“Then. Now. Forever.” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video kicks off the show that recaps some of the events from last night’s Payback PPV. Curtis Axel won the Intercontinental Championship, AJ Lee won the Diva’s Championship, Dean Ambrose and The Shield retained their titles, Alberto Del Rio won the World Heavyweight Championship, CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho in his return match, and John Cena beat Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match to retain the WWE Championship.
Ricardo Rodriguez comes out to the stage to quite a few boos. He smiles as he does the introduction for the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio makes his way to the ring with his new championship in tow. The announcers talk about how vicious Del Rio was in attacking Dolph Ziggler’s skull at Payback last night. Del Rio grabs a microphone, and he asks how the crowd’s weekend was. He’s heard people talking about a Man of Steel, but they should be talking about the Man of Gold, their real superstar. Rodriguez says, “He’s a bird, he’s a plane, he’s your new World Heavyweight Champion, Albertooooo Del Rio.” The crowd booed throughout the whole thing.
Del Rio says some people say the way he won the title was controversial, but what about the night after WrestleMania? Ziggler attacked him while he was injured. He was on the floor with his leg practically broken. Even though he was in horrible pain, he gave him a fight. What did the people do? They cheered for Ziggler. They cheered for a coward who attacked an injured man. He supposes he should be surprised or offended, but he gets it. He heard the reaction last night and every other night. The crowd is chanting, “We want Ziggler.” Del Rio says he gave them everything, and they never showed him the respect he deserves. He fought Jack Swagger, an ignorant pig who disrespected the Mexican culture and people, and all he heard was chants of USA. The crowd begins to chant “USA.” Del Rio wants to get it straight. They won’t cheer him, but they’ll cheer for a pig and a coward? That’s what America is all about – pigs and cowards. Del Rio fought for the people for the last five months, and he didn’t get anything. Last night, he fought for himself, and he got the World Heavyweight Championship.
Del Rio says he’ll be the better man in this situation and show why he is the best. He’s going to give the people a second chance. He’ll give them another opportunity to show him the respect he deserves.
CM Punk’s music hits, and the Straight Edge Superstar makes his way out to the stage with Paul Heyman to a massive reception. Del Rio holds the championship up as Punk and Heyman make their way to the ring. Punk gets in the ring, and the place is electric. Punk asks Ricardo and Alberto how they’re doing. Punk says it feels like it’s been a while. The last time they were in the ring together and Del Rio had a belt, he beat him at Survivor Series for it and held it for a record 434 days. Punk says he can tell Del Rio remembers that very well. The problem Del Rio has with the people isn’t why he’s out here. He’s out here because Del Rio said he was “the best.” The crowd chants Punk’s name. Punk says there is only one “best in the world,” and that’s why he’s out here. He’s out here to challenge him.
Heyman stops him, and he wants to state publically that his clients do not fight for free. Punk cuts him off, and he asks what Heyman is doing. Heyman says they didn’t talk about this, and he is banged up from last night. The title wouldn’t even be on the line. He knows Ziggler damn well deserves a rematch, and he is banged up. While Del Rio was stealing a title from Ziggler, he was stealing the show with Chris Jericho. He’s glad Del Rio thinks he’s the best, but he proved it last night. They should do it again tonight. Del Rio says Punk doesn’t want to do this. Punk says he wants this. He wants to face Del Rio in a match, tonight. The crowd is chanting “Si.” Del Rio thinks about it before saying that he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Like he said, Punk doesn’t want him. Punk said he had a feeling this would happen.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero comes out to the stage to massive heat. Vickie says Del Rio doesn’t get to make that decision. She does. As great as Payback was, she can’t think of a better way of continuing the momentum than having RAW’s main event be Alberto Del Rio versus CM Punk!
Vickie Guerrero will have a big surprise for Triple H and the McMahon family later tonight. Also, Randy Orton will take on Daniel Bryan.
Wade Barrett, the former Intercontinental Champion, will have his rematch against Curtis Axel, next.
CM Punk is talking with Paul Heyman backstage. Heyman is apologizing for jumping the gun out there in the ring. That’s just how much he cares about Punk. Punk supposes he wasn’t clear last night. Punk says Heyman almost cost him the mast last night by getting involved. He doesn’t need Heyman’s help to win matches. He’s not Brock Lesnar or Curtis Axel. He’s not Heyman’s client. From here on out, he doesn’t want Heyman out with him at ringside ever. That’s the way it has to be. He’ll always be a Paul Heyman guy. Punk walks off, and Heyman looks hurt.
