It’ll take more than a two-on-one thrashing and a trip through a table to keep CM Punk down. Still banged-up from his beating at the hands of Ryback and Curtis Axel last week, The Second City Saint took to the stage in Biloxi, Miss. for one final address before he fights The Human Wrecking Ball at WWE Battleground.
The former WWE Champion promised to keep his fight going until he got his hands on either Heyman or his cronies, but Raw GM Brad Maddox wasn’t about to allow Punk to jump the gun on Battleground. Maddox did seem ready to offer Punk the “outlet for his aggression” the former champion so desired, yet the arrival of (and subsequent surprise attack from) Big E Langston pre-empted any official decision. Conveniently, though, Maddox was all too happy to capitalize on Langston’s attack, and ordered a referee down to make the melee official.
CM Punk has a tall task ahead of him on Sunday against Ryback, but the former WWE Champion showed size doesn’t necessarily matter on Raw when he toppled the mighty Big E Langston in an impromptu match to start the show. Reeling at first from Big E’s vicious surprise attack, Punk fought from underneath for the majority of the contest, attempting to chop the big man down with precision strikes while Langston relied on pure strength to keep The Straight Edge Superstar at bay.
Two attempts to administer the Go to Sleep ended in disaster for the fighting-mad Chicago native, yet it proved to be endurance that made the difference in the bout when The Second City Saint found his wind and unleashed a stream of offense that left Langston staggering. A running knee and clothesline got the ball rolling, a flying elbow set the big man up, and Punk’s third GTS finally hit home, blasting the titan into unconsciousness and sealing the win for CM Punk.
Fandango may have the moves, but Kofi Kingston danced away with the win on Monday Night Raw when the former United States Champion tangoed with the dancing fiend and came away smiling when all was said and done.
It looked like a rough night at the outset for Kingston, who found himself at the mercy of the surging Fandango for minutes on end and very nearly suffered the top-rope leg drop to boot . Kofi wisely dodged the maneuver and capitalized on Fandango’s frustration with a sudden Trouble in Paradise for the win … and then Bray Wyatt decided to crash the party.
While Kofi seized a steel chair and readied for a fight, Wyatt instead sat himself atop the ramp and delivered yet another sinister sermon, ending with an ominous proclamation for the WWE locker room: “One by one, they will all fall down.”
Welcome to the dawn of a new era: Los Matadores have arrived in WWE and, flanked by their fearsome bull El Torito, they have claimed 3MB as their first conquered opponents. The masked matadors Diego & Fernando proved nearly unstoppable in their first WWE bout, taking to the air against Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal with an array of dizzying, lucha libre-style maneuvers that the rockers were powerless to repel. Mahal and Slater got a few licks in against their exuberant opponents, but the icing on the cake came when the toreadors teamed up and administered a two-pronged attack to an out-on-his-feet Slater that brought their first match to its close. All together now: ¡OLÉ!
Looks like redemption is on the table for Dusty Rhodes and his sons: After weeks of humiliation at the hands of “The Authority,” the three generations received a momentous offer from WWE COO Triple H & Stephanie McMahon … with a catch.
Given the persistence of the Rhodes men, the McMahons offered Cody Rhodes & Goldust the opportunity to earn their jobs back by defeating Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns at WWE Battleground. But, should they fail, not only would Cody & Goldust never work for WWE again, but Dusty would be fired from his job developing WWE talent at the Performance Center.
On behalf of his sons, Dusty accepted, but the Rhodes men soon saw just what they’d gotten themselves into when all three members of The Shield swarmed the ring and decimated the entire family, punctuating the assault with an earth-shaking Triple Powerbomb to Cody.
What’s up? An upset loss for Curtis Axel, for starters. The “better than perfect” Intercontinental Champion has been riding high thank to his one-upping of CM Punk lately, but Axel came crashing to earth against R-Truth in a fast-paced Raw match that saw the “Suntan Superman” strike the cocky titleholder down with some unexpected help. Axel struggled out of the gate against the former U.S. Champion, who kept the Heyman Guy on his heels with a dizzying array of offense that the champion was near-powerless to combat.
Yet, right when Axel gained separation from Truth and set himself up for a comeback, CM Punk’s theme music blared through the speakers and threw the champion off his game. While Axel readied for a sneak attack from Punk, Truth struck with one of his own, dropping Axel with the Lie Detector and pinning the Intercontinental Champion in the process.
