Following the match, Hawkins and Ryder are shown taking signs from plans, quite a few of which are obviously planted.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Christian
Rhodes says his family and the Carolinas go way back, but when he was a kid, his dad would never let him come to shows in North Carolina, and he understands why now. He says he’s a better man for not having grown up around them, and he’s a better man than Christian, saying to watch him prove it.
Christian is out to the ring next, and Captain Charisma gets a pretty good reaction from the crowd.
The bell rings and Rhodes kicks Christian in the gut and goes right to work with a series of right hands. Rhodes beats on Christian in the corner before dropping him with a front suplex. Christian comes back, knocking Cody to the mat before sending him from the ring. Christian launching himself through the ropes with a big dropkick that takes Rhodes into the barricade.
Rhodes comes back, sending Christian into the ring steps hard. Rhodes sends things back into the ring where he hits a big Russian leg sweep that’s good for a two count. Rhodes locks in a shoulder submission.
Cody takes Christian out and goes for the pin, but is only able to get a two count. Cody stomps at Christian wearing him out before hitting him with forearms and stomps in the corner. Christian fights back and heads out to the apron. Rhodes is quick to stop him and the two men head up to the top rope where Rhodes hits a superplex. Rhodes doesn’t land nicely and he grabs his head. Christian rolls up Rhodes for a near fall, but Rhodes comes right back with a couple of kicks. Christian sends himself and Rhodes to the outside with a big clothesline over the top rope.
Rhodes sends things back into the ring for another near fall. Rhodes heads up to the middle rope, but leaps off into a fist to the gut. Christian catches Rhodes with a couple of boots to the face and a missile dropkick for a two count. Christian tries for a killswitch, but Rhodes fights it off. Christian hits a drop toe hold to send Rhodes into the ropes. Christian tries for a cross body, but misses and is rolled up for a two count. Rhodes pushes Christian into the corner. Christian tries for the tornado DDT, but Rhodes pushes him away. Rhodes heads to the top for a moonsault press, but still only gets two.
Christian pushes Rhodes into the corner and hits the killswitch. He pins the champ for three and this one is over.
Winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Christian
Josh Matthews is backstage with CM Punk. They look at what happened on Smackdown in Punk’s match with Kane where Bryan got Punk DQ’ed and attacked by Kane. Punk says he feels like crap, and the only reason he’s still standing here is because at the end of the night John Laurinaitis will be out of a job. He says he’s known Daniel Bryan for ten years, and if you had told Vince McMahon that they’d be main eventing a PPV for the WWE Championship, he’d have asked who they were. He says the fact that they wrestle at such a high level should be a triumph for both of them. He starts to say what tonight will be, but he’s interrupted by AJ, who says it’ll be a lot of fun to watch. She wishes Punk good luck.
WWE Championship Match
– CM Punk (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is the first man to make his way out to the ring, and he gets a pretty darn good reaction from this crowd,
Punk is out next, and unsurprisingly the champ gets a lot of love on his way into the arena.
After formal ring introductions from Justin Roberts, we’re ready to kick things off.
The bell rings, and they test each other out. Bryan blocks a couple of kicks from Punk, and they tie up in the ropes. Bryan locks on a headlock, and Punch pushes him off. Bryan hits a shoulderblock, but it then taken over with a hip toss. Punk takes Bryan into the corner and ties up his leg in the ropes, kicking at his knee. Punk takes Bryan over with a head lock takeover. Bryan fights up, and Punk takes him over again. Bryan fights out of the hold, but Punk kicks at his knee. Punk continues the assault, kicking at his knee and hitting a kneeDT.
Mid match notes:
Bryan backs Punk up, kicking him into the corner and backflipping over him, but another kick to the back of the leg takes Bryan to the mat. Punk locks in a submission hold focusing on the knee, kicking at Bryan’s knee. Bryan mounts Punk and blasts him with some nasty elbows, then kicks at him, hits a big upper cuts and sends him into the ropes. Bryan misses a dropkick, and Punk hits a curb stomp! Punk pins Bryan for a two count.
