Kevin Nash was all over the video package leading into this match.
Punk came out wearing a CM Punk ice cream bar t-shirt. Now THAT is funny! Sizeable Punk chant as he sat in the ring waiting for HHH.
Punk attacked HHH as he did his pose spitting outside the ring. He whipped HHH into the barrier and started setting up to use a table. HHH attacked him from behind and nailed him hard. He whipped Punk into the barrier and almost went over the top to the crowd. HHH tossed Punk over the ringside table and began kicking the hell out of him.
HHH set up Punk on the table for the Pedigree but Punk slipped out and turned it into a GTS attempt. When HHH slipped out, Punk ran back into the ring and challenged him to get in. The crowd began chanting for Punk. HHH returned to the ring and they faced off. They met in the center, slugging it out. Punk got HHH into the corner but HHH then tossed him into it and worked him over with punches. HHH went for the Pedigree but Punk shoved him backward into the corner.
Punk whipped HHH into the corner and went for the running kneelift. HHH ducked and Punk hit the buckles, then went over the top to the floor. HHH slammed him into the barricade then slammed Punk’s shin and leg into the ringpost. He slammed Punk into the barricade but Punk fired back with punches and whipped HHH into the barrier.
Punk hit his running kneelift on the outside as HHH was placed against the ringpost. He went to nail HHH into the barrier but was shoved off and took a bump into the first row. HHH followed him, coming off the barrier, dropping an elbow on Punk. HHH and Punk brawled back and forth on the floor as HHH yelled, “Why don’t you say something about my wife? Come on!”
They brawled around the floor towards the entrance stage. Punk grabbed a trash can and nailed HHH in the head with it. Mick Foley would have been proud. He whipped HHH into a barrier that collapsed. He kicked HHH in the gut and pounded him with crossfaces in the entrance stage area. HHH used a double leg takedown and catapulted Punk into a digital screen. That looked great. HHH went for a Pedigree but Punk backdropped him over the screen. Punk climbed it and came off with the Randy Savage double axehandle. Punk threw sandbags at HHH then slammed him into the board again.
They battled down the entranceway, back towards the ring. There’s a real intensity to the brawl that we haven’t seen in a long time. The closest thing I can equate it to is the Jarrett vs. Angle on a TNA PPV from Charlotte a year or so back. They returned to the ring, where Punk nailed HHH across the back with a chair. Punk kicked away at HHH but HHH made it to his knees and nailed Punk. Punk kicked him off and rebounded off the ropes, only to be caught by a spinebuster.
HHH sent Punk into the corner, where he had wedged a chair and Punk took what I can only describe as a backbump into the chair while he was flung into the corner. Punk went to the outside, where HHH followed. HHH charged him from behind with a chop block and Punk went down screaming, clutching at his leg. Punk tried to kick off HHH as he was pulled to the corner. HHH slammed his leg into the ringpost several times and grabbed a chair, slamming it across Punk’s knee. Punk screamed and clutched at his knee before falling back to the Arena floor.
HHH went for a spinning toehold on the floor but Punk kicked him off, sending him facefirst into the ring steps. You could hear the beginning of a Punk chant. HHH grabbed a TV monitor to nail Punk but was caught with a hard kick to the head. Punk pulled himself into the ring after HHH landed on the table. Punk then did the Randy Savage flying elbow off the top through the table. They showed a ton of replays. Lawler quipped, “That was Savage.”
Punk returned to the ring first, clutching his ribs. HHH returned to the ring. They were both down. Miz and R Truth hit the ring and attacked both. Miz set up HHH and nailed the Skull Crushing Finale. Truth then drilled Punk facefirst into the mat. They pulled Punk over and put him atop of HHH, so the story is that they want to end HHH’s run. The referee counted, even though he didn’t want to, and HHH got his shoulder up at the last second. Miz and Truth jawed with the ref, Scott Armstrong, who didn’t back down. Miz went to nail Armstrong, who blocked and punched him. Truth nailed him from behind. They both beat the hell out of the referee. They really stomped the hell out of him and forced him from the ring.
Out comes Johnny Ace. As he comes out, Punk and HHH recover and they attack Miz and Truth. They dispatch Miz and Truth. HHH kicked Punk in the guy and covered him after a Pedigree. A second ref comes out but Ace stops him and tells him to assist Armstrong, who’s out on the floor. HHH breaks the cover and starts yelling at Ace to get a ref in there. Punk grabbed him and nailed the GTS. The referee got into the ring but before he could count three, Truth pulled Punk out and tried to hit him. Punk nailed him with a kick to the head.
Punk pulled himself back up and went for the springboard clothesline. HHH kicked him as he came down and Pedigreed him. Punk kicked out at two. The place exploded and chanted for Punk. Out comes Kevin Nash in the crowd. He enters the ringside area, then entered the ring. Nash punched Punk, then punched HHH. He began nailing HHH with knees and punches in the corner. Nash pulled him up for the Jacknife powerbomb but Punk rescued HHH and attacked Nash in the corner. HHH went sent to the floor in the melee. Nash kicked him off and powerbombed Punk in the middle of the ring. Nash walked out of the ring. Nash went to the floor and kicked HHH, then started clearing off a table. He went to grab HHH but was nailed with a sledgehammer, knocking Nash out.
HHH pulled himself into the ring as Punk recovered and returned to his feet. HHH kicked and Pedigreed Punk, pinning him.
Your winner, Triple H!
An excellent, intense brawl which then gave way to a really well thought out series of near falls and crazy run-ins. As a way to get people to watch tomorrow, I thought they did a great job.
Since it was the only thing on the show of this nature, it worked well in that it elevated Truth and Miz back towards a higher position in the card. They continued the idea that Ace is working to undermine HHH and brought Nash back into the equation. The idea here was that Punk could have beaten HHH and even got the “Sportscenter Moment” with the flying elbow but Nash cost him the match. I know some people are going to hate the finish and I see that point. I think this could have come off much, much worse and really killed Punk, but all the hard work and the way it was booked really didn’t. As I said, I can see a lot of people are going to throw their hands up because Punk didn't win, but to me, they left it open and can come back to this war that didn't get settled down the line. Until then, this was a textbook example of how to do a screwy finish and still have the guy screwed not look like a complete loser or kill his momentum, at least in my eyes. A big part of that was that the crowd was absolutely into the match and the issues between Punk and HHH - and they obviously wanted to see Punk get the win. They laid out quite the scene to prevent that from happening. I am wondering if this leads to a Hell in A Cell rematch in two week to prevent more interference.
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