A feud that began at Money in the Bank, this looked to be the swan song between CM Punk, Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman.
Punk spent weeks trying to get his hands on Heyman after he cost him a shot at the Money in the Bank briefcase. He looked to be close, but Axel attacked Punk from behind and Heyman handcuffed him.
An elimination handicap match was made for Night of Champions. A no disqualification stipulation was added on the pre-show.
The match wasn't a five-star classic, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Let's discuss what's next for Punk, Heyman and Axel after what took place.
CM Punk eliminated Curtis Axel after 10 minutes of good back-and-forth action. He set his sights on Paul Heyman and chased him through the audience. Back in the ring, Punk handcuffed Heyman and went to town with a kendo stick.
During the beating, Ryback appeared out of nowhere and speared Punk through a table.
Ryback slid Heyman on top of Punk to give him the victory and then carried him out of the arena, all while Heyman was still handcuffed.
Expect Punk to get his revenge on Ryback at Battleground and possibly even at Hell in a Cell, the event where these two first fought.
Paul Heyman is one of the best characters on WWE TV. His promos are great and his facial expressions are even better.
When he introduced Curtis Axel as the newest "Paul Heyman Guy," not that many people were excited. We all remember Axel for this promo, so Heyman could only help.
However, the feud was between Punk and Heyman, not Punk and Axel. Heyman became bigger than Axel—and rightfully so. He needs someone at the top. Someone like Brock Lesnar.
I'm not saying Ryback and Lesnar are at the same level, but it's a step in the right direction. Heyman outsmarted Punk yet again and he will continue to taunt his former best friend.
Whether Heyman reveals Ryback as the next "Paul Heyman Guy" or just a hired gun is a mystery, but I'm looking forward to Heyman's next promo.
Almost everyone in the WWE locker room could benefit from having Paul Heyman in their corner.
Well, anyone except Curtis Axel.
Throughout this whole feud, Axel has been booked as a henchman for Heyman and not as a client. His intercontinental title reign has been nothing short of forgettable.
He did, however, have two good matches at Night of Champions, but that could be because of who he was in the ring with. CM Punk and Kofi Kingston are two great workers.
With Heyman most likely turning his attention to Ryback, Axel is left without any real direction. He might have been better off dropping the title to Kingston.
I expect Axel and Kingston to feud, or at least have some matches, over the next couple of weeks—purely because the midcard is not that deep.