Justin Roberts begins to do the introductions for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but Vickie Guerrero comes out instead. Vickie says she knows Barrett wants his rematch, but that’ll have to wait. Barrett is about to face her big surprise… CHRISTIAN!
Wade Barrett vs. Christian
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official for this match. The bell rings, and the crowd is chanting, “Welcome back.” Barrett punches Christian before sending him into the ropes. Christian tries for a running cross-body, but Barrett catches him. Barrett goes for The Wasteland, but Christian slides off and throws him out of the ring. Christian goes to the top rope and hits a huge plancha to the outside! Christian puts him in the ring and goes back to the top rope. Barrett sweeps the feet, hanging him up on the top rope. Barrett punches him before kicking him in the ribs for a near fall. Barrett applies a chin lock. Christian quickly fights up, and Barrett knees him in the midsection. Barrett powers him to the corner and puts him on the top rope. Christian kicks him away and hits a missile dropkick from the second rope. Christian slaps the mat and hits a right hand. Barrett reverses a whip, but Christian comes right back with a clothesline. Barrett sends him to the corner, but he runs into a back elbow. Christian hits a tornado DDT for a near fall. Christian claps his hands, and Barrett hits a sidekick to the midsection for a near fall. Barrett can’t believe it.
Barrett goes for a pump-handle slam, but Christian slides through. Barrett charges him in the corner, but Christian sidesteps him, causing him to hit the ring post shoulder first. Christian snaps the back of his neck off the top rope and hits the Killswitch for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: * 1/2
Christian celebrates his win with the very hot crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The WWE Universe can decide the stipulation for Randy Orton versus Randy Orton. The choices are No Disqualification, No Count Out, or 2 out of 3 Falls.
A vignette for the Wyatt Family airs.
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Sheamus
The bell rings, and Sheamus just attacks the two of them. They power Sheamus to the corner, but Sheamus fights out. Sheamus knocks Cody Rhodes off the turnbuckle before clotheslining Damien Sandow. Rhodes quickly takes him down with a Disaster Kick. They double-team Sheamus with punches before hitting a double suplex. Sandow covers for a two count. Sandow kicks away at him before dropping an elbow. Rhodes kicks him in the face. Sandow hits a snapmare and holds Sheamus up as Rhodes hits a running kick. Sandow hits the Cubito Aequet for a near fall. Rhodes talks some trash as Sandow holds Sheamus. Rhodes slaps him in the face a few times. Sheamus is angry, and he is able to give Rhodes a back body drop over the top rope. Sheamus punches away at Sandow before hitting some Irish hammers. Sheamus hits a running shoulder to the corner before hitting a high knee. Sheamus hits a rolling fireman’s carry, and he immediately catches Rhodes on the apron for some clubbing blows to the chest. Sheamus hits a powerslam, and he catches Rhodes trying a cross-body. Sheamus counters into the White Noise. The crowd is really cheering him on as he signals for the end. Sheamus charges for the Brogue Kick, but Sandow quickly comes up from behind and rolls him up for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Team Rhodes Scholars
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Sheamus can’t believe it. Sandow quickly leaves the ring. Sheamus then turns around and gives Rhodes a Brogue Kick.
Voting for the stipulations for Randy Orton versus Daniel Bryan has opened. Also, is Mark Henry going to retire? That question will be answered later on.
A video plays highlighting the return of Rob Van Dam at the WWE Money in the Bank PPV.
Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox are asking Triple H what he thinks about how she’s done. She wanted to make Triple H proud. Alberto Del Rio versus CM Punk was genius on her part. Triple H agrees that it was phenomenal thinking. Triple H wonders if CM Punk didn’t wander out there, what was the main event going to be? Vickie ignores the question and asks what he thought about Christian returning. Triple H said that was cool, but he’s been medically cleared for a month and a half. Why is he just coming back now? Triple H mentions RVD, and both Maddox and Vickie take credit for it. Triple H says when he made the deal with RVD on the phone, neither of them were on the call. Triple H wants Vickie to take control of The Shield. They’ve been running roughshod for a while, and she needs to make an example of them if they get involved in any way tonight. Vickie says he can trust her. Triple H says she’s been doing great. 3MB on the show was a nice touch, and he walks off. Maddox gloats about 3MB, but Vickie says he was being sarcastic.
