At Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view, we got the early tease of dissension between CM Punk and Paul Heyman, which was furthered during the early parts of last night’s Raw. CM Punk told Heyman that he wasn’t Heyman’s client, he was just his friend. As his friend, he didn’t want Heyman at ringside for his match against Alberto Del Rio in the main event.
Heyman gave Punk the “kiss of death” right before the match, telling CM Punk that he loved him and giving him a hug. The match was decent, with CM Punk winning by countout when Del Rio walked out. Then Brock Lesnar showed up, at around the 2:40 mark of the video above.
After delivering a World’s Strongest Slam to John Cena following a fake retirement speech, Mark Henry challenged Cena to a match at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship during a backstage interview with Renee Young.
The triumvirate of Vickie Guerrero, Brad Maddox and Vince McMahon agreed that Henry deserved a shot at Cena, and the match was made official.
Mark Henry teased via Twitter that he was about to hang up the tights and call it a career. He came to the ring during Monday’s Raw and delivered a long retirement speech, saying it was time to come home to his family. After John Cena offered Henry a hug, the world’s strongest man delivered a World’s Strongest Slam to the WWE Champion.
Christian made his long awaited return to WWE on Raw, defeating Wade Barrett. It was one of many memorable moments on the show, including Mark Henry faking a retirement announcement to attack John Cena and Brock Lesnar giving an F5 to CM Punk.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler to once again become World Heavyweight Champion. Del Rio continually kicked Ziggler in the head and, it seems, turned heel during the match.
It’s questionable to take the title off Ziggler this quickly into his reign and so closely following his return from a concussion, but it makes sense in that it’s one more way to build sympathy for Dolph as a babyface.
WWE announced via hype video during tonight’s Payback pay-per-view that Rob Van Dam will return to WWE at Money in the Bank, which takes place in Philadelphia on July 14th.
Obviously Rob Van Dam is guaranteed to get a huge pop in Philly. The only question is whether or not he’ll be a “Paul Heyman guy.”
Curtis Axel defeated Wade Barrett and The Miz in a triple threat match to win the Intercontinental Championship at WWE’s Payback pay-per-view. Axel pinned Barrett while Miz was applying the figure four.
Axel – the son of Mr. Perfect, one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time – winning the belt on Father’s Day has some symbolism and the way it was done sets up a heel-face feud with Miz.
You have to sort of feel bad for Fandango, though, since that probably was his title victory Axel got due to Fandango’s concussion.
It’s already been a big year for WWE Blu ray and DVD releases, with The Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2, Bret “Hitman” Hart: The Dungeon Collection, For All Mankind: The Life and Career of Mick Foley, The Best of In Your House, and The Top 25 Rivalries released so far, as well as the usual pay-per-views. The next few months look to follow the same pattern, with a bevy of new releases.
Up next as far as anthologies goes is The Best of War Games, releasing June 25th in the United States. The collection is hosted by Dusty Rhodes and features WCW’s best War Games matches. Blu ray exclusives include matches in ECW and Smoky Mountain inspired by the War Games concept.
ECW Unreleased Volume 2 will hit stores July 30th and digs deeper into the ECW archives as a follow-up to the great Unreleased Volume 1 set. Joey Styles returns to host the collection and it includes over seven hours of previously unreleased matches and footage.
WWE: Best of MSG releases August 27th and features 20 of the greatest matches from Madison Square Garden, spanning every era. WWE also has plans to release a Best of Mid-South Wrestling compilation and a Triple H biography in September, a Goldberg match compilation and Money in the Bank anthology in October, the History of WWE in November, and a Raw 20th Anniversary box set in December.
WWE added a few matches to the card for Payback, which airs live on pay-per-view this Sunday at 8pm EST, from Chicago. We found out Curtis Axel will replace the injured Fandango in the Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat and the World Heavyweight, United States, Divas and Tag Team Championships will also be defended. What looked light coming into last night’s Raw now looks like a pretty solid PPV card.
WWE Championship Three Stages of Hell Match
Ryback v. John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler
Chris Jericho v. CM Punk
United States Championship Match
Kane v. Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Curtis Axel v. The Miz v. Wade Barrett
World Tag Team Championship Match
Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan v. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins
Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee v. Kaitlyn
Kickoff to Payback Match (Pre-Show)
Damien Sandow v. Sheamus
It looks like the “Barrett Barrage” will mercifully be coming to an end.
After months of losing non-title matches, Wade Barrett will defend his Intercontinental Championship against The Miz and Fandango in a Triple Threat match at Payback on June 16th.
The most shocking development coming out of this match would be Barrett retaining the strap, since he seemingly hasn’t won a match since regaining the gold from The Miz the night after WrestleMania. The most likely scenario has Fandango dancing his way out of Chicago with the IC Title around his waist.
(Image courtesy WWE.com)