Tonight, In This Very Ring: A Collection of Wrestling Timelines

The Reign of Punk
  • The Reign of Punk

    So, this almost seems like the most fitting start for this little project as CM Punk's Pipebomb was what really got me into wrestling. Like, I had heard of it and I thought it was cool, read about it through sites like TV Tropes and Taimapedia, but I never really had the push to watch it until CM Punk sat down and pretty much open mic shot on the WWE, Vince McMahon, John Cena and anyone he could think of. It was an amazing moment that very few have been able to replicate (Miz's Talking Smack promo on Daniel Bryan is right up there) and it launched CM Punk into a veritable main event position. But... it wasn't without its bumps, mainly the beginning and the end. And the middle left much to be desired.

    See, for as much as the Pipebomb smashed the glass ceiling for CM Punk, the WWE almost seemed determined to put it back together and shove him back underneath it. The problems are three-fold, as I see it.

    1. Del Rio cashing in and winning it at SummerSlam to set up for a feud with Kevin Nash (which they had to walk back on due to Nash's medical issues) and later Triple H (which he lost) while Del Rio feuded with John Cena (so, the failed experiment vs. the guy everyone was becoming sick of) before finally having Punk win it at Survivor Series and hold it for an impressive 434 days. Sounds great! What's wrong with what? Well...
    2. Once Punk got the belt, he was not given the main event spot. Now, in fairness, he immediately main evented TLC 2011 and the Royal Rumble should always headline the Royal Rumble PPV, that stands to reason. But Elimination Chamber was headlined by Cena vs. Kane in an Ambulance Match (the end of the predictable, Zack Ryder burying, drudge of a storyline that was Embrace the Hate) WrestleMania was Rock vs. Cena (okay, I'll be fair they hyped that shit for a year, so it was bound to main event) Extreme Rules was Cena vs. Lesnar (Okay, it was Lesnar's return match, but the pattern is really getting bothersome now) Over the Limit was Cena vs. John Laurinaitis (Yeah, this is around when everyone was calling "FUCK THIS!") No Way Out was Cena vs. Big Show in a Cage Match (Are you fucking with me here?) Money in the Bank was Cena winning Money in the Bank (Robbing Punk of another main event and a younger star of an opportunity? A double-decker sandwich of spotlight-hogging from Mr. Cena) SummerSlam mixed it up by having Triple H steal the spotlight for a match against Brock Lesnar, and CM Punk FINALLY main evented in 2012... because he was wrestling John Cena! At this point, Punk started getting more main events, headlining Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series before having to miss TLC 2012 with an injury (thanks, Ryback) and then we get to...
    3. The 2013 Royal Rumble, where Punk astonishingly main evented, in spite of that whole conventional wisdom about the Royal Rumble PPV... and lost. To the Rock. While Cena won the Royal Rumble. And so after all that, after all of Punk's year-long work, busting his ass in some of the best matches on the card while John Cena put on absolute piss-breaks in the main event, CM Punk loses it to the part-timer movie star so he and Cena can have another overhyped slog of a main event at WrestleMania XXIX. It all returns to nothing. It all comes tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down...

    So, I feel I've made a notable mission statement here, but let's get the ball rolling with a change before our first PPV with...


    July 25, 2011
    The main event on tonight's RAW from the Hampton Coliseum is a major one. Rey Mysterio, who had won his first ever WWE Championship, makes his first defense against John Cena. Just as Cena is about to go for the Attitude Adjustment to defeat a weakened Mysterio, he's struck from behind by Alberto Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. The ref calls for the bell as the match ends in a no contest, but Del Rio then runs down the ring as well, yelling for Ricardo to stand Rey up. He holds up his shiny red RAW Money in the Bank briefcase. Del Rio is gonna cash in... then Cena jumps Alberto as he gets in, Rey delivering kicks to Ricardo before tossing him out. Cena throws Del Rio onto the middle rope and Rey hits the 619 into the awaiting arms of the leader of the Cenation. AA to Del Rio and Rey looks to finish with a springboard splash... but gets struck from behind with a kendo stick!

    The camera turns to see a man in a black hoodie just going to town on Rey's back before he sweeps Rey's legs and sends him to the floor. The hooded man slides into the ring and his jacket, revealing a tattooed body and a familiar WWE Championship belt. He flips off his hood... it's CM Punk! He's back! Triple H steps out onto the stage, yelling for security to grab him and get back their belt, but Punk just goes after everyone with kendo stick shots. Cena goes at him as well and the two throw hands as security scramble to separate them. Del Rio starts angrily attacking Cena, Rey goes to help and is jumped by Ricardo, and Punk slinks away through the crowd.

    August 1, 2011
    We are thirteen days away from SummerSlam and on tonight's RAW, Triple H opens the show to say a few things about what happened last Monday night. First, he expresses disgust with CM Punk's actions, saying that he had invited Punk to the show simply to engage in contract negotiations and that he was instructed to not interfere in matters as he is not currently a contracted WWE Superstar. He's not happy about Del Rio interfering, but he is under contract and it is his right as Mr. RAW Money in the Bank, but what Punk did was a disgraceful act, as he nearly injured their current champion and put other Superstars at risk. However, Trips was able to get an agreement out of Punk that he could not appear on the show in any capacity until called upon. He'll get back to that.

    He also chides CM Punk's outrageous demands. No, he doesn't want ice cream bars (but goddamn do I want some. It's only May and it's already fucking sweltering here in Mass) but instead Punk has demanded a term in his new contract to wrestle only on the Big Four PPVs: SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and of course, WrestleMania. He won't appear on RAW, Smackdown, NXT or even Superstars and he won't show for any PPV that isn't one of those four. This frees up Punk to do what he had promised and take the belt to Ring of Honor or New Japan, just basically any indie league that will have him. Those events WON'T be covered, mostly out of laziness, but just assume that if there was a major indie event that month (that wasn't TNA, CZW or Chikara) Punk is main eventing with "illegal" defenses of his WWE title against a top guy from that promotion.

    However, Triple H does have a major announcement for tonight's show, which is that he has a contract signing for SummerSlam's main event: A Fatal Four-Way between CM Punk (the unsanctioned reigning champion), Rey Mysterio (the WWE sanctioned champion), John Cena (who got screwed out of his title and is also John Cena) and Alberto del Rio (in exchange for his Money in the Bank briefcase) and if CM Punk does not appear for the contract signing, he will be officially stripped of the WWE Championship and his reign will not be recognized. We do the show and come to the main event, where Punk does arrive, coming through the crowd. Everyone exchanges whatever words they have, Hunter warning Punk that if he touches any of them before signing the contract, he can kiss his title goodbye. Cena signs, Mysterio signs, del Rio turns in his briefcase and signs. Punk looks at the contract, checks all the fine print, maybe shoot on Hunter for a bit because he doesn't play by your rules, Hunter. And then he reiterates something Trips said to him in the form of a question.

    "If I don't sign that contract, I can't touch any of you?"

    "No."

    "Not even you, Hunter?"

    "Absolutely not, Punk. Now, are you gonna sign it?"


    Punk smiles that CM Punk smile, he signs the contract... and then he levels Hunter with a kick to the head. We get your usual contract signing chaos as the four men go in on each other, security once again swarming the ring to hold them back as the show goes off the air...
     
    The Reign of Punk: SummerSlam 2011
  • SummerSlam 2011

    Venue: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
    Attendance: 17,404
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    (Dark: Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) d. Alex Riley)

    The Miz/R-Truth d. John Morrison/Kofi Kingston

    We start off with our first change to the OTL card. This was a six-man tag with Rey and del Rio involved, but they got put into the main event. The match goes to the heels' favor, ending with a Skull Crushing Finale to Kofi.

    Mark Henry d. Sheamus by countout

    Keep this match from OTL. It's got a great ending spot with the barricade.

    Beth Phoenix (w/Natalya) d. Kelly Kelly (c) (w/Eve Torres) for the WWE Divas Championship

    We flip the result here, Beth absolutely demolishing Kelly in under five minutes through her superior mat work, finishing with the Glam Slam.

    Daniel Bryan d. Wade Barrett for the Smackdown Money in the Bank Briefcase

    We give D-Bry the win here, putting his briefcase on the line against the former Nexus leader. LeBell Lock finishes, Bryan keeping his briefcase.

    Randy Orton d. Christian (c) in a No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

    Sorry, guys. Orton has to take the title, it's important for the story of this TL going forward if Orton's the champion. With Punk no-showing the lower PPV shows, the World Heavyweight Title is going to be the main event belt of the company during those absences. So, we put the strap on Orton, hitting the RKO on the steel steps.

