Handicap elimination match
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman
Despite this being the Night Of Champions pay-per-view and Curtis Axel being the current WWE Intercontinental champion, this match isn't about the gold, as the title isn't on the line. Instead, this bout is about the grudge between CM Punk and his former adviser Paul Heyman. Will Punk finally get his hands on the slippery weasel and exert physical payback or will Heyman's latest protégé ensure once again that he escapes harm free?
The Road to Night of Champions
Although Punk managed to briefly lock Heyman in the Anaconda Vise during his match with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, losing his focus on The Beast cost him dearly. Brock recovered and planted him with an F-5 on a steel chair to pick up a tainted victory.
The next day on Raw, Heyman claimed that he forgave Punk for his insolence and would allow him to return to the fold when he apologizes for insubordination.
Of course, Punk did nothing of the sort, instead apologizing for taking his eyes off Lesnar for a moment and for not demolishing Heyman even more. Seething with anger, Punk wanted to fight him right there and then.
Curtis Axel answered the challenge instead, which led to an intense brawl between the too. At Heyman's behest, Axel attempted to Pillmanize Punk's ankle, but Punk rolled out of the way, destroyed him with the chair and laid him out with a GTS on the steel steps.
On the August 26th Raw, Axel faced off against Punk in a WWE Universe picks the stipulation match. Unsurprisingly they chose the stip that if Punk won then Heyman would have to step into the ring with the straight edge superstar.
That did indeed happen, as Punk picked up the victory by pinning Axel with the GTS. The cowardly Heyman tried to run off, but was thrown back into the ring by security. He then tried to grovel, telling Punk that everything that had happened between them was Brock Lesnar's fault. But before Punk could touch the lying toerag, Axel recovered, low blowed Punk and handcuffed his arms behind his back, allowing Heyman to slap Punk around and the duo to beat him down with a kendo stick.
Later on in the show, Heyman bragged about putting his prodigal son in his place and how he was the last person to mess with.
The next week on Raw, Punk vowed he would destroy Curtis Axel to get to Paul Heyman, that he would unleash a vicious side of himself that we had never seen before and that destruction would rain down on his former manager.
Obviously taking heed of that promise, last Monday Heyman tried to back out of the match by coming out on crutches with his personal physician Dr. Michael Kirsenbaum and feigning a knee injury. But even the incompetent Brad Maddox could see through Heyman's flimsy lies, as he came out with a WWE doctor who checked Heyman out and determined that his knee looked fine. More proof came when Punk came out looking for revenge with a kendo stick of his own and Heyman scarpered like a scalded dog. Kisenbaum wasn't so lucky as Punk caned him all the way to the ICU.
What's at stake?
For Punk, this is a chance for vengeance over Heyman getting Brock Lesnar to attack him when he politely asked Paul to stop escorting him to ringside for his matches, essentially pissing on their long friendship together. By leaving Heyman a bloody mess, Punk could get him out of his life once and for all.
For the evil genius Paul Heyman, this is all about exerting power over the man he once thought of as a son to him. A humbling loss tonight could force an apology out of the proud Punk and browbeat him back into Heyman's entourage, a battered, defeated man.
For Curtis Axel, by going all out to dismantle Punk and save Heyman from harm, he continues to prove his extreme loyalty to his mentor who was the only person to ever give him a chance to make it big.
One things for sure, this match will be a real slobberknocker! Pity Good Ol' JR isn't around to announce it. Find out tonight what goes down with the live Night of Champions coverage at CagesideSeats.com.