September 11, 2012
CM Punk interrupted Bret Hart’s interview of John Cena Bret Hart’s interview with John Cena started out a good deal more positively than his conversation with CM Punk. The two former WWE Champions traded compliments while Hart mentioned that Cena’s rivalry with Punk reminded him of his former animosity with another WWE Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels. Hart told Cena that he saw a lot of himself in Cena, and a lot of the old HBK in Punk.
While Cena paid due homage to The Excellence of Execution, Hart then asked Cena to reveal what he was going to do to “shut this phony punk up.”
That brought Punk out, blood boiling, to stir the pot once again. Punk echoed Hart’s sentiment that the “Hit Man” and Cena were alike … in the sense that they were “unceremoniously surpassed” by someone better than them — in Hart’s case, it was Michaels, and in Cena’s case, it was Punk himself.
Punk continued to preach to the WWE Universe, extolling his nearly yearlong reign as champion, his humiliation of The Rock and his defeat of Cena in an attempt to throw his weight around before the Cenation leader.
Cena, however, retaliated in kind, throwing Punk’s history as champion back in his face, claiming that Punk retained his mantle “by any means necessary,” which does not truly define a champion in Cena’s eyes. He claimed that Punk, formerly an agent of change, was currently defining himself simply by possessing the WWE Title, which was a far cry from the revolutionary The Voice of the Voiceless claimed to be. Cena then played to the home crowd by talking some smack in French, though Punk was quick to chastise Cena for “lowering himself” to speak “the language of the locals.” This woke the dragon even further in Cena, who erupted in a tirade against The Second City Saint and dubbed him “ignorant” before playing the role of Rosetta Stone and translating hisfrancaisfrom a few moments earlier:
“You say you’re gonna win, but I’m gonna kick your ass,” Cena repeated in English.
After some fuming, Punk lashed out not against Cena but against Hart, who blocked The Second City Saint’s attack and struck him in the head. Punk tumbled from the ring, backed up the ramp, and held onto his WWE Championship like his life depended on it.