    CM Punk d. Rey Mysterio, John Cena and Alberto del Rio in a Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Championship

    The crowd is wild as while all the challengers make their way to the ring by going down the ramp, Punk takes his now customary walk through the crowd, Cult of Personality blaring through the speakers the whole time to really amp things up. The match gets thirty minutes, so if we gotta shave off time from the other matches, then that's fine. We cut the Kevin Nash nonsense, so we can get those extra minutes. The ending comes when Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on del Rio, Punk hitting GTS on Rey. Cena locks in an STF and Punk cinches in the Anaconda Vice. Del Rio manages to hold out while Rey taps in the Vice, Punk keeping his title and heading into the crowd in celebration. Like it or not, CM Punk is now officially recognized as the WWE Champion as SummerSlam goes off the air.
     
    The Reign of Punk: Night of Champions 2011
  • Night of Champions 2001

    Venue: First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York
    Attendance: 13.500
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    Daniel Bryan d. Heath Slater (w/Wade Barrett) for the Smackdown Money in the Bank Briefcase

    The major butterfly for this PPV is the loss of CM Punk vs. Triple H, which gives us 24 extra minutes of match time, so let's take this match off dark and bring it to the main show as an opener. The story here is Barrett calling in a former Nexus member to try and take the briefcase from D-Bry, with plans to take it himself on the Smackdown afterward. And consider that ITTL, the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase is super important because it means a guaranteed shot at what is considered the #1 title in the company (at least in the kayfabe sense of how the WWE is valuing it, but having it close out a majority of the shows in the remainder of the year will increase its value, no doubt.) Bryan puts Slater away in five minutes with the LeBell Lock to kick off the show.

    Beth Phoenix (c) (w/Natalya) d. Kelly Kelly (w/Eve Torres) for the WWE Divas Championship

    This one loses a minute from its time as Beth once again tears through Kelly, hitting the Glam Slam Stretch. Kelly gives up, but Beth refuses to release the hold until the officials have to pull her off. Kelly does a stretcher job, Beth Phoenix sending a clear message to the Divas locker room.

    Dolph Ziggler (c) John Morrison, Jack Swagger and Alex Riley for the WWE United States Championship

    Match time clocks in at 13:19, ending with a Zig-Zag to A-Ry after Morrison wipes out Swagger on the outside.

    Cody Rhodes (c) d. Ted DiBiase for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    Match time clocks in at 14:43, just barely ending before the time limit. Cody lands the Crossrhodes to finish, collecting his stolen mask afterward and covering his face as he walks up the ramp.

    Air Boom (c) vs. The Awesome Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championship (Time Limit Draw)

    Match time clocks in at a solid 15 minutes, ending in a draw just as Miz lands the Skull Crushing Finale. It's a weird choice, I'm sure, but it was mainly because I needed to pick between the new champs losing on PPV or possibly having a good heel team lose their first title opportunity. I opted for a draw.

    John Cena d. Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)

    We take this match from OTL and remove the WWE title from it. del Rio seeks to fulfill his DESTINY by defeating that perro, Cena, but instead, he ends up in the STF and taps out. It's also the only match to not have extended or shortened time on TTL's show.

    Mark Henry d. Randy Orton (c) (w/Triple H) for the World Heavyweight Championship by DQ

    Match time clocks in at 18:06 and as you can see, there's a difference in the finish. Triple H is pretty much in either tweener or heel at this point as he is genuinely looking out for the interests of the company and fans by making sure they get their money's worth. Thus, he puts his backing behind Randy Orton, a dyed in the wool WWE Superstar, as their top star. This rankles Christian (who sees the move as blatant favoritism) and Orton (who feels that Triple H is just coddling him) and that latter feeling is not helped when after a World's Strongest Slam, Triple H runs in and clocks Orton with the belt, resulting in a DQ. This move would result in an RKO from the Viper in frustration at being "protected" by Hunter and the WWE Board of Directors delivering a warning to Triple H to not involve himself in matches under punishment of disciplinary measures.
     
    The Reign of Punk: Hell in a Cell 2011
  • Hell in a Cell 2011

    Venue: New Orleans Arena
    Attendance: 13,600
    Announce Team: Jim Ross/Booker T​

    Daniel Bryan d. Justin Gabriel (w/Wade Barrett) for the Smackdown Money in the Bank Briefcase

    So, thanks to a slight adjustment to match times, we bring this match to the main show and swap out JTG for Justin Gabriel, continuing the run of D-Bry vs. Nexus guys for the blue briefcase. Bryan keeps after eight minutes, putting Gabriel away in the LeBell Lock.

    Beth Phoenix (c) (w/Natalya) d. Eve Torres for the WWE Divas Championship

    We shave three minutes off this bout, continuing the Glamazon's dominant run as taps out Eve in the Glam Slam Stretch, once again refusing to break the hold until Eve is broken, needing to be stretchered out. She's gonna tear apart the Divas Division one by one.

    Sin Cara Azul d. Sin Cara Negro in a Mask vs. Mask Match

    They did this stipulation on the following Smackdown, but to hell with that. We're doing this on PPV to make it feel bigger. Sin Cara Azul wins and takes off the impostor Sin Cara's mask.

    Sheamus d. Christian

    Christian's storyline so far is acting as almost a surrogate for Triple h to take out his frustrations on Punk with, mixed with Christian's own issues with how his career has gone. He's got a few shoot promos talking about how he had to spend time working in Florida to be treated with the respect he deserves. This match with Sheamus was pretty much booked by Triple H, Christian making a point in promos of bringing up how the Celtic Warrior and the Game are work out buddies and how he's being fed to one of Hunter's "pet projects." It's all good shootin' fun here. This adds heat to what was no doubt a fairly standard match on OTL's card, ending as it did with Christian missing a Spear and taking a Brogue Kick.

    Cody Rhodes (c) d. John Morrison for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    We give them an extra three minutes, this match for the new version of the white strap belt which Rhodes hyped up before the show and debuted around his waist on the way to this match. Cody wins it with the Crossrhodes.

    Air Boom (Evan Bourne/Kofi Kingston) (c) d. Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    This match stays the same from OTL with the Super Hurricanrana to Swagger ending the match.

    Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) d. John Cena in a Submission Match

    Since Punk is off defending his WWE title on the indie circuit, we'll shave eight minutes off the 24 minute OTL bout, giving the two sixteen minutes. We're also switching out the Cell for a simple submission stipulation (which is a bit silly since Cena won with a submission last time, but hey, WWE) and having del Rio win with the Cross Armbreaker, a rare submission loss for Cena.

    Mark Henry d. Randy Orton (c) in a Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

    Mark Henry was quite unhappy about last month's finish and rather than simply take it up with the Board of Directors, he decided to handle things his way. He demanded a rematch, which Triple H was okay with. The suggestion of putting them in the Cell, however, was met negatively by the Game. So the World's Strongest Man decided to start breaking the WWE roster until he got his way. He put Khali on the shelf (yay!) and would do the same to any jobbers, guys we need to put on the bench or release and the occasional referee until he got the match he wanted. With no other choice, Triple H agreed to make it a Hell in a Cell Match, getting us to the OTL match and Mark Henry winning the big strap. For good measure and to stick it to Triple H, Henry actually hits the spot he teased at the match, hitting the Corner Slingshot Splash on Orton's chair-wrapped leg, breaking it. Triple H, furious, storms out to the ring and starts jawing at Henry before officials have to hold back the COO while Henry holds up the gold.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Vengeance 2011
  • Vengeance 2011

    Venue: AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
    Attendance: 13.500
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler
    Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre d. Heath Slater/Justin Gabriel

    Due to changes from OTL's card (Punk, Orton and Triple H won't be working), I added in this opening tag to help fill the card. We give the teams seven minutes, testing out the possible combination of Barrett and McIntyre. Working finisher idea is Barrett puts Slater in a Spinebuster lift and McIntyre hits the Claymore to Slater before Barrett hits the Spinebuster.

    Zack Ryder (w/Eve Torres) d. Dolph Ziggler (c) (w/Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger) for the WWE United States Championship by DQ

    Eve, sporting rib tape from the attack earlier in the show, is out there in support of Zack, which puts in dangers as Vickie holds her arms back and yells for Swagger to get a chair. Ryder runs out to make the save, taking a chair shot. The match goes 11:22 and Zack Ryder gets so very close to winning singles gold, which is why Vickie pulls the plug on the match.

    Christian d. Sheamus

    They did the same spot as last PPV, but fuck that noise. This time after Sheamus dodges the Spear, Christian ducks the Brogue Kick, catches Sheamus from behind and gets him with the Killswitch, winning a match he lost in OTL.

    Cody Rhodes (c) d. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

    Orton's out, selling the attack from Mark Henry, giving him some time to rest up but it also means that he and Cody won't be having their match. Instead, we have Cody and D-Bry, which is fine with me. Match time clocks in at 17:11, ending with a Crossrhodes to the American Dragon.

