Monday, August 19, 2013



Daniel Bryan def. WWE Champion John Cena; Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Bryan to become WWE Champion

Having thrown move after move at each other, the two combatants staggered up and went brutally back to the basics. In a vicious twist on the Japanese custom Bryan referenced six days earlier, laced into each other with open-palm slaps that certainly did their job and brought out the best of each man in the match’s waning moments.

What followed was the stuff legends are made of, as Cena snatched the No. 1 contender out of the sky during a flying headbutt and, proclaiming the contest “over,” went for another AA that Bryan rolled into an old-school cradle for a two-count before striking with a kick to Cena’s head. With "YES!" chants showering him from the STAPLES Center, Bryan sealed The Champ's fate with a hard-to-watch running knee smash to the face for the historic 1-2-3. As confetti rained upon the newly-minted champion, it seemed for a moment that Cena would deck Bryan out of frustration. He instead offered his challenger words of wisdom that only Bryan could hear before clasping his hand in a show of respect. Acknowledging The Game’s fulfilled promise to call the match down the middle, Cena shook Triple H’s hand as well.

In hindsight, this might have been premature

With Bryan’s title reign in its infancy, Randy Orton quickly emerged from the locker room and slithered through the falling confetti with his Money in the Bank contract in hand. The new champion, however, was ready and more than willing to tangle with The Viper, daring Orton to attempt his promised cash-in. Ever the tactician, The Viper seemed to want no part of an able-bodied WWE Champion ... but he was more than happy to face one who had just been Pedigreed.

Moments after Bryan had repelled The Viper, The Game shocked the WWE Universe and their new champion by cutting down Bryan with a Pedigree. With a smile, The Game beckoned Orton to the ring and happily accepted his Money in the Bank contract, counting the pinfall and handing Orton his first WWE Title in three years without a single drop of sweat spilled.

And so ended Daniel Bryan’s reign as WWE Champion, with the people’s chosen hero splayed across the mat and a pair of men entrusted to do the right thing celebrating over his body. What this means for the future of Orton, Triple H and the WWE Title is anyone’s guess, but this much is clear: Having come this close to reaching the peak, Daniel Bryan will find his retribution in the long run. As this match showed, he doesn’t take defeat lying down. Though, at The Biggest Party of the Summer, it seemed he was left with no other choice than to take “No” for an answer.

Brock Lesnar def. CM Punk (No Disqualification Match)

The bout was nothing short of remarkable, a supremely barbaric affair that ravaged the ringside area and left the sold-out STAPLES Center breathless. The addition of the No Disqualification stipulation, agreed to by both individuals, was proposed by Heyman and revealed on the Kickoff event immediately preceding the pay-per-view broadcast. Ultimately, the eleventh-hour curveball was perhaps Punk’s undoing, as Heyman repeatedly broke up pin and submission attempts that appeared seconds away from doing the unthinkable: slaying The Beast Incarnate.

The action started at a breakneck pace, with Lesnar outmuscling his smaller foe and focusing his punishing offense on Punk’s ribs, not yet completely healed from The Beast’s attack on Raw weeks ago. Despite speculation among certain segments of the WWE Universe that Punk would be wholly overmatched, however, The Best in the World proved completely fearless, and his never-say-die spirit, galvanized by the decidedly pro-Punk fans in attendance, allowed him to survive maneuvers that would have undoubtedly downed most Superstars.

Lesnar tossed Punk onto tables, slammed his body with a steel chair and rocketed him overhead with a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. The farm-strong Lesnar placed a table cover over a prone Punk and leapt on him. A lariat that landed on Punk’s jaw and neckline prompted Michael Cole to describe the scene as a “sickening assault.”

Still, Punk would not give in. Even when Lesnar clamped on his Kimura Lock, the same maneuver that has broken the arms of Triple H and Shawn Michaels, The Straight Edge Superstar not only avoided submitting, but even reversed the hold into a cross-armbreaker and eventually a triangle hold that nearly made the big man tap.

At ringside, Heyman alternated between mockingly imploring Punk to “stay down” and encouraging Lesnar to “punish him.” It was more than Heyman’s taunting, however, that led to Punk’s downfall. After Punk connected with the Go To Sleep, Heyman broke up the pinfall. The Best in the World got even, punching Heyman and even slapping on the Anaconda Vise, but the brief and sweet moment of retribution was halted by the wallop of chair strikes from Lesnar.

With the upper hand, Lesnar dropped Punk with the match-ending F-5 onto a chair, some 25 minutes after the opening bell.

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Christian

Bray Wyatt def. Kane (Ring of Fire Match)

Though Kane was born in flames, the fire didn’t faze Bray Wyatt in his debut match. Nevertheless, The Big Red Monster was relentless in his quest for retribution against his opponent. The Ring of Fire’s purpose and power was displayed early on as Harper and Rowan tried to enter the ring, only to be prevented by the flames that shot into the air. The elemental danger of the environment was also on display – every time Kane or Wyatt executed a powerful maneuver, flames would suddenly erupt.

Kane maintained momentum throughout the battle, dominating the ambitious and cryptic newcomer as Harper and Rowan frantically tried everything to get inside the ring. An attempt to get a Kendo stick to Bray Wyatt failed when the stick caught fire and one of the firefighters at ringside extinguished the flaming foreign object.

With seemingly nothing stopping him, The Big Red Monster continued to dismantle Wyatt. Following two huge chokeslams, The Devil’s Favorite Demon channeled his brother, The Undertaker, and gestured for a Tombstone Piledriver. However, Harper and Rowan finally overcame the flames using an asbestos blanket and were able to attack Kane.

Attempting to fight them off, Kane was eventually overwhelmed and decimated by Bray Wyatt’s powerful family members. The referee was powerless to stop the match – a victory could only be determined by pinfall or submission. This allowed Wyatt to grab Kane and execute his signature maneuver to secure the victory.

Following the match, Wyatt retreated to his rocking chair and watched as Harper and Rowan used two sets of steel steps to smash Kane' skull. The lantern-wielding Superstar, with Harper and Rowan in tow, then carried an unconscious Kane away from the STAPLES Center.

Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn def. Big E Langston & Divas Champion AJ Lee

Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow

Natalya def. Brie Bella

Rob Van Dam def. United States Champion Dean Ambrose by disqualification (Kickoff Match)


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