Last year at this time, we were all geared up to see a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship between Daniel Bryan, Kane and CM Punk (c), with AJ Lee caught in the middle as special guest referee. We also had COOHHH talking lawsuits with Brock Lesnar and John Cena FIGHTING FOR HIS WWE LIFE, as always.
Of course, I’m talking about WWE’s June 2012 PPV known as No Way Out, an event that gave us a Love Rectangle and even a cool little poster:
Let’s take a look at where we were last year at this time, and run down the results of this show:
YouTube Preshow: Brodus Clay def. David Otunga – Otunga counted himself out on purpose
Big Gold Belt: Sheamus (c) def. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) via the Brogue Kick
Tuxedo Match: Santino def. Ricardo Rodriguez
Meanwhile, CM Punk sports an I Dig Crazy Chicks T-Shirt, awesome
IC Title: Christian (c) def. Cody Rhodes via The Spear
No. 1 Contender Tag Titles Match: The Prime Time Players def. Primo and Epico, The Usos and Justin Gabriel / Tyson Kidd
Triple H cuts a promo on throwing out lawsuits and fighting Brock Lesnar instead … at SummerSlam
AJ catches up with Daniel Bryan to wish him luck tonight, and kisses him on the cheek despite everything they’ve been through
Divas Championship: Layla (c) def. Beth Phoenix
AJ finds Kane, wishes him luck, and Kane plants a huge kiss on her
Sin Cara def. Hunico
WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) def. Daniel Bryan and Kane, with AJ Lee as special referee. Let’s look at PK’s full recap of this one:
Punk & Bryan double team on Kane to start, kicking them in the chest & back respectively. Then they both ring running drop kicks to Kane’s head, while he was on his knees. Punk & Bryan then square off, and Punk sends Bryan to the floor. Punk runs the ropes to leap to the floor, but Kane cuts him off, and lays him out. Bryan back in, knees Bryan in the back of the head, and sends him to the floor, and Punk then tosses Bryan to the floor. Punk then goes off the top rope with a crossbody to the floor on both guys. Back in the ring, Punk locks a headlock on Bryan, and calls him a Goatface. Punk & Bryan keep working each other, only for Kane to break any momentum up. Punk is able to hit the top rope elbow on Bryan for 2. Kane breaks up everything and hits a series of power moves on Punk. Punk fights back, lays out Kane and goes for the top rope elbow on him, but Kane moves. Bryan then quickly climbs the ropes, and hits a top rope headbutt for 2. Bryan sends Kane to the floor, then locks the Yes Lock on Punk. Punk is able to roll it into a pin and Bryan is forced to break it. Punk then hits the GTS on Bryan, but Kane pulls Bryan to the floor, gets in an goes for a Choke Slam on Punk. Punk turns it into a DDT, then hits Kane with a top rope elbow. Punk goes for the GTS on Kane, but Kane fights it off and hits a Choke Slam for 2. Kane is calling for the Tombstone, but Punk fights it off, and shoves Kane into the ropes, just as AJ comes out and gets on the apron, causing Kane to send her flying. Kane is distracted by it by AJ, and Punk hits the GTS for the pin.
Next up, Ryback def. 2 local jobbers
Main Event Steel Cage Match (though Punk-Bryan-Kane should have been): John Cena (w/Vince McMahon) def. Big Show (w/John Laurinaitis). If Cena lost his career was over; since Show lost Johnny Ace was FIRED.
This was the ending where guys like Santino and Ryder and Alex Riley came out to stop Show from climbing over the cage, then Kofi and Clay too. Cena escapes after an AA to Show following the interference, and Johnny Ace is fired by Vince.
And now, let’s look at the current card for WWE Payback 2013, as a comparison:
Three Stages of Hell for the WWE Championship:
John Cena (c) vs. Ryback
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Triple Threat Match for IC Title: Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz vs. Fandango
And that’s all we have officially announced at the moment. REALLY?! Yes, really.
CB’s Slant: The biggest thing I have gathered from this little exercise is just how horrible this year’s post-WrestleMania lull has been, and I blame nearly unbearable three-hour Raws for this. The Shield and Daniel Bryan are carrying this entire company right now, and the fact that CM Punk has been inactive since the Raw after WrestleMania when he was so integral last year truly hurts. Also, the Punk title reign and AJ storylines last year had enough juice to at least get us to Raw 1000 and SummerSlam, a buzz that was killed for her as soon as they made her Raw GM. Punk’s heel turn wasn’t all that greatly timed either, obviously.
Lastly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Last June, Triple H and the McMahons had prominent storylines, and this June we get the same pattern with Vince thinking his family on screen is the magic cure to their woes. Spoiler Alert: It’s not.
But hey, at least Sheamus isn’t the grimacing World Heavyweight Champion, The Shield are huge upgrades as US / Tag Champs, and Randy Orton and Chris Jericho seem inspired.
As for Cena, well, here he is, at the top of the card once more, as the Champ, against another big man in another gimmick match.
God I miss Punk.
That’s all from me — CB.
Tags: AJ, aj lee, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, john cena, kane, No Way Out, Payback, Raw, ryback, Smackdown, triple h, vince mcmahon, WWE