    The Miz/R-Truth d. Air Boom (Evan Bourne/Kofi Kingston) (c) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    We have this match, going 17 minutes and ending with a combination Shut Up/Skull Crushing Finale to Bourne. The Awesome Truth has won the tag titles!

    Mark Henry (c) vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship (No Contest)

    The match gets another five minutes, ending another 18:19 after they collapse the ring. Yeah, this is why I opted to not have this main event the show because having the next match take place in a destroyed ring is too good to pass up.

    Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) d. John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match

    And we have the first OTL main event of this card. del Rio surprisingly finishes this feud strong, beating Cena thanks to interference by the new WWE Tag Champs, ending Vengeance on a sour note. No face victories unless you count Christian.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Survivor Series 2011
  • Survivor Series 2011

    Venue: Madison Square Garden
    Attendance: 18,500 (Capacity)
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    (Dark: Hunico d. Sin Cara)
    (Dark: Santino Marella d. Jinder Mahal)

    Beth Phoenix (c) d. Kaitlyn in a Lumberjill Match for the WWE Divas Championship

    Lumberjills: AJ Lee, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Tamina Snuka, Maxine, Rosa Mendes and Kelly Kelly.

    Another Diva gets squashed by the Glamazon. Kaitlyn finally uses the title shot she won on NXT to face Beth and gets snapped int the Glam Slam Stretch. The Lumbjerills barely do anything until Natalya hands Beth a mic and she simply says "Get them, Tamina!"

    And with that, Tamina just charges at the rest of the Lumberjills. Aksana, Rosa, and Maxine get ragdolled. Alicia and the Bellas make a run for it. AJ goes into the ring to protect her injured friend, showing spirit but getting a two-on-one from Natalya and Beth for her troubles. Kelly gets it the worst as Natalya breaks off from beating on AJ to set up the steel steps, Tamina hitting Kelly with the Samoan Drop onto the steps and aggravating her previously (kayfabe) injured back, putting her back on the shelf. It's utter destruction as we add the third Diva of Doom.

    Zack Ryder (w/Eve Torres) d. Dolph Ziggler (c) (w/Vickie Guerrero) for the WWE United States Championship

    Owing to the screwy nature of their last encounter, Triple H allows a rematch with Jack Swagger banned from ringside. Eve manages to hold off Vickie this time and Ryder's focus stays on the champ. One Rough Ryder later and Ryder wins the US title! It's a big moment for him and a good way to uplift the crowd after the last match.

    Team Barrett (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre/Cody Rhodes/Alberto del Rio/Jack Swagger) d. Team Orton (Randy Orton/Sheamus/John Morrison/Kofi Kingston/Ted DiBiase)

    DiBiase is the first to go for Team Orton, getting pretty much kept to the corner before being eliminated with a Crossrhodes. Following that is Morrison on his last PPV match for the WWE, taken out by Barrett and McIntyre's Spinebuster/Claymore combo. Following that is Kofi Kingston getting sent out with a Crossrhodes. Team Orton's luck continues to go down as Sheamus gets eliminated next thanks to a double count-out as he and McIntyre spend too much time brawling outside and both get sent out. Randy Orton is now alone against four men and while he sends out Swagger and del Rio with an RKO for each, he ultimately loses, as in OTL, after a Wasteland from Barrett.

    The Awesome Truth (Miz/R-Truth) (c) d. John Cena/The Rock for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    We got the most charismatic tag team of all time, two great mountains of meat and teeth, coming together to beat Miz and R-Truth for the tag titles. But The Rock jumps off the ring just as Cena is about to tag him in. Cena gets double teamed and hit with the Shut Up/Skull Crushing Finale combo, keeping the titles. The two would lose the titles on the next night's RAW after R-Truth gets suspended. After the bell rings, Rock comes back and helps Cena back up... to hit him with a Rock Bottom and People's Elbow.

    Mark Henry (c) d. The Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship

    We get the OTL match, but Henry wins and then goes for the postmatch leg break, only for Daniel Bryan to rush out with his bright blue briefcase. Daniel Bryan! He's cashing in! Henry accepts as Big Show rolls out, patting D-Bry on the back and wishing him luck.

    Daniel Bryan d. Mark Henry (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship

    Henry's just come off a grueling match with the Big Show, but he's a fighting champion. However, the American Dragon is quick enough to stay out of Henry's attack range and wears him down with kicks. After a kick to the head that damn near takes Henry's head right off, Bryan pins him and wins the World Heavyweight title, starting up his "Yes!" chant.

    CM Punk (c) d. Triple H in a No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Championship

    Now see, another stipulation of Punk's contract is he gets to choose his opponents and he chose Triple H. Hunter refused because he stepped down from competition, but Punk keeps needling him. Taunting him until he gets his match, shooting from the hip. When he finally crosses the line and calls Triple H "Paul" then the gloves are off. "You want me?! You got me! No Holds Barred! I'm gonna kick your scrawny Chicago match all over Madison Square Garden!"

    We flip the times from the OTL title match and the Cena/Rock vs. Awesome Truth match. Give this 20 minutes to let the two kill each other. It all ends when Triple H goes for the Pedigree, then Punk lifts him up and hits the GTS, retaining his title and heading into the crowd with the most satisfied smile on his face. He won't be back until the Rumble.
     
    The Reign of Punk: TLC 2011
  • TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2011

    Venue: 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
    Attendance: 11,500
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler
    Sheamus d. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerero) in a Tables Match

    Just let two strong men throw each other around for ten minutes, ending with a High Cross through a table to kick off the PPV


    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) d. Air Boom (Evan Bourne/Kofi Kingston) (c) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    Oh hey, they actually did tag together in FCW, so let's bring that back. The Empire takes out the high-flyers due to another suspension (Thanks, Evan!) Bourne takes the Spinebuster/Claymore combo. I'll take suggestions for a name for that finisher. Match clocks in at 12:32.

    Zack Ryder (c) (w/Eve Torres) d. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) in a Ladder Match for the WWE United States Championship

    We get the rematch from Survivor Series, this time with ladder bumps. Match clocks in at 13:21 after a Rough Ryder off a ladder.

    The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix/Natalya/Tamina Snuka) d. The Bella Twins/Alicia Fox in a Six-Diva Tag Team Match

    The DoD tear through the three Divas who escaped the beatdown at Survivor Series, Natalya winning the match after putting Brie in the Sharpshooter. Match clocks in at 5:36, with the Bella/Fox team getting very little.

    Big Show d. Mark Henry in a Chairs Match

    This match is kept short because it's the worst possible match, a chairs match. Chairs matches suck. Big Show chokeslams Henry onto a chair to put an end to the Hall of Pain.

    Cody Rhodes (c) d. Randy Orton for the Intercontinental Title

    Cody still has the face mask but doesn't last long as Randy hits an RKO and the mask cracks. Cody kicks out, rips the mask off and stares at it, then makes a comeback, finishing Randy off the Crossrhodes to keep at 14:24 in the match.

    Daniel Bryan (c) d. John Cena, The Miz and Alberto del Rio in a Fatal Four-Way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

    We give Cena a spot on the card to really make this match fun. del Rio is in here for beating Cena at Survivor Series and Miz got a spot on RAW after taking out R-Truth and Morrison. Cena and del Rio have been feuding and Miz/D-Bry have heat from NXT, so this is win/win for story. Match clocks in at 23:30 with Cena taking out del Rio and D-Bry kicking Miz off the ladder and through a table, unhooking the Wolrd Heavyweight title as we wrap up 2011. 2012 is coming up and with it... CM Punk returns.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Royal Rumble 2012, Part 1
  • Royal Rumble 2012

    Venue: Scottrade Center in St. Louis Missouri
    Attendance: 18,121
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler/Booker T
    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) d. Big Show/Mark Henry for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    The Empire looks to prove their superiority by defeating two monsters of the industry. They attack Show and Henry on a Smackdown leading up to the PPV, the two putting aside their differences to deal with the Empire, but communications break down and Big Show throws a WMD. Spinebuster/Claymore combo follows to end the match. Match clocks in at 10:13.

    Kharma d. Beth Phoenix (c) (w/Natalya and Tamina Snuka) for the WWE Women's Championship by DQ

    Yeah, you read that right. Beth Phoenix, like Alundra Blayze before her, would toss the Divas belt in the trash, unveiling a returning Women's Championship. I'm thinking either the previous design or something akin to the New Generation Era belt, but without the cotton candy pink strap. She makes it clear that in 2012 that she expects the best competition, not just more pin-up models come to try and beat her. She issues an open challenge for the Royal Rumble and bites off more than she can chew. Kharma dominates the match, just brutalizing the Glamazon because Beth was woefully unprepared for her. The match only goes five minutes before Tamina comes in with a chair, causing the DQ as the DoD (most likely to rename to disconnect from the word Diva) do a three-on-one. I'm doing my best to tread carefully as Kharma did not come back in the best physical and mental state, so it's chair shots to the back and a Sharpshooter to send her out quick, Beth sliding out and cradling her Women's championship, lucky to have made it out alive.

