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The Shield confronted CM Punk

There’s something to be said for finishing a year off as strong as you started it. And for CM Punk, who began 2013 as WWE Champion with The Brahma Bull himself in his sights, nothing would do for a curtain call than calling out the biggest, baddest dogs in the yard: The Shield. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns – light years beyond the wild newcomers they were 12 months ago – were, of course, all too eager to take out the proverbial thorn in their collective paws. So much so, in fact, that the three Hounds of Justice nearly got into it with each other over who was the unit’s strongest link and therefore worthiest to face Punk. Thanks to a timely appearance by Raw GM Brad Maddox, though, The Shield’s tumult was quelled and Seth Rollins was selected as the lucky Superstar who would battle The Best in the World.

CM Punk def. Seth Rollins

The heightened expectation of being CM Punk’s handpicked opponent certainly didn’t slow Seth Rollins down in the former Tag Team Champion’s first one-on-one tilt against The Straight Edge Superstar. If anything, getting a crack at The Shield’s personal Kryptonite energized the wild man into one of his strongest efforts yet. And yet, even with bragging rights on the line, it wasn’t enough to stop the surging Punk from handing The Shield another humiliation.

Punk played fast and loose with Rollins while Ambrose and Reigns prowled the outside, improvising submission holds with the ropes as leverage and attempting a Go to Sleep only seconds into the contest. Rollins took control by throwing Punk into the turnbuckle, but his arms – to borrow a phrase – proved too short to box with God. Capitalizing on Ambrose’s distraction of the referee, Punk kicked out of Rollins’ strongest moves, sent the strategist flying into his fellow Shield-mates and finally reversed a springboard strike into a match-ending Go to Sleep.

Debbie Jan 1, 2014

HQ Digitals

Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State played host to WWE Tribute to the Troops 2013 as members of the U.S. Military and their families enjoyed an action-packed evening of WWE competition. Joining WWE this year in honoring the troops were “Access Hollywood” co-host Michelle Beadle, four-time Grammy nominee Daughtry and renowned comedian Jeff Dunham.

Daniel Bryan def. Bray Wyatt via disqualification

A Six-Man Tag Team Match was not originally scheduled for Tribute to the Troops. However, the intense rivalry between Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt Family would not allow for a singles match between the former WWE Champion and Bray Wyatt to play out for the men and women of the U.S. Military.

There certainly is no love lost between Bryan and Wyatt, and their confrontation quickly degraded into an all-out brawl. The Eater of Worlds was relentless in his early offense, but his aggression towards Bryan may have blinded him – allowing Bryan to take control and a huge advantage in the contest. As Bryan was about to pin Wyatt and secure victory, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper interfered, resulting in a disqualification.

As Daniel Bryan was overwhelmed by The Wyatt Family, CM Punk ran to the ring in an effort to even the odds. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero did not take kindly to the chaos and stated that the service members in attendance deserved order. As a result, she restarted the bout as a Tag Team Match pitting Harper & Rowan against Daniel Bryan & CM Punk.

CM Punk & Daniel Bryan def. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan via disqualification

The tag team battle began in similar fashion to the singles bout that preceded it. The animosity between Punk, Bryan and the Wyatt Family led to a physical and competitive match that saw the two former WWE Champions gaining an advantage thanks to their experience and speed. As Punk prepared to execute the Go To Sleep on Erick Rowan, Bray Wyatt attacked, ending the match in another disqualification.

As The Wyatt Family attacked, John Cena made his way to the ring and unleashed on the creepy trio. The chaos that ensued again caught the attention of Vickie Guerrero, who announced a Six-Man Tag Team Match between Cena, Punk & Bryan and The Wyatt Family!

John Cena, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan def. The Wyatt Family

On the edge of their seats, the members of the U.S. Military at Joint Base Lewis-McChord were firmly in support of the trio of former WWE Champions as they battled the unorthodox and powerful Wyatts.

Momentum shifted back and forth, with the chaotic match starts and stops taking a toll on everyone involved – except the Cenation leader. Following The Second City Saint making the tag to Cena, the 11-time WWE Champion hit the ring in a rush of adrenaline. With Bray Wyatt and Rowan reeling on the outside of the ring, Punk hit the GTS on Harper, and Bryan nailed the massive competitor with a running knee before Cena secured the win with an Attitude Adjustment.

Debbie Jan 1, 2014