The commentators talk about how Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan lost against The Shield last night at Payback.
Daniel Bryan is warming up in the locker room when Kane walks up. Kane wants to talk, but Bryan says he’s busy. If Kane is here to say, “I told you so,” he doesn’t want to hear it. Kane wonders when he said that. Bryan says Kane is glad that Team R-K-No didn’t win the titles last night. That proves to Kane that he’s the weak link. Bryan says he’ll prove him wrong tonight when he beats Randy Orton. Kane says he’s not glad about anything. They both lost last night. Maybe that’s a sign that Team Hell No should give it another shot. Bryan says no to that. Bryan can’t prove himself as long as he’s part of a team. The only team that matters is Team Daniel Bryan. Team DB. Kane says that makes sense since he’s acting like a DB. Bryan says the only way he can prove himself is if he does it by himself. Bryan needs to win the WWE Championship. Kane was thinking the same thing. He wants to win the WWE Championship. Kane asks if this is it. Bryan says he doesn’t know, and Kane doesn’t either. Kane wishes him luck tonight. Bryan wonders if he’s wishing him luck because he thinks he’s the weak link. Kane just walks off exasperated.
Daniel Bryan will face Randy Orton in a match where the WWE Universe will vote the stipulation on, next.
Jerry Lawler comes in the ring after Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan make their entrances. The WWE Universe voted for a No Disqualification match.
No Disqualification Match
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
They circle the ring and lock up. Bryan quickly wrenches the arm and takes him down to the mat. Orton fights up and wrenches Bryan down. Orton applies a hammerlock, and Bryan slides out. Bryan takes him down by the legs, and he kicks him a few times in the hamstring. Bryan ties him up in position for the Mexican surfboard before ripping at his nose. Bryan then stomps on the knees. Orton crawls away, and Bryan continues to kick at the legs. Orton comes back with a head-butt, and he stomps Bryan down in the corner. Orton backs up as the crowd is cheering him on. Orton hits a slingshot suplex before talking a little trash to Bryan. Orton grabs him by the hair before whipping him into the ropes. Bryan ducks a clothesline, but Orton comes right back with a Thesz Press. Bryan quickly rolls out of that and applies a single leg crab. Orton claws his way to the bottom rope.
Orton kicks him off, and Bryan continues kicking away at the legs. Orton comes back with a rake of the eyes before throwing him out of the ring. Orton follows him out, and he clotheslines him at ringside. Orton rubs his injured leg as he throws Bryan into the ring for a two count. Orton applies a chin lock, but Bryan soon fights up and elbows out. Orton elbows him to the corner before attempting the ten punches, and he connects with eight of them. Bryan counters a whip to the corner with a backflip. Bryan then hits the ropes and hits a flying elbow. Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner before backing up and hitting a second for a near fall. Bryan sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Orton charges, but Bryan gives him a back body drop over the top rope. Bryan goes for a suicide dive, but Orton moves! Bryan hits the barricade headfirst!
Orton goes under the ring and grabs a kendo stick. Orton slowly approaches Bryan and smacks it off his back. Orton drags him away from the barricade and smacks it off his chest. Orton digs the point into Bryan’s chest before throwing him into the ring for a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Bryan propped up on the top rope. Orton head-butts him and goes for a superplex, but Bryan fights him off. Bryan hits a missile dropkick, and both men are down. Bryan gets to his feet and kicks away at him. Orton ducks a big kick to the head and hits a t-bone suplex. Bryan rolls to the apron, and Orton attempts a hanging DDT. Bryan slides out and goes for the No! Lock, but Orton gets out of that. Orton then catapults him over the top rope, but Bryan hangs on. Bryan tries to skin the cat, but Orton kicks him in the midsection. Orton smiles as he goes out of the ring. The referee calls for the doctor to check on Bryan as he’s clutching at his ribs. The doctor tells him to stop, but Bryan won’t.
