July 24, 2012
John Cena def. WWE Champion CM Punk via Disqualification
Nearly 250 days into his WWE Title reign, CM Punk faced one of his hardest challenges yet against the tenacious John Cena. The Cenation leader repeatedly used his power to wear down The Straight Edge Superstar, but Punk dished it right back with a series of kicks and submission maneuvers. As Cena attempted the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Punk kicked him right in the face, and then bowled over the Money in the Bank winner with another sharp kick to the back of the head.
Cena’s greatest opportunity to capture the WWE Title came later in the match when he executed a mighty Attitude Adjustment, a move which seemed to leave Punk down for the count. Unfortunately for Cena, the ref was nowhere to be found after being inadvertently knocked out of the ring. It was then that Big Show suddenly surfaced and drilled Cena with a spear, followed by a WMD that connected right on the money. Following Big Show’s merciless attack, the WWE Champion looked torn as to whether or not he should try to capitalize on the interference. Punk’s moment of hesitation gave Cena enough time to recover and barely kick out of the pinfall attempt.
Resilient as ever, the Cenation leader wriggled away from a Go to Sleep and locked in the STF on The Straight Edge Savior. The WWE Universe would never find out if Punk was going to tap out, because Big Show returned to decimate Cena, leading to a win via disqualification for the Cenation leader while Punk simply turned his back on his defenseless opponent.
The Rock, however, wasn’t about to watch idly backstage as his WrestleMania XXVIII rival took a beating. The Great One rushed out to the ring and wobbled the 441-pound Superstar with rights and lefts, then totally leveled him with a huge spinebuster. With The World’s Largest Athlete reeling, Punk re-emerged to knock The Brahma Bull off his feet, followed by a Go to Sleep as the WWE Universe watched in bewilderment. As both Cena and The Rock lied strewn across the canvas, the weary — and seemingly conflicted WWE Champion — slowly dragged his feet back up the entrance ramp.
Even though he won the match, Cena wound up on the wrong side of history on Raw 1,000. He will go down in the record books as the first Superstar to unsuccessfully cash in a Money in the Bank championship contract. Punk, on the other hand, has left every WWE fan trying to guess what’s running through his head, and wondering whether he made a decision he’ll come to regret if he’s still WWE Champion heading into Royal Rumble … and The Brahma Bull is breathing down his neck.