a tantrum in the ring. Bryan shouted at Punk that he’s the greatest of all time, but The Great One quickly deflated Bryan’s boasting. The Rock came out to the ring and told Bryan that he doesn’t get to say who the greatest of all time – only the WWE Universe gets to say that. In turn, the St. Louis crowd chanted, “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” (VIDEO | PHOTOS)
Likening Bryan to Frodo Baggins from “Lord of the Rings,” The Brahma Bull said he wasn’t there to trash the disgruntled Superstar, but rather wanted to talk about the WWE Championship. The Rock boldly proclaimed to The Straight Edge Superstar that he will fight for – and win – the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, regardless of who holds the title at that time. Bryan angrily interrupted The Rock and claimed that it would be he who becomes WWE Champion and the new face of WWE. The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment mocked that notion, telling Bryan he looks more like the offspring of a homeless lumberjack and an Oompa-Loompa, and then flattened him with a ring-shaking Rock Bottom.
On the action-packed final two-hour Raw in history, AJ accepted Daniel Bryan’s wedding proposal and John Cena announced that he will cash in his Money in the Bank championship contract against WWE Champion CM Punk on Raw’s 1,000th episode this Monday at its new start time of 8/7 CT on USA Network. (RAW 1,000 PREVIEW | RAW 1,000 COVERAGE)
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Big Show announced (PHOTOS)
In the same city where WWE Champion CM Punk delivered his blistering “pipe bomb” a little more than a year ago (MORE), The Straight Edge Superstar kicked off the final Raw before the historic 1,000th episode by declaring he has firmly proven he is the best in the world.
But inside the sold-out Mandalay Bay Casino, Big Show interrupted to offer his thoughts on how the champion’s last year has gone and claim he was inches away from winning a championship contract at Money in the Bank. As Big Show and Punk traded verbal barbs, The World’s Largest Athlete pointed out the gigantic implications of their main event match. With the very good chance Punk could get knocked out, he’d be in real jeopardy of Mr. Money in the Bank John Cena cashing in his contract.
CM Punk def. Big Show by disqualification; John Cena to cash in on Raw 1,000
After pushing themselves to the limit in their respective matches one night earlier at Money in the Bank, Big Show and WWE Champion CM Punk fought tooth-and-nail in the night’s main event. As the battle waged on, it looked like The Straight Edge Superstar had Show right where he wanted when Punk launched himself onto Show with a flying elbow from the top rope. But Show came back with a wicked chokeslam that almost resulted in a three count. Next, with the referee knocked out of commission by Show, the bout ended in a disqualification and Show continued to batter the champion. But before he could inflict more damage, Mr. Money in the Bank John Cena charged in with his briefcase.
After citing Punk’s 239-day reign as champion, Cena announced he would be cashing in his championship contract next week. “At Raw 1,000, with both of us fresh, we will find out who the best in the world really is,” Cena said.
Not done yet, Mr. Money in the Bank followed up on his Tout to the WWE Universe from earlier in the day. As he uttered the words “My huge announcement? …” Cena swiftly bashed Show with his metal Money in the Bank briefcase, sending him crashing to the arena floor.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Daniel Bryan in a No Disqualification Match
Like a swift kick to the chest, love hits hard. But it’s safe to say Cupid’s arrow wasn’t half as powerful as the discretion of AJ, the special guest referee for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s No Disqualification WWE Championship Match at Money in the Bank. After all, AJ was the one who, following months of ominous flirtation with both WWE Champion Punk and No. 1 contender Bryan, held the ultimate power to determine the WWE Title’s fate when the two technicians clashed for the third time in as many months with the title on the line. Going into the highly anticipated contest, the WWE Universe was waiting with baited breath to see which Superstar The Geek Goddess would grant favor to.
John Cena def. WWE Champion Rey Mysterio; CM Punk confronted Cena
The capacity crowd inside the Hampton Coliseum might want to save their ticket stubs. It was a night to remember for the WWE Universe. In an unprecedented second WWE Championship Match of the night, newly-minted WWE Champion Rey Mysterio was forced to defend the title he won less than two hours earlier against one of WWE’s toughest competitors, John Cena.
As the two sportsmen competed, it eventually became clear that The Cenation Commander-in-Chief would overpower Rey’s agile assault and capture his ninth WWE Championship. In the carnival of celebration, however, one competitor emerged to dispute the legitimacy of Cena’s reign.
CM Punk shocked the WWE faithful when, after having departed the company two weeks earlier, he surfaced inside the arena carrying his WWE Title. The audience, as well as millions at home, watched the confrontation, the tension, the body language. Which man would blink first? Which WWE Champion was the rightful heir to WWE’s most coveted object? In the frenzied air of anticipation, however, there would be no determination. The Second City Savior and The Champ merely stood hoisting their respective WWE Titles skyward, as if to declare their proper place in the history books despite the protests of the other.