Punk picks Bryan up and sends him over the top rope to the outside. Bryan ducks a baseball slide and backs Punk into the barricade hard. Bryan suplexes Punk on top of the barricade and hits him with a dropkick to the face to send him into the timekeeper’s area. Bryan sends Punk into the ring and heads to the top to hit a giant missile dropkick. Bryan pins Punk for a two count. Bryan hits Punk with a couple of nasty kicks to the side before hitting a snap mare and trapping Punk’s arms in a seated abdominal stretch. Punk kicks at Bryan to rattle Bryan, but Bryan hits a knee drop, breaking the hold. Punk comes back, taking Bryan to the mat, but he’s caught with a small package for two. Bryan blasts Punk with a knee to the gut, then a kick to the back for another near fall.
Bryan gets Punk in position for the Mexican surfboard, ripping at Punk’s face before grabbing the arms and rocking Punk back into position, stretching Punk, and pulling him down into a dragon sleeper. Bryan yells for Punk to tap, but Punk fights out of the hold. Punk blasts Bryan with a series of forearms and goes for the pin, but Bryan kicks out quickly. Bryan charges in with a flying knee to Punk’s back, then another.
Bryan misses a third flying knee, and Punk hits a perfect plex for a two count. Punk and Bryan trade chops and kicks. Bryan snaps Punk over with a quick suplex. Bryan heads up to the top rope, and hits a flying headbutt from the top for a two count. Bryan buries his knee in Punk’s back and stretches him back hard. Punk is able to fight out of the hold, and both men go for cross body blocks, colliding in the center of the ring.
Punk blocks a right hand, and comes back with a series of rights of his own. Punk hits a heel kick, clothesline and a rolling neckbreaker. Punk charges into the corner into a big boot, but Bryan runs into a powerslam for a two count. Both men are slow to get to their feet. Punk tries for a suplex but Bryan lands on his feet. Bryan charges Punk, but he’s back dropped to the outside. Punk hits the ropes and launches himself through the ropes to take out Bryan on the outside.
Punk springboards back into the ring, but he’s caught with a dropkick to the gut from Bryan for another two count. Bryan hits Punk with a series of kicks to the chest, but Punk counters the last one with a dragon screw. Punk locks in a figure four, and the crowd is going nuts. Punk and Bryan are slapping away at each other. Bryan gets to the ropes and Punk is forced to break the hold. Punk tries for something, but Bryan reverses with a roll up for two. Punk rolls Bryan up for two. Punk tries for a roll up, but Bryan fights it off and blasts the champ with a kick to the side of the head for a really close near fall.
Bryan drops his knee pad and takes Punk into the corner, burying his knee in Punk’s midsection. Bryan seats Punk on the top, but Punk pushes him off, crotching him on the top rope. Punk hits Bryan with a springboard clothesline, but it’s still not enough for a three count.
Bryan and Punk trade head butts and forearms. Both miss kicks. Punk tries for the Go To Sleep, but Bryan counters with a roll up. Punk rolls up Bryan. Bryan tries to counter with the Yes lock. Punk slingshots Bryan over the top rope, but Bryan skins the cat back into the ring. Punk catches Bryan with a kick to the side of the head and pins him, but Bryan gets his foot on the ropes. Punk goes for another pin but Bryan kicks out. Punk picks Bryan up and slams him to the mat before heading up to the top. Punk points to the sky before launching himself with a flying elbow drop.
Punk is slow to make the cover and Bryan kicks out. Bryan catches Punk with a knee to the stomach and follows it up with a series of knees. Bryan is relentless, dropping repeated knees and needing to be pulled away. Bryan misses a corner dropkick and eats a high knee.
Bryan counters the bulldog, locking in the Yes lock! Punk rolls over into a roll up, and he taps out at the same time as the ref count three. Punk is ruled the winner.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: CM Punk
Replay footage is shown, and it’s clear that Punk didn’t tap out until after the three count. Bryan argues with the ref as Punk celebrates with his title.