    John Cena d. Kane

    I just could not think of how to salvage this feud, so we'll wrap it up here. AA to Kane makes this a match.

    CM Punk (c) (w/Brodus Clay) d. Daniel Bryan (c) in a Title Unification Match for the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships

    So Punk wanted this match because he wanted to wrestle Daniel Bryan. He wants the two best wrestlers to meet to prove who is the greatest wrestler in the world.

    Triple H refused to sign off because if Punk leaves with both belts, the WWE is left without a top belt. However, Punk and Bryan both want it and Punk threatens to no-show the Rumble. Triple H relents on the condition that if Punk wins, he has to return to a regular schedule. Punk signs off and D-Bry signs the contract.

    As for Brodus, instead of becoming the Funkasaurus, Punk takes him in as an enforcer, like he did with Luke Gallows. Just a big dude to watch his back since Punk has a target on it.

    They go 20 minutes, just tear down the house. Punk wins it with the GTS, heading into the crowd with both belts.

    And that's part 1 done. Coming soon, Part 2...

    The Rumble.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Royal Rumble 2012, Part 2
  • The 2012 Royal Rumble Match

    #1: The Miz
    #2: Alex Riley

    Unlike OTL, Alex Riley is given a bit more time in the ring, though Miz does control the match.

    #3: R-Truth

    Truth charges in to save A-Ry from elimination, making it 2-on-1 against the Miz for a while.

    #4: Cody Rhodes

    Cody comes in, evening the score, making it Miz/Cody vs. A-Ry/R-Truth. A-Ry goes out this time, thrown out by Miz (30, Riley)

    #5: Justin Gabriel

    Justin Gabriel replaces A-Ry here, these four holding the ring.

    #6: Primo

    Primo puts things at 3-2 for the heels. Looks like they're gonna need some help.

    #7: Mick Foley

    Bang Bang! Surprise entrant Mick Foley makes his way in, giving Miz the Double-Arm DDT, catching Cody with Mr. Socko and then doing a Cactus Clothesline to send him and Primo out. (29, Primo) (28, Foley) evening up the score and leaving Miz/Cody vs. Truth/Gabriel.

    #8: Ricardo Rodriguez

    Ricardo comes in doing the Alberto gimmick as he did in this Rumble and joins in on the heel side.

    #9: Santino Marella

    Marella joins the faces, hitting the Cobra on Ricardo but getting no sold and double teamed by Miz and Cody for a bit before Truth and Gabriel make the save. It's a three-on-three.

    #10: Epico

    Epico comes in on the heel side, putting it at four-on-three. Santino looks to be out this time.

    #11: Kofi Kingston

    SOS! He is not Shelton! Kofi makes the save, evening up the score. Santino throws Ricardo out (27, Ricardo) which puts the heels at a disadvantage.

    #12: Jerry Lawler

    And in comes Jerry Lawler off the announce table to make things even worse for the heels. However, Cody tosses him out after less than a minute (26, Lawler) only to be back against Santino and Kofi while Gabriel fights Epico and Miz fights with R-Truth. Epico gets sent out next (25, Epico) leaving the heel side down to Miz and Cody Rhodes. The two pull a lot of chicaneries to avoid elimination. Maybe when won in over the top, the other slides through the bottom rope to catch the other.

    #13: Ezekiel Jackson

    So guys, for those who weren't great at math, Skill + Concentration = Domination. Zeke drops Miz and Rhodes with a double clothesline, the pair rolling out of the ring from the bottom rope at the same time in panic. Zeke tells them to get in and fight, but they refuse.

    #14: Jinder Mahal

    Jinder comes out in the fabled cursed #14 spot. But he seems pretty easy going about the whole thing, even as Miz and Cody are forced back in, they try to stop Jinder from making his way in. Jackson shoves them to the other faces and tells Jinder to get in and fight. Mahal, holding a chair, climbs in and has a seat. He's waiting for someone.

    #15: The Great Khali

    And he's back, unfortunately. But not in for long as Zeke suddenly starts going right at him, Jinder tossing him the chair to do more damage. Book of Ezekiel on the chair and then Jinder tosses Khali over (24, Khali) Jinder grabs a mic and explains that he'll be giving $1000 to Ezekiel for every man than Jinder eliminates from the Rumble and a $10,000 bonus if Jinder wins. Zeke then turns on the babyface side and the tides turn as Jinder joins in. Zeke helps Jinder eliminate Gabriel (23, Gabriel) and Miz sends out R-Truth (22, R-Truth) while Cody gets rid of Santino (21, Santino) Only Kofi manages to eliminate Jinder (20, Mahal) as he now faces down Miz, Cody Rhodes, and Ezekiel Jackson.

    #16: Hunico

    And if things weren't bad enough for Kofi, here comes Hunico to add to the beatdown. Kofi fights on, getting his escape spot in and jumping back into the fray, showing his babyface fire.

    #17: Booker T

    Booker is our next announcer to jump in, hitting the Book End to Hunico. Book End to Ezekiel. Book End to Miz, but no such luck against Cody, who tosses Booker out (19, Booker T)

    #18: Dolph Ziggler

    Dolph adds to the heels beating on poor Kofi, who keeps fighting even with the disadvantage.

    #19: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

    Hoooooooo~ Jim Duggan hits a few Old Glory clotheslines to give Kofi some recovering time before getting tossed out by Rhodes (18, Duggan)

    #20: Mark Henry

    And the hits just keep coming as Kofi takes the "eating all the finishers spot" with a Book of Ezekiel, Crossrhodes, ZigZag, Falling Star, Skull Crushing Finale, and the World's Strongest Slam right out (17, Kingston) Who can stop this ring full of bad men.

    #21: Michael Cole

    Yeah, Cole gets in for like a second before he gets tossed right out by Cody (16, Cole) So who's really coming in to stop it?

    #22: Sheamus

    That's more like it! The Celtic Warrior charges in and just tosses everyone around, tossing out Hunico (15, Hunico), tossing out Zeke (14, Jackson), hitting Brogue Kicks on Ziggler, Miz and Cody Rhodes before tossing out Mark Henry (13, Henry)

    #23: Road Dogg

    Road Dogg comes in, does some schtick and then gets eliminated by Cody (12, Road Dogg) who gets another Brogue Kick for his troubles.

    #24: Jey Uso

    Jey comes in to add to the babyface numbers, mixing it up with Ziggler.

    #25: Jack Swagger

    Swagger comes in and the two double team Jey, sending him out (11, Jey)

    #26: Wade Barrett

    Barrett arrives, coming after Sheamus. Sheamus is fresh and ready to fight, so he holds off against a new mix of five heels, tossing out Swagger (10, Swagger)

    #27: David Otunga

    Otunga in and Otunga out in little time. Thanks, Sheamus! (9, Otunga)

    #28: Randy Orton

    Orton comes in with RKOs aplenty for Cody, Miz, Ziggler and one for Barrett before sending him out and teaming with Sheamus. Heh, teaming an Irishman and a snake. Orton fights with Cody while Sheamus takes Barrett.

    #29: Chris Jericho

    And here comes Y2J! He goes right after Ziggler! He's got the light-up jacket! But who is #30?!?

    #30: Daniel Bryan

    Well, it's not the Big Show! Instead, the loser of the title match comes in at #30, going right for his NXT "Pro" There are eight men left and four battles. D-Bry/Miz (#1 vs. #30) Ziggler/Jericho, Orton/Rhodes, and Sheamus/Barrett.

    Ziggler is the first one thrown out (8, Ziggler) followed by Barrett taking a Brogue Kick out (7, Barrett) then comes Cody finally going out (6, Rhodes) and after the longest time in the match, the Miz is sent out (5, Miz)

    The fights split off into Y2J/D-Bry and Orton/Sheamus. Ah, Irishman fighting a snake. Much better. Orton ends up going out thanks to a Brogue Kick (4, Orton) before turning to fight Jericho and Bryan. However, the two double team the Celtic Warrior and send him out (3, Sheamus)

    The fight comes down to Jericho and Bryan and they go long. Daniel seems so close to winning it but falls to a triangle dropkick, being the last man out. (2, Bryan)

    Chris Jericho has won the 2012 Royal Rumble! Chris Jericho is going to WrestleMania! Chris Jericho points at the sign tonight!
     
