WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman demanded an apology from Raw General Manager AJ Lee
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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Voice of the Voiceless, CM Punk, took to the airwaves as Raw began, throwing accusations of cowardice in the general direction of both John Cena and Mick Foley. Punk condemned them for their actions the previous week (Cena for battering Punk with a lead pipe while the WWE Champion’s back was turned and Foley for a perceived act of disrespect in the locker room area as Raw went to black). While The Second City Saint showed little to no remorse for his attack on The Hardcore Legend in the locker room, he did say that Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy managed to reach Punk with his impassioned plea to face John Cena at Hell in a Cell for the WWE Title. That said, he must not have reached the WWE Champion all too well, because despite Foley’s “eloquent” speech, the match was still not going to happen.
With that business settled, The Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless, Paul Heyman, was next to step up to the mic. He took Raw General Manager AJ Lee to task for striking him last week following the mad scientist’s marriage proposal and called for her termination as GM for violating a previous edict by the WWE Board of Directors preventing AJ from putting her hands on any competitors, managers or the like ever again. And who would fill the power void left by Miss Lee’s hypothetical removal from power? Paul Heyman.
Vickie Guerrero, however, was not having it. Flanked by Dolph Ziggler, the “Queen Diva” strode to the ring with great purpose and made her case for assuming the GM position. Jaw-jacking followed, which left The Showoff to assume the unlikely role of peacekeeper: What if, Ziggler posed, Vickie and Heyman were to team up as Co-GMs following AJ’s potential ouster.
This left AJ no choice but to make her presence known, revealing to her assembled, would-be usurpers that the Board of Directors had placed her on probation, and she had hired an “Executive Coach” to help her through an evaluation period. Which promptly brought out …
Yes (yes, yes, yes), Team Hell No’s bearded technical maven stormed down to the ring, somehow managing between his apoplectic screams of “NO!” to assert that AJ’s issues have been compounded by her dumping at the hands of Bryan following his WrestleMania loss. Bryan nefariously twiddled his beard as he extolled his own physical virtues (“I AM HANDSOME!!!!”) and championship acumen (“I’M THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!!!!”). This brought out Kane, who tossed a compliment AJ’s way (“she is a phenomenal kisser!”) before correcting one of Bryan’s points: that Kane, not Bryan, was the Tag Team Champions.
Chaos followed, with Kane, Bryan, Ziggler, Punk, Vickie and Heyman all screaming over each other before AJ regained control of the masses. “This is my show,” seethed the boss lady, decreeing that the night’s main event would be Punk & Ziggler facing the WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Hell No.
WWE Champion CM Punk crashed Jim Ross Appreciation Night
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It was supposed to be J.R.’s night in Oklahoma City, as the WWE Hall of Famer was set to receive an “appreciation night” in his home state. But before Good Ol’ J.R. could get his words of thanks in to the Chesapeake Energy Center crowd, “Cult of Personality” ripped through the loudspeakers and WWE Champion CM Punk made his presence known for the second time in the evening.
After dismissing Michael Cole and offering J.R. some strong words praise (“you’re the best announcer we have and I respect the hell out of you”), Punk promptly snatched the thunder from the Okie native’s hands and proceeded to demean and insult the assemled Oklahoma crowd, who he claimed “[didn't] know the first thing about respect.” However, since J.R. does know about respect, The Second City Saint attempted to rope the Hall of Famer into teaching the WWE Universe about respect “by telling them that I’m the Best in the World.”
J.R. didn’t bite, turning Punk’s intrusion on its head by saying The Second City Saint had been doing a fantastic job of making a “jackass” out of himself over previous weeks. Sincerely floored by J.R.’s insult, Punk turned bilious in a matter of moments, mocking J.R.’s accent and his famous cry of “STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!” and threatening Good Ol’ J.R. with bodily harm if he refused to bend to Punk’s will and declare him the Best in the World.
Again, J.R. didn’t bite. And he threw Punk’s anger right back in his face, asserting that, if the champion truly wanted to be the Best in the World, he would face John Cena at Hell in a Cell and prove himself in the place where rivalries are settled. Should Punk manage that, J.R. said, he would be the first one to offer the champion his proper congratulations.
By way of a reply, The Second City Saint knocked J.R.’s hat off his head and offered him an ultimatum: “You fight me or you leave.”
Defeated, J.R. chose the path of peace and attempted to resume his place at the announce table, but Punk wasn’t having it: He demanded that Ross leave the arena through the ramp, prohibited by order of the Best in the World from doing what he loved the most. Overpowered, J.R. made his walk back up the ramp, when the familiar cry of “FEED ME” boomed out and the Hall of Famer found himself a monstrous escort. With Ryback at his side, J.R. made his way back to the ring and Punk, once again at a loss for words, backed away from the titan’s imposing stare for the second time in as many weeks.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. WWE Champion CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler
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Looks like Team Hell No is finally getting their groove: the infighting was minimal, the chemistry was strong and the end result was undeniable when the odd-couple champions picked up a win over WWE Champion CM Punk & Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler, with Punk himself suffering the deciding pinfall of the evening.
There was one wrinkle that did threaten to derail the whole enterprise: Following a tense job evaluation at the hands of her “Executive Coach,” AJ Lee decided to prove her mettle as a leader by suiting up in the zebra stripes and taking the referee’s job for the evening’s main event. But despite her romantic history with the majority of the in-ring competitors, the Raw General Manager called the match fair and down the middle.
Punk & Ziggler worked surprisingly well together given their status as an odd couple. Ziggler mounted a strong offense against The Devil’s Favorite Demon when he locked the monstrous Tag Champion in a sleeper hold while Punk and Bryan briefly resumed their epic, technical rivalry when the two found themselves in the ring together. The mounting synergy of Team Hell No won out in the end, however, with Kane & Bryan executing a series of tandem moves and, despite a few unwanted tags, displaying a newfound proficiency and protectiveness toward each other. Kane, in particular, seemed incensed when Ziggler attempted to batter Bryan outside the apron.
Ultimately, the team that demanded the most validation found itself short when AJ ejected Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero. Vickie promptly commanded Ziggler to leave as well and The Showoff, though conflicted, obliged. With Punk left alone in the lion’s den, it fell to Kane to spell The Second City Saint’s doom with a bone-rattling Chokeslam that left The Voice of the Voiceless staring up at the lights.
True to form, Team Hell No couldn’t celebrate the victory without a little bit of infighting, as Kane and Bryan resumed their “I’m the Tag Team Champions” back and forth in Raw’s closing minutes. It would appear that true harmony (and CM Punk’s quest for validation) will have to wait at least one more week.