Bryan charges back into the ring, but Orton clubs away at him. Orton throws him out of the ring and gives him a back suplex on the barricade! The doctor checks on Bryan again, and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner by Referee Stoppage: Randy Orton
Match Rating: * 3/4
Daniel Bryan doesn’t look good at ringside as Orton gets out of the ring. Orton extends his hand and helps Bryan up. Orton hugs him and smacks him on the cheek in respect before walking off. They both leave the ringside area together.
Tonight’s main event will see CM Punk take on Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. Punk will not have Paul Heyman at ringside with him.
A video recaps the events from earlier in the night with CM Punk confronting Alberto Del Rio in the ring.
AJ Lee’s music hits, and the new WWE Diva’s Champion makes her way to the ring with Big E Langston. AJ skips around the ring with the championship as a video recaps Kaitlyn’s breakdown following the match at Payback. AJ says this is what it feels like to have it all. Unfortunately, her baby Dolph Ziggler couldn’t be here because he isn’t medically cleared. He’ll be back soon enough to share the spotlight with the greatest Diva’s Champion of all time. AJ laughs in the ring. She’s always been the champion. Now she just has proof. Last night, she made Kaitlyn tap out. Did she play mind games with her? Yes. Did she crush her spirit? Yes. She is the hero of this story. She is a woman who knows exactly what she wants, and she’s an example to all women out there. There isn’t a woman in the audience or the world who is as strong, brilliant, and courageous as she is. If there is a woman back there that thinks she can compare to her, she dares her to come out right now. No one come out, and AJ says, “That’s what I thought.”
All of a sudden, Stephanie McMahon’s music hits! Stephanie makes her way to the ring, and AJ smiles at her. She calls her “boss-lady” and wonders if she’s here to congratulate her. Stephanie says there is an entire line of Diva’s waiting to come out here, but she wanted to say her piece first. AJ has everyone buzzing as she is an underdog. Stephanie congratulates her. AJ knew she would understand. Stephanie doesn’t understand why AJ perpetuates this stereotype about women as vicious and conniving and manipulative. They would rather tear each other down than build them up. What AJ did to Kaitlyn was degrading to women everywhere. It’s time for AJ to start acting like a champion.
AJ says she’s sorry and Stephanie is right. She should think more like Stephanie. Instead of dating superstars, maybe she should marry one. Let’s not get started on her “daddy issues.” Stephanie says for someone who considers themselves “brilliant” she was expecting something more original. AJ says what she did to Kaitlyn was original. What she did to Kaitlyn took months of planning and was her masterpiece. Stephanie wonders if AJ has forgotten she’s a McMahon. No one does crazy better than them. If AJ wants to be Diva’s Champion, she suggests she start acting like one. AJ says she is the Diva’s Champion. The only reason she’s out here is not because she’s disappointed in her. It’s because she is her, only younger and with no pantsuit. Stephanie says AJ is the Diva’s Champion, but she can take it all away from her. If Stephanie wants to, AJ won’t have a job anymore.
AJ looks at Stephanie angrily as Kaitlyn’s music hits. Kaitlyn comes out to the stage with most of the Divas on the roster. Kaitlyn stands with them, and she congratulates AJ. Stephanie comes up to Kaitlyn and says she’ll give her a bye based on what’s happened to her. Stephanie tells her to never interrupt her again. Kaitlyn says AJ manipulated and humiliated her. AJ broke her, and now it’s her turn. Kaitlyn charges the ring and takes AJ down. Kaitlyn punches away at her until Big E Langston drags her away. Big E carries her away screaming.
Dean Ambrose will defend his WWE United States Championship against Kane in a rematch from Payback, next.
WWE United States Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Kane
The bell rings, and Kane grabs him by the throat. Kane punches away at him in the corner and uppercuts him down. Kane sends him to the opposite corner, but Ambrose sidesteps the splash. Ambrose hits the ropes, and he eats a big boot. Kane whips him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Ambrose hits some chops before going into the ropes. Kane comes right back with a powerslam for a two count. Kane punches him and sends him to the corner for a clothesline. Kane sends him to the opposite corner for another clothesline. Kane hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane goes to the top rope and hits a flying lariat. Roman Reigns charges into the ring, and Kane punches him down.
Winner by Disqualification: Kane
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Dean Ambrose retains the United States Championship
Kane catches Seth Rollins going for a springboard by the throat. Kane also catches Ambrose by the throat, and Reigns spears him down. They execute a Triple Powerbomb, and The Shield stands over Kane.