    The Reign of Punk: Elimination Chamber 2012
  • Elimination Chamber 2012

    Venue: Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Attendance: 15,306
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler
    Hunico (w/Camacho) d. Alex Riley

    We got plenty of extra time to fill, so we pull up the dark match and make it a 5-minute opener. Camacho blindsides A-Ry with a chain shot, leaving him open for a Falling Star.

    Beth Phoenix (c) (w/Natalya and Tamina Snuka) d. Alicia Fox (w/the Bella Twins) for the WWE Divas Championship

    We cut a few minutes off this as Fox gets wrecked by the Glamazon. Natalya and Tamina have their fun with the Bellas on the outside. Glam Slam Stretch ends it, Alicia doing the stretcher job. No can stop Beth Phoenix.

    Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) d. Santino Marella

    Just give them seven minutes and have Ziggler go over. He needs a bit of momentum after losing the US title. Zig Zag finishes.

    Zack Ryder (c) (w/Eve Torres) d. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) for the WWE United States Championship

    The match goes 13 minutes, Ryder coming in with taped ribs after an attack by Kane before the Royal Rumble PPV. Zack, despite doctor's warnings, wrestles with damaged ribs and manages to keep his title with the Rough Ryder.

    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) d. Kofi Kingston/R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    Give this match 15 minutes. The Empire continued to dominate the tag division with a Spinebuster/Claymore combo to Kofi.

    Cody Rhodes (c) d. Justin Gabriel for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    Another 15-minute match on the card, Gabriel brings his exciting aerial offense, but Cody can keep up and ground him. Gabriel misses the 450 Splash, setting up for a Beautiful Disaster and the Crossrhodes.

    CM Punk (c) d. John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Chris Jericho and the Big Show in an Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Championship

    Match starts off with Punk and Cena. The two do some basic exchanges until five minutes in when D-Bry's pod opens. It becomes a double team of the indie guys going after Cena until the ten-minute mark.

    Sheamus pod opens next and he peels Bryan off. Things stay that way until 15 minutes in when Jericho steps out next. Y2J does return spots with everyone until we hit the 20 minutes mark and Big Show's pod opens.

    Fights split off into Punk/Jericho, Bryan/Sheamus, and Cena/Show. Show is the first to go, courtesy of an AA. Chris Jericho gets knocked out of the Chamber by Punk, bringing the numbers down as we draw closer to the end. The fights split off into Punk/Bryan and Cena/Sheamus. Cena sends Sheamus out with the AA while Punk eliminates D-Bry with the GTS. The final sequence is the one that began it all, Punk vs. Cena. The match ends at the 35 minute mark after a GTS to Cena, Punk retaining the title heading into WrestleMania.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: WrestleMania XXVIII
  • WrestleMania XXVIII

    Venue: Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida
    Attendance: 80,363 (Record)
    Announce Team: Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show Match: The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) d. The Usos and The Colons (Primo/Epico) (w/Rosa Mendes) in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    We're keeping the match order mostly the same, so we start with the tag titles on the pre-show. Spinebuster/Claymore combo to Jimmy sees them keep the straps to start things off.

    AJ Lee (w/Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres) d. Beth Phoenix (c) (w/Natalya and Tamina Snuka) for the WWE Women's Championship

    We start the show with an underdog victory as AJ fights from underneath, managing to fight off interference from Tamina and Nattie with help from the babyface Divas, kicking out of not one, but two Glam Slams. Shiranui wins it for AJ as she is overwhelmed with joy at winning the Women's championship at WrestleMania.

    Sheamus d. Mark Henry

    Next up we have a hoss fight to end the Hall of Pain. This really is the best spot to end it. I'm cutting any extracurricular on this show to give the matches some more time, maybe shave time off Rock/Cena to add some extra time. Sheamus sends Henry to retirement with the Brogue Kick. Don't worry, the World's Strongest Man will be back, but for tonight he feeds the Celtic Warrior.

    Randy Orton d. Kane

    There's no need for this to go long and especially no need for Kane to win, so Orton wins this with the RKO. Just get them on the card, ya know.

    Zack Ryder (c) d. The Miz in a Lumberjack Match for the WWE United States Championship

    Lumberjacks: Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, The Big Show, Jinder Mahal, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, Ezekiel Jackson, Santino Marella, David Otunga, R-Truth

    We gotta us those Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny match guys somehow, so we have this match. Miz, formerly in the main event of last year's 'Mania, has been getting more and more annoyed at Ryder's rise to stardom and his subsequent US title run. He's gonna shut down the Long Island Iced Z by taking the United States title. We get some lumberjack spots in this before Zack hits the Rough Ryder to keep the United States title. Woo woo woo!

    The Undertaker d. Triple H in a Hell in a Cell Match (Special Ref: Shawn Michaels)

    And as if Triple H's run as COO couldn't get any worse, he has to take an emergency step down because Triple H won't leave him the fuck alone. He even stacks the deck against him with his buddy Shawn officiating, but this match goes the same as OTL. End of an Era and all that.

    Daniel Bryan d. Cody Rhodes (c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    Give these two fifteen minutes to work. The story is of course that Daniel Bryan's reign as World Champ was so short while Cody has continued to get better as IC champ. He taunts D-Bry to WrestleMania, with Bryan promising to take the belt from him when they get to Miami. Match ends with the Yes Lock to Cody, Rhodes tapping out as Daniel Bryan claims the now #2 belt of the WWE. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! ...Yes.

    CM Punk (c) (w/Brodus Clay) d. Chris Jericho for the WWE World Championship

    We get this match from OTL, but now there's a hell of a lot more going on with it. Jericho's the Rumble winner and Punk is the unified champion, which is something Jericho brags about doing first in promos leading up. We got Brodus in the corner to do some spots, but otherwise, the outcome is the same with Punk winning in what should've been the main event of tonight's show... but...

    John Cena d. The Rock

    So we flip the result here because I am only doing this match once. Once. You hear me, goddamit? I am not having this match twice, not thrice, not five times, five times, five times, five times, five times. Just here and now, once at WrestleMania in Miami and Cena is going over with the Attitude Adjustment. The two can shake hands and pass the torch, but otherwise, this match is never happening again and staying that way. That was WrestleMania, hope you all enjoyed.
     
    The Reign of Punk: Extreme Rules 2012
  • Extreme Rules 2012

    Venue: Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois
    Attendance: 15,017
    Announce Team: Matt Striker/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show: Cody Rhodes d. Santino Marella

    Cody takes out his frustration over losing the IC title on the goofy comedy guy. Beats him in five minutes to start things off. Crossrhodes win and after the match, he tears up the Cobra for some added heat.

    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) d. The Big Show/Kane in a Tables Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    Kane, losing momentum since his return, tags up with the Big Show but then decides to throw his partner to the wolves, giving him the Chokeslam before walking out. Big Show takes a Wasteland through the table and the Empire keep once again.

    Ryback d. Aaron Relic/Jay Hutton in a Handicap Match

    The PPV debut of Ryback goes the same as OTL. Just destroying dudes. Feed him.

    AJ Lee (c) d. Beth Phoenix (w/Natalya and Tamina) for the WWE Women's Championship

    A rematch from WrestleMania, AJ shows more fire here, taking more control of the match over time until she gets Beth in the Octopus. Beth taps, but AJ is too fired up and doesn't let go of the hold. Officials soon pull her off, but the damage is done. Beth has a broken arm and has to be stretchered out. AJ insists it was an accident, but maybe there's some room for doubt. Natalya and Tamina try to double team her, but Layla returns to make the save, helping her fight them off and escape.

    Zack Ryder (c) d The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE United States Championship

    The feud keeps going between these two. Maybe get their dads involved. Have them beat up each other's dads because that sounds like a lot of sports entertainment fun. This is a wild brawl, ending with a Rough Ryder on the stage.

    Randy Orton d. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger)

    A solid little match up. Exchanging holds and doing the usual really, the important moment is at the end where a misplaced heel shot from Vickie leads Dolph to stagger into the RKO. After the match, Dolph chews out Vickie, gives Swagger a superkick and storms off. Dolph's going solo now.

    Daniel Bryan (c) d. Sheamus for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    Given that Sheamus just retired Mark Henry (and I probably won't do much different from the Hall of Pain other than giving him the belt at around the time he got it in OTL, don't expect that as a TL) Sheamus feels he's earned this shot. Bryan, wanting to be a fighting champion, agrees to the match. It's a face vs. face, but the crowd is more likely to side with the smaller D-Bry in this case. No two-out-of-three falls, but I did consider it just for the joke of Sheamus getting the first fall in 18 seconds. But, I'll be merciful to you guys and make it one fall. It's a good match, technical vs. power, and D-Bry wins it by just kicking Sheamus' head right off. Yes!

