WWE Champion The Rock def. CM Punk

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February 17, 2013

The Rock bravely powered out of the hold and cornered Punk with punches. But when referee Mike Chioda warned The Rock to back off at a five-count, in accordance with WWE rules, Punk smelled opportunity and delivered a perfectly aimed knee. The challenger then followed up with a running variation of the maneuver that came within inches of catching The Great One on the button of his chin.

Punk countered The Rock’s first attempt at a Rock Bottom, spinning it into a roundhouse kick that was good for a two-count. Stealing a page from his opponent’s book, Punk mocked The Rock and nearly won the bout when he executed his own version of the Rock Bottom onto the Spanish announce team’s commentary table. Galvanized by the vocal support of his followers, The Rock narrowly avoided being counted out, a result that would have cost him the WWE Title.

Facing an uphill challenge, The Rock continued fighting back, landing a staggering right hand that appeared to dislodge one of the challenger’s bicuspids and awe the WWE Universe simultaneously. A second attempt at the Rock Bottom was again blocked, however, with Punk raining down a series of elbows on The Rock’s skull, neck and midsection.

Even when The Rock finally did hit his calling card, the Rock Bottom, Punk managed to kick out of a subsequent pinfall, giving way to a chaotic series of events.

With Heyman distracting Chioda, Punk whipped the WWE Champion into the official, knocking him from the ring and rendering him momentarily incapacitated. A second official, John Cone, entered ringside to check on Chioda, but as he was doing so, The Second City Saint dropped The Rock with a Go to Sleep and covered him. Although a portion of fans in attendance counted the pinfall, no official count was administered by a WWE official as Punk lied atop a motionless Rock. The Brahma Bull escaped a second GTS attempt and countered with a spinebuster and The People’s Elbow, which was the same move he used to reclaim the WWE Title at Royal Rumble.

Although Cone entered the ring at this point to make a count, Punk persevered and kicked out at two. In yet another accident involving an official, Punk rolled onto Cone’s ankle, causing the referee to fall to the ground in pain. With no referees watching the action, Heyman slipped the WWE Title to his client and tried to hold back the arms of a weary Rock. Punk lunged forward with the championship gold, but The Rock averted the impact and Heyman absorbed the blow. The Great One then planted Punk with another Rock Bottom. By this time, the original referee, Chioda, regained his senses, re-entered the ring and counted the historic pinfall.

With the persistent challenge of Punk finally behind him once and for all, The Rock sets his focus on April 7 and MetLife Stadium, the site of WrestleMania 29. It is there, 49 days from tonight, that The Great One will encounter the Superstar he bested at last year’s Show of Shows, John Cena, in a reprisal of the WrestleMania XXVIII main event the WWE Universe has long craved.

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