Mark Henry is seen hugging the Prime Time Players. He’s in a suit. They clap for him as he walks off. Henry will address his future later tonight.
The Shield is walking backstage when Vickie Guerrero confronts them. Vickie says she told them not to get involved. They need to remember that she’s the boss. Ambrose tells her to think about what she’s doing before she does it. Vickie begins to say something when Vince McMahon walks up to them. McMahon congratulates them on a good match. McMahon says they remind him of him. Ruthless aggression! McMahon tells them to keep it up. They walk off. McMahon says to Vickie that he likes Dean Ambrose. McMahon says he never liked that Halloween mask-wearing freak anyway.
CM Punk will take on Alberto Del Rio in the main event.
A video showcasing the Wyatt Family airs.
Zeb Colter makes his way to the stage. Colter says he is speaking from within a country that is under siege. Colter says the government is spying and lying to us. Every day we have foreigners flooding the country. They sneak across the border like rats in the street. We are at war, and sometimes that causes very unusual alliances. That’s why he and Jack Swagger, to prove that they are not prejudicial, have chosen to work alongside a man that has honor, integrity, and respect. That man, though not born in the United States, embodies they very spirit that real Americans strive to reach every day. That man speaks five languages, the most important being English.
Antonio Cesaro makes his way to the stage, and he takes the microphone. Cesaro simply says, “We the people.”
William Regal vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Zeb Colter
They lock up, and Cesaro takes him down by the arm. Regal kips up and hits a hip toss. Cesaro powers him to the corner and punches away at him. Cesaro hits an uppercut and taunts the crowd. Cesaro dead lifts him and hits a gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Regal does a bridge, and Cesaro double stomps him. Cesaro punches him down and kicks him in the head a few times. Regal comes back with some forearms and a kick. Regal goes for a double-arm suplex, but Cesaro lifts him up and slams him down. Cesaro signals for the end, and he begins to stalk Regal. Cesaro applies a chin lock and spins him around. Cesaro then drops him with the Neutralizer for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Antonio Cesaro holds up a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, featuring Benjamin Franklin’s famous drawing of a snake in sections, representing the colonies. He drapes it over Regal and stands alongside Colter reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
John Cena is walking backstage. He’ll be out, next.
Another video plays highlighting the return of Rob Van Dam at WWE Money in the Bank.
John Cena, the WWE Champion, makes his way to the ring to his usual huge reaction. They commentators say Ryback has not been cleared to be at Monday Night RAW due to injuries sustained against Cena last night at Payback. The crowd won’t let him talk for a few moments. There is a large contingent booing him. Cena says he honestly loves this. Cena says they’re all here under one roof because they share one common interest – they love the WWE. Sure, some people love certain superstars. He does to, and he points to the crowd. Cena says he’s admired the fan’s honesty, like the guy in the CM Punk shirt saying he sucks. There’s a group out there that just doesn’t like him, and he admires the honesty. There is also a group out there that knows every single time he goes to war for them. He’s going to speak just to that group tonight. He had a horrible 2012, and he had to constantly ask and beg for them to hang in there. After disappointment after disappointment, they hung in there. Then moments like the Royal Rumble, and challenges like CM Punk, The Rock, and Ryback happen. He walked out of Three Stages of Hell, and he can proudly say, “The Champ is here!” Skeptics will always be there, but to those who hung in there for him, he thanks them. He thanks them because tonight is not the night he asks they to hang in there. Tonight, he feels as good as he ever has, and he can take on any challenge put in front of him.
His eyes are focused on four weeks from now. At Money in the Bank, he’ll know where his next challenge comes from. He has a message for the next man to hold the Money in the Bank contract. There will be no opportune time to cash in against him. If he looks down and out, and they think they can steal one, think again. He will always be ready. Cena won’t have the WWE Championship forever, but the next man to hold it will earn it. Our time is now because the champ is here!
