CM Punk's music hits and we're off!
Punk hits the ring with holding the belt... er, title, high. Punk gets in the ring and takes the mic. Mixed reaction when Punk's music stops playing until a loud "CM Punk" chant breaks out. "THE CHAMP IS HERE," yells Punk. "Cena Sucks" chant breaks out. Punk sits in the middle of the ring addresses why he came back after everything he said and did. Punk says he's been struggling with the decision for over a year. He said he loves what he does, but hates the people in charge. Punk says he spoke his mind and "caused a little bit of change." Punk talked about how Vince McMahon was relieved of his duties, and wants a little bit of credit, but says the audience deserves credit. He says that the crowd has been fed scraps, and he wants to make this fun again "for everybody."
Punk said that the "voice of the voiceless" needed to be heard and that he can't change the business sitting on his couch, so he picked up the phone to return. He said his return couldn't have come at a better time since they're already back to the status quo with John Cena as WWE Champion. Punk says Cena is no more champion than a kid sitting in the front row with a replica belt. He says Cena has a belt, while he has a championship title. He said he holds the most important title in the world and that he is the best "professional wrestler" that the world has to offer and that he is the "one, the only WWE Champion.
Triple H's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. HHH said he'll address the WWE Championship in a second, but he wanted to explain why he re-signed Punk, and said that "it was good for business," the same reason why he brought back Jim Ross and John Morrison. He said the WWE Universe wanted CM Punk, so he put his personal feelings aside and gave them "CM Punk." Punk took HHH to task about his "personal feelings," and asked him what his personal feelings were. HHH said he was a "smug, over-rated attention seeking guy that puts a little bit too much stock in his hype," to a chorus of boos. Punk noted that the description fit HHH, and said that he wished HHH would have just said that he hated his guts.
Punk said Vince McMahon let guys like Batista, Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar go because he was surrounded by yes men. He said HHH couldn't afford to let Punk go. HHH asked Punk to tell the truth about why he really re-signed. Punk said it was to facilitate change. HHH said he re-signed for himself, and wanted to just hear his own voice and that he needed this platform, because he doesn't mean anything without WWE. Punk said that's a big maybe, and the truth is that he's the WWE Champion. HHH said he was, and so was Cena. HHH said he will fix that situation later tonight, his music hit and he started to head off.
Punk cut him off and asked him back in the ring. Punk said he's just getting warmed up and said that he's not going to promo class, etc. Punk said that if HHH wants to talk about egos, let's talk about how HHH hogged the spotlight over people who deserved it. He asked HHH would rip talent while lying in bed with his wife. Punk called him a bully who likes to push his weight around, and said be careful who you push "because I like to push back." HHH admits having a massive ego and it's telling him to slap all the tattoos off of his "skinny fat ass." HHH said he's not going to do it because this is bigger than that, he took the jobs for the fans, but he has to follow the rules for the fans. HHH then "strongly" suggested to Punk that he doesn't break them either. "Or what," asked Punk. "You gonna beat me up? You gonna fight me? ... Or do you have to ask your wife's permission first." Punk then dropped the mic and left the ring. Great opening segment.
Rey Mysterio and John Morrison are backstage getting ready for their match.
The #1 Divas contender battle royal is up next.
#1 Diva Contender's Battle Royal
Kelly Kelly is on commentary. Phoenix grabbed both Bellas on her shoulders and dumped them over the top rope to win the battle royal. Kelly embraced Phoenix after the match. Phoenix grabbed Kelly and threw her out of the ring and then into the ringside barrier. She then took the mic and said that her days as the perky, cute blonde bimbo are over. Phoenix then left as officials tended to Kelly.
Miz is shown backstage and is approached by R-Truth. Truth talked about the similarities between the two, noting that it was a conspiracy that there were two WWE champions. Truth asked if HHH was bringing Punk all along, then why have the two of them compete in the title tournament. He then told Miz to be very careful.
The SummerSlam promo aired and we're off to commercial.
