WWE Champion CM Punk interrupted the State of WWE Address; Mr. McMahon challenged Punk to a match
So what is the state of WWE? Following Mr. McMahon’s address, state of flux would be appropriate to say the least. What started as a good-natured speech to the WWE Universe about what makes WWE great devolved into animosity and, finally, physicality after WWE Champion CM Punk decided to go a few verbal rounds with his former favorite “pipe bomb” target.
It was The Chairman’s implication that WWE was about the best battling the best that brought Punk forth, sporting a new T-shirt and the same furious attitude that led to the “pipe bomb” itself. The champion, furious that Mr. McMahon dared speak of “the best” in the company without mentioning his name, took The Chairman to task for his supposedly underappreciative attitude, for attempting to vilify him while he carried the standard of WWE around his waist. “I’m the best you have!” Punk roared in Mr. McMahon’s face, but The Chairman would not be moved. He attempted to take Punk down a notch, comparing him unfavorably to legends like Bret Hart and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Instead of humbling Punk, however, the opposite occurred. Incensed by Mr. McMahon’s comments, Punk vilified The Rattlesnake and finally got to his point: that it was a “slap in the face” when Mr. McMahon failed to mention Punk as one of his best Superstars. “You’ve been slapping me in the face for years,” The Second City Saint seethed, before rearing back and open-palm slapping The Chairman across his face. With The Boss prone on the mat, Punk knelt down and delivered the kicker: “And now that’s a slap in your face.”
While The Second City Saint preened his way back up the ramp, The Chairman got to his feet and got to business: He should fire Punk, but wouldn’t … provided the WWE Champion met him one-on-one in the ring later that night. And by the time the night is over, The Boss vowed, CM Punk would learn something about respect.
At the top of the ramp, Paul Heyman attempted to dissuade his “guy” from taking The Boss’s bait, but The Voice of the Voiceless would have none of it. “We have him right where we want him,” said Punk.
WWE Champion CM Punk fought Mr. McMahon until Ryback interrupted; The Chairman gave Punk an ultimatum for Hell in a Cell
As it turned out, CM Punk vs. Mr. McMahon wasn’t much of a match, as the bell never rang to signal the beginning of the contest. That said, it was one undeniably epic fight.
The brutality began early, when Punk attacked The Chairman from behind before he could even take to the ring. The Second City Saint showed no mercy in the man he once considered his chief tormentor, battering The Boss about the ring before Mr. McMahon began to show signs of life. The Chairman gave as good as he got, pummeling Punk on the outside and even catching some air as he leaped over the announce table to pounce on The Second City Saint while he lied prone amid the announce chairs. Mr. McMahon’s acquisition of a kendo stick from beneath the ring sent Punk scurrying. But when The Chairman laid hands on Punk’s beloved WWE Title (decking Heyman to get it in the process) and dared him to come and get it, The Voice of the Voiceless was left with no choice but to retaliate.
And retaliate he did. Once Punk got his hands on a kendo stick of his own, he went mano-a-mano with The Chairman, and an expert possum play led to a low blow that left Mr. McMahon sprawled across the ring. After dishing another battering with the two kendo sticks, Punk finally hauled The Chairman up for the Go to Sleep, and it seemed there were very few words from anyone that could have stopped the onslaught at that point.
And then, right on cue, two of them erupted through the loudspeakers:
For the third time, Ryback made a beeline for the WWE Champion and, with an assist from John Cena, this time “Big Hungry” hit paydirt, cutting The Second City Saint down with a clothesline before lifting Punk into the air for Shell Shocked … until Punk squirmed off Ryback’s grip and, in a strange repeat from his infamous exit at Money in the Bank, exited through the crowd.
McMahon, down but not out, got to his feet, grabbed the mic and presented Punk with an ultimatum: At Hell in a Cell, he would either face John Cena or Ryback. And if the champion hadn’t made up his mind in seven days … well, The Chairman would make it for him.