Mark Henry’s music hits, and he walks out smiling while holding his wrestling boots. He puts his boots down on the stage and walks down to the ring. Henry says Cena can put his guard down. The crowd cheers Henry on, and he looks appreciative. Henry wants Cena to stay. He has something he wants to tell him, the boys and girls in the back, and all the people in the arena. The crowd chants Henry’s name, and he’s tearing up. Henry says he respects everybody that loves this business. He respects all the people who work for this company because he knows how difficult it is. Henry says he was a seasoned veteran in 2002 when John Cena came in. He’s doing an awesome job. The crowd is chanting, “Thank you Henry!” Henry wipes away the tears. Henry says if they all forget him, they’ll at least remember his coat. It’s a salmon colored coat. They chant, “Sexual Chocolate.” Henry says they’ll have him crying all night. Henry says at the rate Cena is going, he’s going to be the greatest WWE Champion of all time.
If he has any regrets about his career, he’s been World Heavyweight Champion, ECW Champion, and the Strongest Man in the World. He’s had success. Not the success Cena has, but he’s done well for himself. The reason he’s out here is to formally retire from the active roster of the WWE. The crowd chants, “One more match!” Henry says one more match from one of the better crowds he’s been in front of in the last five years. Henry holds up the WWE Championship, and the crowd cheers him. Henry says the small-town Silsbee, Texas boy has done proud. Henry gives the title back to Cena because it’s something you must earn. Henry thanks him. Henry says he’s travelled the world many times over. Don’t cry for him Argentina because he’s crying enough for everybody. He stands before the crowd as a proud man. Henry says he’s on the road for close to 200 nights a year. Henry says his wife will now see more of him than she wants. To his son and daughter, who cries when he leaves home, he’s coming home.
Henry puts his hands up, and Cena stands in the ring with him. All of a sudden, Henry gives him the World’s Strongest Slam! Henry takes off his jacket and stands over him. Henry says, “You think it’s that easy? I’ve got a lot left in the tank!” Henry slams the title down on Cena, and he says that will be his soon. Henry goes up the ramp, and he screams, “That’s what I do!”
CM Punk will take on Alberto Del Rio in tonight’s main event.
Mark Henry is walking backstage when Renee Young comes up to him. Henry says she believed just like John Cena and the people believed. He had them fooled like a bunch of puppets. The WWE Title is the only thing that he hasn’t held, and he’s challenging John Cena for it right now. The reason he has two boots is because he’s going to leave one of them in his rear end.
Heath Slater w/ 3MB vs. Chris Jericho
They lock up, and Jericho applies a side headlock. Slater whips him off, and Jericho hits a shoulder block. Jericho hits the ropes, and he chops Slater’s chest a few times. Slater reverses a whip and hits a roundhouse kick for a near fall. Slater punches away at him. Jericho kicks him in the face and hits some shoulder blocks. Slater sends him over the top rope, but Jericho lands on the apron. Jericho hits a double axe handle before hitting a face-buster. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Drew McIntyre punches him in the face as Jinder Mahal distracted the referee. Slater covers for a near fall. Slater kicks away at Jericho before hitting a body slam. Slater goes to the second rope, but he misses a knee drop. Jericho hits a face-buster followed by a Lionsault. Jericho follows up with the Codebreaker for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Jericho quickly takes out both Mahal and McIntyre with a pair of Codebreakers as they tried to interfere. Jericho celebrates with the crowd.
Curtis Axel is backstage with Paul Heyman. Matt Striker asks about CM Punk asking him not to be with him at ringside. Heyman says he’s the best friend of the Best in the World. True friends know when to give one another space. When is he going to ask about the Intercontinental Champion? This man will walk out on Monday Night RAW for the first time as champion. This man was born to be better than perfect.
Sheamus appears in a fake commercial for 1-800-FELLA.
The Miz is on commentary for the next match.
Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel w/ Paul Heyman
They circle the ring and lock up. Axel powers him to the corner and punches away at him. Axel talks some trash to him before hitting a backbreaker for a one count. Axel sends him into the ropes, but Cara comes back with a dropkick. Cara then dropkicks him out of the ring. Cara hits the ropes, and Axel quickly comes back into the ring for a clothesline. Axel punches away at him before hitting a snap back suplex for a near fall. Cara gets out of a powerslam with a reverse DDT for a one count. Axel runs into a boot and a kick. Cara goes to the top rope and goes for a senton from the top rope. Axel gets his knees up and hits a big spike DDT for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Curtis Axel
Match Rating: 1/2 *
CM Punk will take on Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match later tonight.