Josh Matthews interviews John Cena in the back and asks Cena about Punk's comments from earlier. Cena said that when Triple H comes out to make his decision he'll come out to see him, since it affects him.
Long match that took awhile to get going. Truth pinned Morrison clean to win the match for his team. After the match, Miz hit Morrison with the Skull Crushing Finale. Truth grabbed a bottle of water from outside the ring and hit Morrison over the head with it. Miz and Truth then celebrated after the match. Morrison appears to be in the doghouse again, having lost twice within a week of his return.
Triple H is interviewed backstage, and said that Punk bringing up his wife is old material. HHH said it's fine if Cena or Punk comes out, but said that Cena should keep this "strictly business."
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero head to the ring. Guerrero actually gets some props from Jerry Lawler for looking better than before. Ziggler said no one will have his talent or charisma. He then says he's better than anyone in the locker room. Alex Riley's music hits and he asks Ziggler why he hides behind Guerrero. Guerrero tauts Ziggler's accomplishments. Riley asked Ziggler when the last time he accomplished anything on his own, and said he was hiding behind Guerrero like Miz used to hide behind him. Riley asks Ziggler to drop Guerrero, or if he's worried that he'll be exposed to be a fraud. Ziggler grabs Guerrero and moves her to the corner, and takes off his belt and jacket. He then slides out of the ring and heads to the back. Ziggler is saying that he doesn't even know who Riley is as he heads to the back.
Otunga and McGillicutty came out with non-Nexus gear and music. Loud "We Want Ryder" chants throughout the match. Ryder got a big pop when he was tagged in. Otunga and McGillicutty won the match clean using Demolition's "decapitation device" finisher.
A promo for NBC's WrestleMania special aired.
Edge's appearance on Haven is plugged.
Backstage, Matthews asked Punk what he thought HHH's decision was going to be. Punk said he was Testing Hunter earlier, and he beat Cena, so "the champ is here."
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio and we're set for our next match after commercial.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne
Del Rio defeated Bourne via submission with the arm-bar. After the match, Del Rio re-applied the arm-bar. Kofi Kingston hit the ring to make the save and got a nice pop.
Triple H is shown walking to the ring.
WWE.com poll has 54% of people saying Cena should be champion to CM Punk's 46%.
Triple H heads to the ring. He takes the mic and says that for the first time in WWE history, there are two WWE Champions. HHH said both have legit claims to the throne. John Laurinaitis interrupts and heads to the ring. He says that it's his job to sign talent and manager contracts. Laurinaitis says that HHH has been in the corporate ring for a short time, while he's been there for over 10 years. He says HHH should strip Cena of the championship. John Cena's music hits and he heads to the ring.
Cena gets a nice pop, which quickly turns to boos once he takes the mic. Cena says Laurinaitis was the yes man that Punk has been talking about and says that he wants Cena stripped because Cena punched him at the MITB PPV. Cena says if he loses the title, he wants to lose it legitimately, not to be stripped of it. Laurinaitis says the reason he wanted Cena stripped is because Punk beat Cena. Cena says his favorite moment of the PPV was punching Laurinaitis in the face, and that he should do it again, and said he was going to. Triple H said he didn't have a problem with that and Laurinaitis headed out of the ring.
Cena pleads his case to HHH, and HHH said that he wasn't stripping Cena of the title. HHH said that Punk returned a signed contract as Cena beat Mysterio of the title. He said that he won't strip Cena of the title and Punk's music hits.
Mixed reaction for Punk until he starts speaking, then there's a loud "CM Punk" chant. Punk says that it's just going back to business as usual. Triple H says neither will be stripped of anything, and the two will square off at SummerSlam, leaving one undisputed champion. HHH then leaves the ring.
Punk and Cena are face to face in the center of the ring and take turns holding their belts up as their respective music playing. The two then stand on the ropes with their belts. The music changing back and forth didn't work, and the result was predictable, but a good show overall nonetheless.