    CM Punk (w/Brodus Clay) (c) d. Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight for the WWE World Championship

    Since this is mostly the OTL match (minus the liberal use of Brodus) I think I'll explain a thought I had: Why does Punk need Brodus? He's pretty much a tweener with heavy fan support and he's made claims of being the best in the world, isn't having a bodyguard more a cowardly heel thing? Well, yes, but in Punk's mind, he needs Brodus because he's a man with a target on his back. Even after Vince has left, Punk is sure Vince is after him. Triple is still running the show and can send anyone after Punk if he wants and CM Punk has the top prize in professional wrestling, so anyone with half a brain is gonna want to take the belt from him. So Punk needed someone he could trust, someone the system was going to fail, he took in Brodus and promised him that as long as he protected Punk, that Clay would never be the Funkasaurus. They're men fighting against the system that wants to hold them back.

    Oh yeah, the match ends as it did in OTL. Really not much else to say on that front. Shame it wasn't the main event, but...

    Brock Lesnar d. John Cena in an Extreme Rules Match

    Cena, by contrast, got a little cocky after WrestleMania, saying that he could beat anyone who wanted to step up to him, that brought out the Beast and to this match where John Cena gets murdered. That's the Brock Lesnar of this TL and probably any TL where I gotta use him. He murders people. He gets in that ring and thrashes Cena. F5 after F5 after F5. He ends it by putting Cena in a Kimura and rather than tapping out, Cena lets his arm get snapped, forcing Lesnar to pin him after another F5. Cena does a stretcher job and he's gone until SummerSlam. You fucking heard me. No Cena until SummerSlam. Brock Lesnar put Cena on the shelf for three months. That's Brock Lesnar, get used to him, he's gonna be here a while.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Over the Limit 2012
  • Over the Limit 2012

    Venue: PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
    Attendance: 12,000
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show: Zack Ryder (c) (w/Eve Torres) d. Curt Hawkins for the WWE United States Championship

    We get a simple story of Hawkins getting jealous at Zack's success as US champion, trying to take his belt but being beaten with the Rough Ryder as Zack continues his run.

    The Sisterhood (Natalya/Tamina) d. The Bella Twins

    We extend the Bellas' run to one more month to get this moment of destruction. Even with Beth out on the shelf with a bad arm, the Sisterhood continues strong by wrecking the Bellas, Brie taking the Sharpshooter and getting stretchered out. Nikki gets a two-on-one after the match, getting put in the Sharpshooter and stretchered out. That's two. Competition is thinning out, AJ. You'll soon have nowhere to run.

    Battle Royal Winner: Sheamus

    Entrants: Heath Slater, Michael McGillicutty, JTG, Yoshi Tatsu, Ezekiel Jackson, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Kane, Tyler Reks, Jinder Mahal, The Great Khali, Titus O'Neil, R-Truth, Cody Rhodes, Darren Young, Alex Riley, Tyson Kidd, David Otunga, The Miz, Christian

    The winner gets a shot for the Intercontinental Title tonight. Notable, Christian eliminates himself immediately, walking out in anger. Big Zeke goes for Khali on Jinder's orders, and any eliminations Jinder gets goes to Zeke's payday, of course. Sheamus gets the monster eliminations, sending out Kane and Jackson and Brogue Kicks the Miz out of the ring to win a shot against Daniel Bryan later in the evening.

    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) (w/William Regal) d. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    We add Regal to the Empire package, giving them an additional mouthpiece and giving Regal some screentime, which I can dig so much. Regal directs them quite nicely as they keep over the Uso with a Spinebuster/Claymore combo.

    Ryback d. Camacho/Hunico in a Handicap Match

    Ryback destroys the barrio brothers, hitting Camacho and Hunico with a Shell Shocked at the same time. Feed him.

    AJ Lee (c) (w/Layla) d. Alicia Fox for the WWE Women's Championship

    AJ Lee records another successful defense, this time using the Shiranui out of fear of breaking Fox's arm with the Octopus. Layla's there as moral support and in case of an attack by the Sisterhood. We play up the age difference a bit, make Layla into a big sister and mentor to AJ to help her with her nerves at being Women's champion. It's a big thing and AJ's become more nervous about holding it now that everyone is chasing to get it from her. Stuff like that.

    Dolph Ziggler d. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero)

    We start the risky experiment of babyface Ziggler by pitting him against his former tag partner and manager. These two can put on a good match, given they both come from amateur backgrounds. Ziggler wins with the Zig Zag, and here's hoping the crowd gets behind him, but there's just as likely a chance he'll get indifference. You can never tell with wrestling audiences.

    Sheamus d. Daniel Bryan (c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    The second match between the two and sadly, D-Bry's reign as IC champion gets cut short. To lessen the blow, it's thanks to shenanigans. The ref goes down and then suddenly, William Regal appears on the ramp and calls out Barrett and McIntyre. The Empire's storming the ring! They're beating down on Daniel Bryan! They hold D-Bry up and Sheamus calls for it... no, he wouldn't. He can't

    Brogue Kick. He pins the American Dragon as McIntyre wakes the ref. 1-2-3! Sheamus is the new Intercontinental Champion! Sheamus has joined the Empire! The three continue to beat on D-Bry as Regal watches with manic glee.

    Randy Orton d. Chris Jericho

    I like having Jericho. He's a dude who you can have put over other guys and he'll still be over with the fans. He can go so well and get over as a character no matter how many times he loses We give them around fifteen minutes, Orton winning with the RKO as we get to the main event.

    CM Punk (c) (w/Brodus Clay) d. Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) for the WWE World Championship

    Finally, Punk main events again. Cena's out of the way and Laurinaitis ain't getting this spot, so we do Punk/del Rio, which isn't too bad. And hey, we got del Rio's former bodyguard Brodus here to do some Brodus spots, maybe have him toss Rodriguez at Alberto for fun. We give them 25 mintues to do some good wrestling action, ending with an Anaconda Vice to del Rio. Punk retains, continuing to be the best in the world.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: Slammiversary 10
  • Slammiversary 10
    7000 fill the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas to capacity in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The card remains unchanged from OTL, with one exception. In exchange for an appearance from Ric Flair for WWE's Hall of Fame ceremony, TNA was able to secure current WWE superstar and former two-time NWA World Champion, Christian Cage. As part of the deal, they were able to have him wrestle at the event, under the condition that he did not lose clean. However, in a surprising turn of events, Christian would step into the ring in place of Sting for a match against current TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode. And in a result that no one expected, Christian Cage hit the Unprettier and successfully pinned Roode, becoming TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

    The result sent the internet into a frenzy, divided into two camps; One side saw this as a brilliant, unexpected moment on par with last year's CM Punk Pipebomb. Others saw it as an intensely idiotic move that killed Roode's momentum and would potentially open to a WWE vs. TNA lawsuit. A third camp noted that "It's almost a fitting conclusion to the ten year anniversary of TNA that they have one of their homegrown talents lose clean to a one-off appearing WWE guy, without any consideration for the intense legal ramifications or how badly the whole company would look. Truly, ten years of TNA in a nutshell."
     
    The Reign of Punk: No Way Out 2012
  • No Way Out 2012

    Venue: Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey
    Attendance: 10,000
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show Match: Sin Cara d. Hunico

    Because honestly, who wants this match on the main show?

    The Prime Time Players (Darren Young/Titus O'Neil) (w/A.W.) d. The Usos in a #1 Contenders Match

    We get the PPV debut of the Prime Time Players! Hell yeah! I love these guys! Never should've broken up! They win a future shot the tag titles.

    AJ Lee (c) (w/Layla) d. Tamina Snuka (w/Beth Phoenix) for the WWE Women's Championship

    Beth's back, but she's playing up the broken arm, sticking to a sling and cast for a while and sends the powerhouse of the Sisterhood to reclaim her women's title. AJ, backed by Layla, is able to underdog her way through, pinning Tamina off a Shiranui and making a break for it as Beth fails to land a cast shot on the champ (should've learned how to do it from Cowboy Bob)

    Brodus Clay d. Santino Marella

    Brodus gets a singles match tonight as Punk wanted to prove he didn't need Brodus' help to win matches, so instead of a Tuxedo Match with Ricardo (urk...), we get Santino wrecked by Clay, which is much better. Fall of Humanity gives Brodus the duke.

    Zack Ryder (w/Eve Torres) d. Cody Rhodes for the WWE United States Championship

    Cody's the next one to want the Long Island Loser to stop shaming the US title by wearing it, but Zack manages to hold out against the second-generation star, hitting the Rough Ryder to retain once again.

    Ryback d. Dan Delaney/Rob Grymes

    Feed him!