Brie Bella had a weekend to remember, and the Bella Twin’s good vibes carried over into Raw, where the future Mrs. Daniel Bryan (and current No. 1 contender to the Divas Title) notched herself a big win over a game Alicia Fox in Biloxi. The wily Miss Fox came out swinging to spoil her opponent’s good mood, mashing her opponent’s face mercilessly into the mat. Despite Fox’s physical effort, though, Brie hung tough against the former Divas Champion, sealing the win with the one-two punch of a slap and a facebuster.
Zack Ryder’s gotten opportunities to show his stuff of late, but The Ultimate Broski received only heartbreak at the hands of Alberto Del Rio just six days before The Essence of Excellence defends the World Title at WWE Battleground. Despite a fast start for Long Island Iced-Z, a high-risk leap to the outside backfired when Del Rio scurried out of the way and left Ryder to eat the pavement. The former U.S. Champion fought back till the end and even landed a Broski Boot on Del Rio’s jaw, yet “Mexico’s Greatest Export” dodged the Rough Ryder and reclaimed the advantage, locking in the Cross Armbreaker for a submission victory.
Daniel Bryan’s not the only one who had a big proposal in mind this week. Ever since he was “saved” by Ryback at Night of Champions, Paul Heyman’s had a spring in his step and he decided to make it official in Mississippi: Promising to make an “honest man” out of Ryback, Heyman quite literally bent the knee before “The Big Guy” and humbly proposed that he become the latest Paul Heyman Guy.
Before Ryback could respond, though, CM Punk’s music sounded once again and the former WWE Champion made his entrance through the crowd, though he apparently tweaked his knee hopping the barricade. With his defenses lowered, Heyman slowly approached his former protégé and Punk revealed the injury was a ruse, producing a Kendo stick from beneath the ring and going to town on Heyman, Ryback, and finally Curtis Axel, who ran down to save his boss and was promptly put to sleep for his troubles.
Dolph Ziggler declared The Shield was “on the clock” on his way down the ramp on Raw, but it was time up for The Showoff and The Usos after the trio of titleholders notched another Six-Man Tag Team win over their latest challengers on Raw. Despite Ziggler’s fearlessness and The Usos’ feral acrobatics The Hounds of Justice quickly took control by stranding Jimmy Uso from his teammates. With the numbers overwhelming him, it was only a last-minute back drop to Seth Rollins that gave the Samoan prodigy the wind to summon Ziggler from the apron.
Seizing the opportunity, The Showoff came in hot, pounding Dean Ambrose with the Famouser and bringing his team within inches of victory when he struck Rollins with the Zig Zag. Thanks to some creative teamwork, though, The Shield had actually tagged in Roman Reigns before The Showoff administered his signature maneuver, and the big Hound capitalized on Dolph’s confusion by blasting the former World Heavyweight Champion with a spear for the 1-2-3.
No snake charmers necessary: Santino Marella picked up a win the old-fashioned way on Raw, gutting it out against a powerful opponent when all hope seemed lost. The Italian Stallion’s foe this week was Antonio Cesaro, who fell short during Santino’s big homecoming and seemed hell-bent on avoiding a repeat of that loss in Biloxi. The former U.S. Champion hauled The Milan Miracle into the air for a "Cesaro Swing" and even managed to block the judo throw that pinned him a few weeks back, but Santino quickly turned the tide and swept Cesaro’s legs out from under him, landing a perfect pin that left the powerful patriot kicking himself in disbelief.
Before Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton head to war at WWE Battleground, they sat down for a parlay on Monday Night Raw. Yet despite Jerry “The King” Lawler’s warning that the confrontation would be a verbal one only, tensions soon bubbled over between the fuming rivals, and Orton, driven to rage by the WWE Universe’s chants of “YES!”, crossed the line by insulting Bryan’s new fiancée.
The insult sent the “Yes!” man into a wild frenzy, but Bryan’s attack played right into The Apex Predator’s hands, and Orton promptly unleashed the same vicious side that had dispatched The Miz and Rob Van Dam the last two weeks. The beating brought Brie Bella out in the hopes of saving her man, but all she could do was watch as Orton administered the finishing touches: A hanging DDT off the apron and, finally, a ruthless RKO that plunged Bryan through the announce table as Raw came to a close.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- CM Punk defeated Big E. Langston (8:56)
- Kofi Kingston defeated Fandango (w/ Summer Rae) (3:02)
- Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) defeated 3MB (Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal) (4:02)
- R-Truth defeated Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) (4:24)
- Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) defeated Alicia Fox (3:19)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder (4:07)
- The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) defeated Dolph Ziggler & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (12:04)
- Santino Marella (w/ The Great Khali and Hornswoggle) defeated Antonio Cesaro (w/ Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter) (2:49)
Other on-screen talent