WWE Champion John Cena def. Mark Henry

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June 17, 2013

PHILADELPHIA – All the might of The World’s Strongest Man wasn’t enough to wrest the WWE Championship from its world-beating bearer, as John Cena prevailed over a motivated, menacing Mark Henry to retain his prize for the third straight pay-per-view event at Money in the Bank 2013.

It was a challenge that Henry had feigned retirement and played every dirty trick in the book to attain, a bout meant to cap off a nearly 20-year career that had never included a WWE Title win. It was a brutal, inspired effort by one of WWE’s most enduring Superstars against its most decorated champion. It was one part physical, one part mental … and, when the dust had settled, it was still not enough for Mark Henry to get the job done.

Photos: Cena and Henry clash in Philly | Flashback: Henry tastes World Title gold

It had, for some time, been looking like Cena’s days at the top were numbered. From Henry’s SAG-qualifying “retirement” speech to his foreboding threats toward The Champ over the last two weeks, the No. 1 contender had Cena’s number in the weeks leading up to the match. Henry’s career spent holding all major accolades except the WWE Championship seemed to have pushed him to a new level of aggression in pursuit of the ultimate prize, but Henry’s dismissal of Cena’s resilience was, ultimately, misplaced.

Watch Cena's "giant" wins | Henry's path of pain

The No. 1 contender seemed eager to assert his dominance over The Champ from the get-go at Money in the Bank. Henry kicked off his challenge by throwing powerful strikes and headbutts that drove Cena into the corner, but the behemoth seemed in no hurry to put the champion away quickly. Seemingly reveling in the opportunity to pick Cena apart, Henry used the ring itself to his advantage, slamming Cena into the steps and bouncing his head off the ropes in a grisly opening salvo that left the champion reeling, culminating the sequence in a pair of “kaiju”-caliber giant body swings that sent The Champ airborne.

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