    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) (w/William Regal) d. Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel for the WWE Tag Team Championship

    The Empire continues to rule strong, wiping out Kidd and Gabriel. Spinebuster/Claymore combo finishes them off.

    Kane d. The Big Show

    Sure, why not? Big on big is fine and it ends with a Chokeslam and Tombstone to Big Show as we need to give some momentum to Kane, I guess.

    Sheamus (c) (w/William Regal) d. Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    We use our contractually-obligated steel cage match here, with new babyface Ziggler going up against new heel Sheamus. Dolph bumps like nobody's business, so he's perfect to get over Sheamus' new heel persona (not unlike what they were doing with him in 2015 before they had the Kiss Me Arse match that derailed things again) and Dolph plays the underdog throughout. A last-ditch Zig Zag seems to give Dolph the opening to climb the cage, but then the outside ref gets suddenly jumped by the other members of the Empire. They beat down the ref, take the cage key and open their way into the door to pull Ziggler off the mesh and pummel him, aiding Sheamus out of the door before security can stop them and allow Sheamus to retain. Sheamus then keeps stomping Dolph out, giving him the Brogue Kick for good measure.

    CM Punk (c) d. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Championship

    It's CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for 25 minutes. Do you need anything else? D-Bry is the former IC Champion, so we give him this shot. Punk wins again and hey, he's in the main event! We're on the up and up for Punk on main events!
     
    The Reign of Punk: Total Nonstop Auction
  • July 1, 2012

    Within weeks of the Slammiversary debacle, Vince McMahon has every intention of suing Panda Energy and Total Nonstop Action for breach of contract among other charges, but Bob Carter makes an offer for settlement: TNA is sold off to the WWE, including their lease to the Impact Zone, tape library and contracted wrestlers. Not all wrestlers would make the jump over; Angelina Love had opted not to renew her TNA contract that day and had no intentions of joining Vince, Hulk Hogan chose not to rejoin Vince and his daughter Brooke left with him, Eric Bischoff was picked up, but not his son Garrett and finally, Vince Russo wasn't even considered for rejoining the WWE fold. WWE has agreed to allow the planned Destination X PPV to be broadcast as their last event.

    1. Abyss
    2. AJ Styles
    3. Alex Silva
    4. Al Snow
    5. Austin Aries (X-Division Champion, to be Vacated at Destination X)
    6. Bobby Roode
    7. Brooke Tessmacher (Knockouts Champion)
    8. Bubba Ray Dudley
    9. Chris Sabin
    10. Christopher Daniels (Tag Team Champion)
    11. Crimson
    12. Dakota Darsow
    13. Doug Williams
    14. D-Von Dudley (Television Champion)
    15. Elijah Burke
    16. Eric Bischoff
    17. Eric Young (Knockouts Tag Team Champion)
    18. Frankie Kazarian (Tag Team Champion)
    19. Gail Kim
    20. Gunner
    21. Hannah Blossom
    22. Hernandez
    23. Holly Blossom
    24. James Storm
    25. Jigsaw
    26. Jeff Hardy
    27. Jeremy Borash
    28. Jesse Sorensen
    29. Jessie Godderz
    30. Joey Ryan
    31. Kenny King
    32. Kid Kash
    33. Kurt Angle
    34. Luke Gallows
    35. Madison Rayne
    36. Magnus
    37. Mark Haskins
    38. Marty Scurll
    39. Matt Morgan
    40. Mickie James
    41. Mike Knox
    42. Mr. Kennedy
    43. ODB (Knockouts Tag Team Champion)
    44. Robbie E
    45. Rob Terry
    46. Rob Van Dam
    47. Rockstar Spud
    48. Rosita
    49. Sabian
    50. Samoa Joe
    51. Sam Shaw
    52. Sarita
    53. Scorpio Sky
    54. Sonjay Dutt
    55. Sting
    56. Taeler Hendrix
    57. Tony Nese
    58. Velvet Sky
    59. Victoria
    60. Zema Ion
     
    The Reign of Punk: Destination X 2012
  • Destination X 2012

    Venue: The Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida
    Attendance: 1400 (Capacity)
    Announce Team: Mike Tenay/Taz​

    Marty Scurll/Rockstar Spud d. Rashad Cameron/Mason Andrews

    We kick things off with Party Marty and Rockstar Spud getting a win over Sabian and Scorpio Sky (as they will be called when they go to New York) Gotta go with new blood in the opening tag match.

    Gail Kim d. Brooke Tessmacher (c) for the TNA Knockouts Championship

    This show is mainly driven by bringing the audience one last hurrah and with that, all the titles (barring the Knockouts Tag Titles) will be defended, starting with Gail Kim, the inaugural champion, winning the title for a third time with an Eat Defeat to Brooke. Our first new champion.

    James Storm d. Bobby Roode

    Just have a feel-good win here for the Cowboy, beating his former tag partner with the Last Call. After the match, Bobby offers a handshake and the James take it, the two hugging it out as the Beer Money theme plays.

    Robbie E (w/Robbie T) d. Devon (c) for the TNA Television Championship

    Robbie E reclaims the TV title thanks to interference by his bodyguard Robbie T, Bully Ray running down for the assist afterward. Team 3D are still working tonight, so we keep this short so Devon isn't too beat up. 3D to Robbie E to keep the crowd happy, but we also have another new champion.

    Samoa Joe d. Kurt Angle

    This show will also be a showcase of TNA's talent, despite the former WWE folks who are going to win, so we have Kurt work a good long match (give them twenty minutes, fuck it) to get Joe over. Coquina Clutch ends the match as Kurt passes out rather than tap.

    Team 3D d. Christopher Daniels/Kazarian (c) for the TNA Tag Team Championship

    3D to Kazarian gives it to the veteran tag team. Another set of inaugural champions now clocking in a third reign and our third new championship crowned. It's a hell of a night in the Impact Zone.

    Jeff Hardy d. Zema Ion in an Ultimate X Match for the vacant TNA X Division Championship

    Jeff Hardy, as the company comes to a close, makes it clear he has one goal in mind: Win the TNA Triple Crown and in order to do that, he has to win the X-Division Championship. That brings us to this match, a nice slice of bumpy flips with Jeff pulling down the title. Our fourth new champion and a major win for the Charismatic Engima.

    AJ Styles d. Sting

    And another veteran putting over the TNA original as Sting gets beaten by AJ Styles. Get as good as you can from the Stinger before putting him away with the Styles Clash, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing him at some point down the line...

    Austin Aries d. Christian Cage (c) for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

    And in a very poetic ending, it's a TNA original who wins the big belt, taking it off the WWE guy in the main event of the last ever TNA PPV. The Last Chancery gets the win, confetti raining down as the crowd in the Impact Zone starts up a TNA chant. The roster all steps out to the ring to give one last goodbye to the crowd as TNA goes off the air.
     
    The Reign of Punk: Money in the Bank 2012
  • Money in the Bank 2012

    Venue: US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona
    Attendance: 13,500
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show Match: Hernandez/Hunico d. Kofi Kingston/R-Truth

    Our first TNA PPV debut is on the pre-show as during the build-up to Money in the Bank, Camacho cost Hunico a tag match and Hunico decided to dump the fake Barrio boy, exposing him as not even being Mexican and bringing in Hernandez instead. The two get a win here with a combination sit-out powerbomb from Hernandez into a Falling Star by Hunico to R-Truth.

    Ryback d. Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks

    The last PPV appearance of Tyler Reks as he eats the Shellshocked. Feed him more!

    The Sisterhood (Natalya/Tamina Snuka) (w/Beth Phoenix) d. The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne)

    A bizarre heel vs. heel, though I imagine the Sisterhood will get more cheers here, especially since Beth has been more controlling over them since losing her Women's Championship. After a successful win, Beth still berates them and the two have enough of this and kick her aside. Sisters are doing it for themselves here!

    Samoa Joe d. Christopher Daniels, Chris Jericho, Chris Sabin, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Frankie Kazarian in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match

    Yeah, sorry Dolph, but this year it's going to Samoa Joe. It's a star-studded Money in the Bank, though and there's plenty of dudes to bring those ladder bumps that really bring this match alive. Also, I just realized I dodged a bullet by not putting Tyson Kidd in this match, but we do have a Muscle Buster to Ziggler in the finish.

    Crimson d. Albert

    So, Albert doesn't become Tensai. He just comes back as Albert. We use him here to put over new guys, such as Crimson. Red Alert to the big man, who will be built up as the next big opponent for Ryback. Yeah, I know.

    Sheamus (c) (w/William Regal) d. Christian for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

    We give Christian a shot here, but he gets leveled by the Celtic Warrior, hit with the White Noise for Sheamus to retain.

