April 7, 2013 was the last time we saw CM Punk in the ring. Sunday night, he returned to the ring in his hometown of Chicago.
The "Second City Saint" was a bit rusty and a bit lost at first, but in the end, he proved he was still "The Best in the World."
For the WWE's "Payback" pay-per-view was exciting and pretty good for a new event, with three titles changing hands and a whole bunch of confusion to be had and explained.
Kaitlyn tried to kiss AJ goodbye and lost the Divas title, but Lee's beau Dolph Ziggler lost the World title in the process.
Did we see Ziggler become a hero in defeat when Alberto Del Rio continued to punish Ziggler's skull after he returned from a concussion?
Shades of respect for the heel, like Stone Cold Steve Austin in his match with Bret Hart.
Oh, and John Cena retained the WWE title by putting Ryback through the ambulance the hard way.
Here is what we learned tonight.
He used to be a world champion and now, he is starting off the Payback pay-per-view.
Does this mean Sheamus is done as a champion in the WWE? I love the idea of the Irishman and Damien Sandow in a feud, but the angle helps Sandow more than it helps the Celtic Warrior.
Does this feud propel Sandow to the next level? I like his newfound intensity and spirit. And he looks looks like the dude "Non" from the original Superman movie.
JBL likes Sheamus, but I think the match did more to help Sandow.
Now, we see if the two move on to Money in the Bank, or does Sandow find another stepping stone.
And who becomes the next opponent of Sheamus? Randy Orton?
Finally, the "Big Man" makes an appearance on television.
He has been out of action and he said in the pre-show that his "iron clad" contract allows "him to do what he wants, when he wants."
Also liked the in-show commentary as well.
Hmm, I wonder why he would move away from Randy Orton or tried his hand at trying to take a swipe at another WWE Superstar.
Does this mean we will see more of him on the small screen? Not sure yet, but having Big Show on television is a good thing.
If he is interested, Kane may be available in the next few nights for another feud.
I thought a four-way match with him, The Miz, Wade Barrett and Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental title would've been solid.
Rhodes held the title more than 250 days and should be used in a more prominent role with the company. When the WWE brings in more talent and new angles, Rhodes gets pushed down the ladder.
Rhodes is a great talent and needs a new persona. Would he be a candidate for Paul Heyman or maybe Zeb Colter?
I like the idea.
But Curtis Axel pinned Wade Barrett. Miz did not make Barrett tap out with the Figure Four.
You know what is coming at Money in the Bank.
Curtis Axel (predicted) won the Intercontinental title. Does he face Wade Barrett (with Barrett being a face) or does The Miz get the title shot?
Personally, I could see that match again because it delivered.
I could see a scenario with Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman forming an alliance and taking on the likes of Triple H.
You saw the confrontation between Axel and Triple H with McMahon jumping in. This WILL lead to something huge over the summer.
Look for Axel to become a "WWE Man," not just a "Heyman Man," much like The Rock was part of the "Corporation" years ago.
Axel has potential to be a Triple H-type performer or even someone like Arn Anderson.
Jerry Lawler said he thought secretly all women secretly despise each other.
I am not sure he was right, and I would not gander a guess at that, but I do know the match between Kaitlyn and AJ Lee was intense.
They actually "wrestled" in the match. Imagine that. The Black Widow hold is great. And very sexy, I might ad.
In the end, AJ wins. A new champion.
But the match, by Diva standards, was pretty damn good. Never blow a kiss at The Devil.
Speaking of Divas, we missed Summer Rae tonight.
I was wondering when we might actually see her in the ring wrestling.
Just a thought.
OK, now back to the pay-per-view.
Bray Wyatt and his "family" are perfect for the WWE. Raven would be so proud.
Back in the day, Kevin Sullivan was satanic, odd and eerie, and ruled Florida while chasing Dusty Rhodes.
His cast of characters were odd, satanic and downright scary. I thought about him first when I saw the promo cut by Wyatt.
But Raven's "rants" were just as confusing.
The Wyatts may rival The Shield pretty soon in promos and their message.
Ambrose proves once again he is awesome in singles matches.
Ambrose took the best Undertaker had to offer and then took Kane outside and won by countout.
I think Ambrose holds the United States title for a while. He is better than I thought. And the fact he won without the help of his "Hounds" by his side speaks volumes.
Ambrose is destined to be a world champion.
The promo said it all.
Will he be a "new" Paul Heyman guy?
Alberto Del Rio was a crowd favorite when he got into the ring. When he left, I am not sure he was still a crowd favorite.
Continual blows to head did in the World champion. Was it part of a "play" in the match or was Ziggler, who was cleared to wrestle in the pay-per-view, really hurt?
We don't know. The pain and the look on his and AJ's faces looked "real" and actually made Ziggler a hero with the Chicago crowd when the match was all over.
Del Rio won the title, but Ziggler got the "emotional" victory.
It started out slow and a bit off.
CM Punk returned to his hometown. The crowd was squarely behind him. Actually, every person in the building was behind him except Chris Jericho.
In the end, Jericho fell to the Second City Saint.
They threw everything at each other. And the crowd was behind the self-doubting former WWE champion.
While he looked winded and somewhat out of shape, Punk had his moments. Personally, I thought Jericho carried him for a part of the match.
In the end, the demons were excised and Punk was victorious. It will be better when the two meet again.
The match did not live up to the match Friday night, and in the end Randy Orton was not very happy.
Still, the brilliance of Daniel Bryan stole the match, even in defeat. You know what this is leading to at MITB. We should see Bryan and Orton in a match opposite each other.
The Shield retained the tag titles, but that wasn't really the story the match told.
There will be hell to pay probably starting Monday night, and you know the Viper can strike at any time.
It wasn't so predictable as I thought. Cena won the "Tables" portion of the Three Stages of Hell match. I figured he would take the Lumberjack match and would lose the second portion of the match.
This is another loss for Ryback. When they showed the replays of the match, it was so bad and cheesy.
Through the roof and badly played.
Now, we see if there is a third match between these two at Money in the Bank.