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WWE Champion CM Punk & United States Champion Santino Marella def. Daniel Bryan & Cody Rhodes

Less than a week before WWE Champion CM Punk will defend his title against Daniel Bryan at WWE Over the Limit, the champion tangled with his foe in tag action. And it was The Straight Edge Superstar who captured victory for his team over Cody Rhodes with a GTS … all the while making sure Bryan kept close watch on his fast and furious offense against Rhodes.

Debbie Wiseman May 15, 2012

USA Network’s ‘Welcome Summer’ Photoshoot

Debbie Wiseman May 12, 2012

 CM Punk and Daniel Bryan's long, strange road to the WWE Title

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The WWE Champion is not supposed to be here.

They said he was too small, a straight-edge scrapper who was about as far from the flamboyant WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels as can be, and far too much of an “internet darling” to reach the lofty heights of the title he now holds.

The No. 1 contender is not supposed to be here, either. He is a 5-foot-10 vegan in a land of red-blooded, meaty hulks, a man who wins matches with submission holds instead of bone-crunching strikes. Not exactly Hulk Hogan reincarnate, in other words.

And yet, here CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are. The important thing to realize is that it is not a rivalry born of natural animosity, like Austin vs. McMahon. It is not born of betrayal, like Hart vs. Michaels, nor does it stem from self-destructive impulse, like Triple H vs. The Undertaker.

Debbie Wiseman May 12, 2012

PHOTOS & WWE.com Video

For a guy who has won seven world championships as a professional wrestler and has performed in front of millions, CM Punk appeared … well, slightly jittery in the press box on Monday night at Wrigley Field.
“To me, I don’t really get nervous as often wrestling anymore,” he said.

And as he warmed up for his big moment with organist Gary Pressy in a tiny booth high above Wrigley Field, tattooed tough-guy CM Punk melted away and was replaced by Phillip Jack Brooks (Punk’s real name), a wide-eyed kid who just stole the keys to the candy store.

“Take me out to the ball game…”

Debbie Wiseman May 12, 2012

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General Manager John Laurinaitis was ripped by WWE Champion CM Punk
Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis showed no remorse for his ruthless assault on John Cena at the end of last week’s Raw. The GM said he wasn’t punished by the Board of Directors for his actions, which he claimed was justified because The Cenation Leader tried to undermine his authority and ridicule his leadership skills. Laurinaitis mandated that Cena not appear live tonight and instead undergo rehabilitation so he doesn’t have an excuse why he will lose to him at WWE Over the Limit. (PHOTOS | VIDEO)

Laurinaitis then revealed that the reason his voice sounds so hoarse is because he was injured in a match against “Dr. Death” Steve Williams in Tokyo, Japan. Showing off images of his in-ring action on the TitanTron, Laurinaitis boasted that, when he performed in Japan, he was Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock, all rolled into one dominant competitor.

Before Laurinaitis could get any further, WWE Champion CM Punk came out to the ring to confront the cocky General Manager. Punk blasted Laurinaitis for losing touch with the people, despite all the GM’s bragging that he’s the brains behind “People Power.” The Straight Edge Superstar’s sharpest jab of all came when he told Laurinaitis the reason he went to Japan is because no one in America ever wanted to see him compete.

Angered by Punk’s verbal barbs, Laurinaitis made a big match for Raw SuperShow tonight, pitting the WWE Champion against the fearsome Lord Tensai.

Before the main event, John Laurinaitis announced that the CM Punk vs. Lord Tensai contest was now a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, with Punk taking on both Tensai and Daniel Bryan.

The WWE Champion had his work cut out for him, as Tensai blasted and mangled Punk early with a series of power moves. Punk mounted a rally after Bryan missed with a flying headbutt off the top rope, but the strength in numbers would soon prove to be too much for The Straight Edge Superstar to overcome. As Punk went to the top turnbuckle, a lurking Bryan sent him flying with a shove, and Tensai took full advantage by squeezing The Second City Savior’s head like a vice with a green mist-filled claw. (PHOTOS | VIDEO)

Adding insult to injury, Bryan snapped the “Yes!” Lock onto Punk following the 2-on-1 victory and berated the helpless WWE Champion. If we’ve learned one major lesson from this Raw SuperShow, it’s that Laurinaitis is hell-bent on making Superstars pay dearly for crossing him.

Debbie Wiseman May 8, 2012