    AJ Styles d. Austin Aries (c) for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

    And a big selling point for this show is seeing the TNA World title defended on a WWE PPV. And tonight, it's the Phenomenal One who takes the gold, winning with the Styles Clash. AJ is now a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

    CM Punk (w/Brodus Clay) (c) d. The Miz for the WWE World Championship

    And in the one-year anniversary of CM Punk's historic title win, we put him against the Miz. We let the two do some shooty promos of Miz saying he still has a WrestleMania main event under his belt and Punk shooting back hard about Miz being one of the most pathetic champions in the title's history. Just stuff that plays to the behind the curtain because that's where Punk shines and while Miz is a few years off from his really good run of little hand-grenade promos, I think he can handle here. As for the match, Punk brings back Brodus because he knows Miz will try and cheat and he wants an insurance policy for that we have some Brodus Clay spots. Punk wins after the GTS, now two days off from a full year as WWE World Champion.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: RAW 1000
  • July 23, 2012

    WWE RAW 1000
    Venue: Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri
    Attendance: 18,724 (Capacity)
    Announce Team: Jim Ross/Jerry Lawler​

    Tonight's three-hour RAW begins with a video packaging, showing highlights from the twenty-year history of WWE's flagship program, followed by Vince McMahon thanking the audience at the arena and from their TVs for watching before throwing over to Shawn Michaels and Triple H

    D-Generation X Reunion

    This goes the same as OTL with the same sort of crude DX fun and Sandow berating them before taking a Superkick and a Pedigree. It's a good bit of fun to start off the show, so no problem with keeping it.

    Jeff Hardy/The Dudley Boyz (w/Christian) d. The Empire (Sheamus/Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (w/William Regal) in a Six-Man Tag Team Match

    And for an opening match, we got a helluva match-up as the TNA X and Tag Champions meet up against the WWE IC and Tag Champions. Also, it's the return of Jeff Hardy and the Dudleyz, plus they're working together so you know we're gonna get some clips before showing their rivalry with each other and Edge & Christian. Screw it, have Christian at ringside for Jeff and the Dudleyz. This is a wild match to start off with as we get Jeff getting rag-dolled by the Empire while Regal keeps the Dudleyz and Christian distracted. Give them fifteen minutes. We got three hours, don't we? Let's make them count. Then the Dudleys get involved and no matter which combo they're going up against, we've got a brawl going on. The match ends with a 3D to McIntyre followed by Jeff landing a Swanton for the fall. There's a lot of talk of the possibility of the Empire losing their titles when they go up against these same men at SummerSlam.

    Backstage: DX Attacked

    In place of the Trish Stratus yoga segment, we get a backstage segment where Shawn and Hunter are hanging out, chatting like old friends and wondering when the rest of DX is gonna show up. They go to look for them and find X-Pac and the Outlaws were beaten up in their locker room, which has been trashed.

    AJ Lee (c) (w/Layla) d. Lita (w/Trish Stratus) for the WWE Women's Championship

    Come on, give me this one. Ten minutes of AJ/Lita is too good to pass up. It's the four-time women's champion facing the girl who idolized her and is now champion herself. We got Trish there too, so this is sure to bring in some ratings. The match I imagine is alright, but if there are any serious health concerns with Lita, we have AJ go light. She'll be fine to sell until getting the Shiranui, followed by a Moonsault for the win. Big hug in the middle of the ring, it's a feel-good night on RAW 1000.

    Triple H Challenges Brock Lesnar

    As you could probably guess, Hunter's figured out who went after D-X and calls out Brock Lesnar for a match. He gets Heyman instead, the two exchange words and then Brock comes out and F5s Triple H before he and Paul leave.

    Matt Hardy d. Heath Slater

    Keeping up the jobbing to veterans Heath Slater run, and we get the return of Matt Hardy. It's a trifecta of Team Extreme! We let them go under ten minutes and end it with a Twist of Fate. He gets joined by his brother Jeff and the two celebrate and pose in the ring.

    Kane vs. Jinder Mahal (No Contest)

    This goes about the same with Jinder calling in help. He's got Zeke, but he also brings in Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Donny Marlow (formerly Camacho) and Gunner (because you gotta do something with Gunner) who get leveled by the Brothers of Destruction. As the two stand tall, the lights suddenly go out... when they come back on...

    Sting.

    Sting has Kane in position for the Scorpion Death Drop and hits it. Undertaker moves to go for him, but Sting holds up the bat to the Deadman. They stare each other down and then lights go out. Lights back on. Sting is gone. Lights out again. Gong. Gong. Lights on again. Undertaker and Kane both gone.

    CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Championship goes to a No Contest (Special Ref: The Rock)

    Main event time, folks! Give these guys twenty minutes and let them tear the roof down. Rock's here because it's RAW 1000 and he's the People's Champion here for the millions (and millions!) watching this historic night, you know the drill. The finish comes when Samoa Joe barrels down with his briefcase and clocks CM Punk then he clocks Daniel Bryan, maybe even gives Rocky a briefcase shot while demanding another ref come out here. As the ref comes down, here comes John Cena! Cena and Joe start clubbing each other, but then in runs Kurt Angle! Angle Slam to Cena and he's on top of Cena! Before Joe can get back to Punk, D-Bry's going after him with kicks! AJ Styles goes to save Cena, readies a springboard but Punk catches him! Anaconda Vice to the TNA Champion! Cena's in the Ankle Lock! Samoa Joe's got a Coquina Clutch on Daniel Bryan! Pandemonium! Securit's running out to break everything up as RAW 1000 comes to a close.
     
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    The Reign of Punk: SummerSlam 2012
  • SummerSlam 2012

    Venue: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
    Attendance: 21,000 (Capacity)
    Announce Team: Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler​

    Pre-Show: AJ Lee (c) (w/Layla) d. Gail Kim (c) to unify the WWE Women's and TNA Knockout Championships

    What does it tell you about a PPV when I gotta put this match on the pre-show? Tonight is a fucking stacked show. Give them ten minutes to work a good match ending with another successful defense. Now onto the main show.

    Zack Ryder (c) d. Robbie E (c) in a Lumberjack Match to unify the WWE United States and TNA Television Championships

    And to kick off the show proper we have a battle of the Jersey Shore knock-offs. It's a Battle of the Bros. We use the lumberjacks to get people on the show without matches. Miz, Del Rio, Mysterio, Kane, Big Show, Brodus, Ryback, Jericho, whoever ya got. Zack wins the Rough Ryder to retain.

    Samoa Joe d. Daniel Bryan

    Not for the Money in the Bank Briefcase because Joe's not stupid enough to risk it, but we have this match. Hell yeah, SummerSlam! Just give them fifteen minutes of pure ROH action. Coquina Clutch wins it for Joe as he chokes the life out of D-Bry, leaving him out on the mat.

    The Empire (Wade Barrett/Drew McIntyre) (c) (w/William Regal) d. The Dudley Boyz (c) (w/Christian) in a Tables Match to unify the WWE and TNA Tag Team Championships

    Just let the teams go all out with the brawling. The Dudleys are the vets looking to claim the tag titles once again and the incumbent champs are looking to fix their wounded pride after RAW 1000. Christian's there to add to the bumps. Wasteland through the table to D-Von keeps the tag belts in the Empire.

    Brock Lesnar d. Triple in a No Disqualification Match

    And Brock Lesnar murders Triple H here tonight at SummerSlam. Just demolishes him just like he did to Cena, taking him out of the ring for good. Breaks his arm in the Kimura and Hunter needs to be stretchered out.

    Sheamus (w/William Regal) (c) d. Jeff Hardy (c) (w/Matt Hardy) in a Ladder Match to unify the WWE Intercontinental and TNA X Division Championships

    And the Celtic Warrior tosses Jeff around, Matt trying to help but getting thrown for his troubles too. High Cross through a ladder finishes Jeff off and leaves Sheamus to climb the ladder and claim both belts while Regal knocks Matt out with brass knuckles. The Empire remains strong.

    Kurt Angle d. John Cena

    We don't have much left for Kurt, but we use him here in a big return match against Cena, who made his debut challenging the Olympic Hero. Plus it's Cena's first PPV match since Extreme Rules, so that really helps the buyrates. Both give it their all but tonight the Angle Slam gives it to Kurt.

    CM Punk (c) d. AJ Styles (c) to unify the WWE and TNA World Heavyweight Titles

    CM Punk, now over a year as WWE Champion. AJ Styles, the man many would call the Icon of TNA. A crowd of 21k people on their feet to see this contest. Yeah, they go twenty minutes of hard-hitting wrestling action, ending with a GTS to the Phenomenal One as Punk holds his belt up high to end SummerSlam. Best in the World.
     
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