Daniel Bryan will compete against Dean Ambrose on Friday Night Smackdown.
Vince McMahon is backstage with Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox. McMahon thinks she’s doing a great job. McMahon says she’ll be fine if she just listens to him. McMahon wonders what she’ll do about the Mark Henry/John Cena situation. Vickie says that John Cena will defend his title against Mark Henry at Money in the Bank. McMahon asks if Maddox concurs, and he does. Stephanie McMahon comes in, and she says the show is out of control. Stephanie says she needs to assert herself as a leader. Triple H comes in, and he says he told Vickie to make an example of The Shield. McMahon is trying to insert himself, but no one listens to him. Triple H says Vickie needs to listen to him, and he walks off. Vince says not to worry about that, and she should listen to him. He leaves, and Stephanie says she wouldn’t listen to either of them. Stephanie puts her arm around her and says Vickie knows who to listen to.
CM Punk is walking backstage when Paul Heyman runs up to him. Heyman says everyone is trying to stir things up, but he won’t let them. He gets it. Heyman thanks him for letting him be apart of everything he’s been a part of. Heyman loves Punk, and they hug. Heyman says Punk is the Best in the World. Punk walks off for the main event.
Alberto Del Rio makes his way to the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez does the introduction for the new World Heavyweight Champion. He’ll face CM Punk, next.
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official for this match. The bell rings, and Punk quickly begins to kick and punch away at him. Del Rio quickly gets out of the ring to regroup. Del Rio gets back in the ring, and Punk kicks away at him. Del Rio quickly bails from the ring to regroup again. Punk follows him out and punches away at him. Punk chops the chest and puts him in the ring. Del Rio kicks him in the head as he comes in. Del Rio kicks away at him before kicking him in the head for a one count. Del Rio hits a snap suplex for another one count. Punk blocks a punch and kicks away at him. Punk knees away at him before the referee backs him up. Del Rio turns him in the corner and kicks away at him. Del Rio backs up, and the crowd chants for CM Punk’s name. Del Rio then charges and kicks him in the arm.
Del Rio twists the arm around the second rope. Punk comes back with a kick and punches away at him. Punk goes for the GTS, but Del Rio slides off his shoulders and gets out of the ring. Punk takes him out with a suicide dive. Punk holds on to his arm before slamming Del Rio’s off the barricade. Punk puts him back in the ring and gets on the apron. Rodriguez distracts him, and Del Rio snaps his arm off the top rope. Del Rio then kicks him off the apron.
We come back from the break to see Punk trapped in an arm bar. Punk twists out of it. Del Rio runs into a boot, and Punk charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio punches away at him and kicks him in the head. Del Rio knees him in the head for a near fall. Del Rio goes to the top rope and jumps into a punch to the midsection. Punk clutches at his arm as he waits for Del Rio to get up. Punk kicks him in the midsection before sending him into the ropes for a jumping calf kick. Punk knees away at him before attempting a roundhouse kick. Del Rio ducks it and hits an arm breaker. Punk goes to the apron, and Del Rio pulls him to the second rope. Del Rio clubs away at the back before hitting a backstabber for a near fall.
Del Rio waits for Punk to get up. Del Rio charges into a schoolboy for a near fall. Del Rio quickly pops up and kicks him in the head for a near fall. Del Rio can’t believe it. Del Rio signals for his finisher. Punk counters the Cross Arm Breaker by pushing him to the corner. Punk hits the high knee in the corner and hits the GTS. The momentum takes Del Rio out of the ring! The referee begins to count him out. Rodriguez helps him up, and Del Rio walks off on the match.
Winner by Count-Out: CM Punk
Match Rating: **
Dolph Ziggler ambushes Del Rio while on the ramp. Ziggler viciously punches away at him and Rodriguez as officials try to break it up. Del Rio eventually escapes.
Justin Roberts announces CM Punk as the winner of the match. All of a sudden, Brock Lesnar’s music hits! Lesnar comes out to the stage and circle the ring. Punk just stares at him. Lesnar leaps to the apron and gets in the ring. Lesnar grabs a microphone, and he smirks at Punk. Lesnar goes to say something, but he drops the microphone and gives Punk an F-5! Lesnar smiles at the crowd as they can’t believe what they’ve just seen! Lesnar’s music hits, and he leaves the ring.
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