WWE Champion CM Punk’s Second City homecoming was marred by the underhanded actions of Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis and Dolph Ziggler, while the diabolical Kane finally shed some fire on his recent attacks on John Cena.
Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis set a Gauntlet Match for WWE Champion CM Punk
The Chicago crowd hoping to give their hometown hero a rousing ovation was disappointed when Raw kicked off with Interim General Manager John Laurinaitis mocking CM Punk’s signature entrance. With the WWE Champion’s T-shirt pulled over his suit jacket, the executive proceeded to give himself credit for the exciting changes in sports-entertainment.
That was all it took to bring out a livid Second City Savior. Explaining that Raw’s revolution is due to Punk being “the best wrestler in the world,” the WWE Champion looked ready to hit the EVP with a GTS. That’s when Laurinaitis announced his idea for the evening — Punk will face three opponents in a Gauntlet Match and if any of those competitors beat the champion, they will receive a WWE Title Match next week on the first Raw of the New Year!
The Straight Edge Superstar was game, but he wanted to up the ante. If the tattooed Superstar beat all three Superstars, he proposed that he get a fourth match with none other than John Laurinaitis himself.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Jack Swagger in a Gauntlet Match (WATCH)
Forced by Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis to face Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Henry in a Gauntlet Match, WWE Champion CM Punk knew he had to dispatch of his first opponent early. It wasn’t easy getting by the former World Heavyweight Champion, but even with the shrill Vickie Guerrero attempting to sway the bout for her client, The Straight Edge Superstar put Swagger to bed with a devastating roundhouse kick.
Dolph Ziggler def. WWE Champion CM Punk in a Title-Free Gauntlet Match (WATCH)
Still sucking air after his first Gauntlet Match, Punk rallied against the talented, but arrogant Dolph Ziggler. That was until Mr. Laurinaitis stuck his nose in. Distracting The Straight Edge Superstar by making a mid-match announcement, the Interim Raw General Manager allowed Ziggler to steal one and earn a WWE Title opportunity against the champion next Monday night. The showoff was so pumped about his victory, he snatched Punk’s title and taunted a disgusted Chicago crowd.
Philly is no stranger to revolutions, so it was the perfect city to play host to a trio of new titleholders who are turning WWE in a different direction — WWE Champion CM Punk, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and United States Champion Zack Ryder. This revolution will be televised.
The trio of WWE Champion CM Punk, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and United States Champion Zack Ryder had reason to celebrate. Lifelong sports-entertainment fans, the three Superstars overcame some serious odds to walk away from WWE TLC with their respective titles in hand. But the mutual admiration society didn’t have much time to pat each other on the back in Philadelphia. Soon besieged by the tyrannical trio of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, the three champions fought off their attackers before receiving word from Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis that they would face those three Superstars in tonight’s main event.
It looks like the change The Straight Edge Superstar promised is finally coming to fruition. Entering the ring through a raucous Philly crowd, WWE Champion CM Punk, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan & United States Champion Zack Ryder showed how they were leading WWE into 2012 by blasting their way through a veritable rogues’ gallery with blunt force. The exciting young Superstars each got their fill of action before Bryan made Del Rio tap out to the LeBell Lock.
If it wasn’t clear at WWE TLC, it should be after this bout — the future is now.
If the WWE Universe didn’t think CM Punk was a superhero already, they will after witnessing his daring performance in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match at WWE TLC.
Up against the rogues’ gallery of the treacherous Miz and the underhanded Alberto Del Rio, The Straight Edge Superstar miraculously broke free of handcuffs after being latched to the ropes by The Awesome One. The WWE Champion then fought his way to the top of a ladder and snatched his title before celebrating high above the carnage he’d just created.
It was the kind of fearless, in-your-face showing that has defined The Straight Edge Superstar’s run since he resigned with WWE in the late summer. Outspoken about his frustrations with the sports-entertainment empire in the past, Punk chose to be an agent of change instead of sitting around and waiting for one to appear. The “Voice of the Voiceless” wanted to see a more entertaining WWE Champion? At WWE TLC, he became it.