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Night of Champions 2011 preview: A guide to the Triple H vs CM Punk vs Kevin Nash feud

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A lot can happen in a month.

It's been 32 days since SummerSlam 2011 when Kevin Nash came waltzing back into our lives by costing CM Punk the WWE championship after he defeated John Cena in the night's main event.

While some fans panned the decision to bring the geriatric big man back into the fold, WWE began building a storyline that had a lot of potential to successfully build on Punk's increased popularity following his title win at Money in the Bank. During the time in between Triple H had taken over as COO for Vince McMahon, who is now off television, and he's been a major player ever since.

Eventually, the angle devolved into a hot mess, with questionable booking decisions and bad management all around. What started as an obvious singles match between Punk and Nash somehow turned into a no disqualification match between Punk and Triple H with the added stipulation that if Punk wins, "Trips" must step down as COO.

As stated, it took a lot to happen to get to this point, so join me after the jump for a quick guide to everything that has happened over the past month.

SummerSlam, Aug. 14: Punk defeats John Cena, despite controversy with special guest referee Triple H counting the fall while Cena's foot was on the ropes, to retain the WWE title. While he's celebrating his win, Kevin Nash appears from out of the crowd and destroys Punk, delivering a jack knife powerbomb before bailing without a word. This leads to Alberto Del Rio cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and winning the title.

Raw, Aug. 15: After the events of the night before, questions needed answers and WWE managed to create a compelling story full of intrigue and potential. Triple H absolved himself of any wrongdoing, saying he had nothing at all to do with Kevin Nash and his attack on Punk. He invited Nash to the show to explain himself, though, and later in the night that's what happened. "Big Sexy" claimed he received a text message telling him to "stick the winner" at Summerslam. He alluded to it being Triple H himself who sent the text. A furious Punk called bullshit on the whole thing, voicing the obvious -- this was a setup and Nash and "The Game" are in cahoots. Later in the night, Nash was shown talking with Johnny Laurinaitis and setting up a meeting.

Raw, Aug. 22: In an exchange between the two, Triple H tells Nash that because he doesn't actually work for WWE, he really needs to back off Punk. No, "The Game" didn't send any text message, even though it came from his phone, and this whole thing has gotten out of hand. They're friends but the cerebral assassin is no more; it's time to be a business man and in that vein, Nash was told to cool it. Punk, of course, doesn't buy any of this jibber-jabber and voices as much. After Punk buries Stephanie McMahon straight to her husband's face, Nash pops the "Second City Saint," which prompts Triple H to finally tell him it's time to leave. Later in the night, Johnny Laurinaitis tells Triple H his best friend, Nash, had been in a car accident and was at a local hospital. This was, of course, not true and only served to give Nash the chance to return to the arena and cost Punk his match that night, a number one contender bout with John Cena to Alberto Del Rio's title.

Raw, Aug. 29: Nash starts using the original nWo theme music at this point. He tells Triple H that he had his driver lie to Laurinaitis about his hospital visit, sure, but he had to take care of business with Punk. This, naturally, leads to Triple H becoming more firm in his position that Nash needed to leave because, again, he doesn't work for WWE. Which is when Nash finally reveals that he was signed by Laurinaitis to a lucrative, guaranteed contract. So if Triple H fires him, he'll just sit home and get paid. "Trips" says he won't shit-can him but the lying has to stop. Punk blows his top and tells them both to quit it with the act because he sees right through it. Finally, Triple H decides to book the two for a match at Night of Champions and it's all set. Later in the night, Nash interrupts another Punk match and delivers another jack knife powerbomb. Just as the show was about to close, in an oddly anticlimactic announcement, Triple H told Punk backstage that the "Board of Directors" nixed his match with Nash at the pay-per-view and instead it would be Triple H stepping in.

Smackdown, Aug. 30: Triple H and CM Punk have their contract signing for the match at Night of Champions. After an extended back and forth with strong promos from both guys, Kevin Nash hits the ring with a head of steam. He goes after Punk and when Triple H steps in to break it up, Nash pushes him as hard as possible to really sell it. Triple H acts like he's been shot and Nash bails.

Raw, Sept. 6: After Punk and Nash have a back and forth to kick things off, Triple H shows up and says he's got footage from the Staples Center showing exactly who it was that sent the text message from his phone. It was time for the big reveal and "Trips" sucks all the air out of the room by revealing Nash as the one who sent the text. He actually broke into Triple H's office and sent himself a text. His explanation is that he did it to make WWE cool again. He then demands that his friend make a decision -- Nash or Punk, because the Universe isn't big enough for the two of them. Triple H chooses Punk and lays Nash out with a punch before firing him. Later in the night, HHH comes out after Punk defeats R-Truth in a singles match and tells him he wants to hurt him badly at Night of Champions. So he switched the match around and made it no disqualification. Punk says he accepts that as long as Triple H agrees to another stipulation -- that if Punk wins, Triple H resigns as COO. He agrees and the match is set once again.

Raw, Sept. 12: During another promo between Punk and Triple H, Punk went back to his shoot ways and started using real names. Just as he was about to deliver his next line, though, his mic was cut. He got pissed and asked Triple H what the problem was and "The Game" actually gave him his mic, which was still working. Punk tried to continue what he was saying but that mic got cut to. Triple H then asked for a mic from ringside, as well as asking what the hell was going on, before handing it to Punk one more time. Instead of trying to continue what he as saying for a third time, Punk grabbed the mic and laid Triple H out with it before walking off. This was the final segment between the two leading into their match at Night of Champions.

There you have it, Cagesiders. The short version of all the events that played out over the past month in the feud between Triple H, CM Punk and Kevin Nash. We'll find out the next progression this Sunday, Sept. 18 in Buffalo, New York, at Night of Champions.

Stay tuned.

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