Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel def. Kofi Kingston

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September 15, 2013

DETROIT — Interrupting Triple H as he welcomed the WWE Universe to Night of Champions at first seemed to be a gross miscalculation by Paul Heyman and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel –  as a result, The Game ordered Axel into an impromptu title defense against former Intercontinental and United States Title holder Kofi Kingston. Nevertheless, Axel proved his worth as a champion by overcoming the challenge and refocusing his attention on his battle with CM Punk alongside Paul Heyman.

Kicking off the evening in enthusiastic fashion, WWE COO Triple H wanted to prove he was doing what was right for business. Then Paul Heyman tried – and failed – to plead for the cancellation of his Handicap Elimination Match against CM Punk.

Photos of Heyman & Axel interrupting TRIPLE H | Photos from the competitive Intercontinental Championship Match

When Triple H refused to cancel the bout, Curtis Axel attempted to support his manager by reminding The Game how the Intercontinental Champion defeated him when he became a “Paul Heyman guy.” In response, Triple H ordered Axel to defend his championship against Kofi Kingston – who recently defeated Axel on two occasions.

Although competing under protest, Axel engaged his opponent with caution, ensuring that early in the contest Kingston’s speed and agility was kept at bay. Momentum shifts were even at first and each time Kingston took advantage, Axel retreated to the outside floor to regroup. An experienced veteran, Kingston was able to use his quickness to keep Axel adjusting his strategy. Thinking he could use the environment, Axel threw his opponent toward the steel steps, but Kingston countered with an uncanny flying assault from the top.

The contest continued to rage in and out of the ring, but Axel soon took advantage after capturing Kofi in a hanging tree of woe in the corner. From there, the Intercontinental Champion methodically attacked, trying to ensure Kingston wouldn’t be able to recover. Proving his resilience, Kingston battled back, taking to the skies, bent on becoming a five-time Intercontinental Champion.

Once again the two combatants battled back and forth. Axel even countered a cross-body block from Kingston with an impressive dropkick in mid-air. From there, a series of near-falls kept the WWE Universe on the edge of its collective seat. It became evident that this victor of the match would be whoever could seize the perfect opportunity.

The stars aligned in the Motor City in the Intercontinental Champion’s favor. Managing to get Kingston on his shoulders, Axel dropped his opponent on the ropes, stunning him long enough for the Intercontinental Champion to execute his signature maneuver and successfully defend his Intercontinental Title.

Although his victory against Kingston was hard-fought, Axel was unable to defeat CM Punk later in the evening. However, following even with Axel eliminated, Paul Heyman received an unexpected assist against the former WWE Champion.

CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel results

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