Raw results: Cena pins Punk, but controversy still reigns

Page 12 of 12
September 17, 2012

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus & John Cena def. WWE Champion CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio

PHOTOS | VIDEO

"Super main event" was, as it turns out, an understatement. Raw General Manager AJ Lee's big idea for Raw's main event — a tag match pitting Sheamus & John Cena against CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio — was a battle for the age. With four of WWE's most dynamic competitors clashing between the ropes, rematch implications were on the line for the victors. And, when all was said and done, it was Cena who got the monkey off his back, finally getting a hard-earned pin over The Second City Saint to seal the contest for his team.

Surprisingly, The Voice of the Voiceless seemed to want no part of Cena following his narrow retention of the WWE Title at Night of Champions. Punk went out of his way to avoid a one-on-one matchup with the Cenation leader and either sent Del Rio in to do the dirty work or waited until Cena was outnumbered to get his licks in. The strategy didn't last long, though. After ending up on the wrong exchange of a Cena offense, Sheamus tagged in and promptly pounded The Second City Saint into the corner before Punk managed to tag in Del Rio. The longtime rivals from opposite ends of the social spectrum clashed yet again, with victory seemingly in hand as Sheamus called for the Brogue Kick.

Punk's instincts kicked in and a cheap shot on The Celtic Warrior saved the match for his team, leaving him an opportunity to tag in again. The WWE Champion got the better of Sheamus this time, trapping The Great White in a torturous-looking submission hold and slowing him down enough for Del Rio to re-enter the match. A strong surge from Del Rio met a brick wall, though, after The Celtic Warrior felled The Essence of Excellence with the Irish Curse.

Two tags later and Cena and Punk re-entered the fray, with Cena unleashing his signature sequence of moves, countering Punk's counter into an STF before Del Rio broke up the hold ... only to suffer a Brogue Kick that sent him into next week. Punk was next to strike, but his sneak attack on Sheamus left Cena just enough of an opportunity to send Punk flying with an AA and notch that long-elusive pin over the WWE Champion

But …

The victory, hard-earned as it was, did not come without controversy. As Cena finally secured that three-count, Punk placed his foot on the bottom rope, negating the pin. But the official didn't see Punk's foot on the ropes, and counted the pin anyway. And so, 24 hours after controversy favored CM Punk, the scales tilted back in Cena's favor. As Raw drew to a close, the final images were of Punk screaming at the official all the way up the ramp, with respect, peace of mind and a decisive victory over John Cena still eluding him.

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