In the co-main event of Sunday’s 2013 Night of Champions pay-per-view, Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman defeated former WWE champion CM Punk via pinfall. Punk had pinned Axel and was having his way with Heyman when Ryback emerged to put Punk through a table.
Ryback then grabbed Heyman and dragged him on top of Punk for the win. Guess who's the newest Heyman guy? WWE Creative Humor sees the "bright side" of this development:
Punk and Heyman had been immersed in a long-term feud that had been building since Punk asked his former manager to stop coming to the ring with him.
The storyline dates all the way back to Punk’s loss to The Undertaker at WrestleMania but didn’t heat up until Heyman crossed his former best friend at the Money in the Bank PPV, smashing him in the head with a ladder and costing him a shot at the briefcase.
While Punk was looking to get his hands on Heyman earlier in the duo’s program, the inclusion of Brock Lesnar brought this to another level.
Watching Lesnar and Punk square off was flat-out amazing.
After Lesnar once again disappeared from WWE programming, the emphasis was put on Axel as the man who would fill the role of Heyman’s lackey. While not all of the fans were initially on board with the inclusion of the newest Heyman guy, Axel has done well thus far.
Now it remains to be seen whether Heyman still "believes in" Axel.
Punk was handed the devastating loss at Night of Champions, but this will only mark the beginning of the push back to the main event level for the longest-reigning champion of the last 25 years.
As great as this battle against Heyman was for Punk, the outcome of Sunday’s match indicates that it’s time for the WWE to play it smart and get the former champion involved with the main event storyline featuring Daniel Bryan.
Bryan has been fighting Triple H and the corporate powers for weeks, and the inclusion of Punk looks like a foregone conclusion. Punk is one of the biggest stars in the company and one of the few stars who hates the establishment as much as Bryan.
With Punk by his side, Bryan would have a chance to shine even brighter. Add in the previous history between Triple H and the straight-edge superstar, and Punk must get involved in this storyline as soon as possible.
The hope is that Punk’s Night of Champions loss opens the door for his inclusion in the corporate angle.
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