CM Punk def. Jeff Hardy (New World Heavyweight Champion)

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August 23, 2009

LOS ANGELES — In the closing moments of the unforgettably brutal Tables, Ladders & Chairs main event, a battered and bruised CM Punk knocked Jeff Hardy from the top of a 20-foot ladder and snatched the World Heavyweight Championship, winning the title and shocking the WWE Universe.

But Punk's celebration didn't last long. Seconds after The Straightedge Superstar hugged his gold, the arena lights went out. When they came back on, Undertaker was in the center of the ring. Before Punk could react to what he was seeing, The Deadman grabbed him by the throat and viciously chokeslammed him to the mat, sending a clear and direct message to the new champion. (PHOTOS)

This chokeslam was one of the many hard hits Punk suffered on Sunday night. In a harrowing Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match, the "Second City Saint" and Hardy put their bodies on the line and pushed each other to the physical limit. From career-threatening falls off 30-foot ladders to bone-jarring crashes through solid wood tables, the risks the Superstars in this match took left the WWE Universe speechless.

But in the end, it was CM Punk who was able to beat Jeff Hardy at his own game and capture the World Heavyweight Championship for a third time.

Hardy is no doubt disappointed with losing the gold in a match he innovated. The Charismatic Enigma was defending not only his championship tonight, but his very way of life. For months, The Straightedge Superstar claimed that Hardy's devil-may-care lifestyle would cost him in the long run. Punk's words of warning came true tonight when the reckless Superstar's unbelievable Swanton Bomb off a towering ladder ended up hurting Hardy more than it did Punk.

In the end, the Chicago native proved he didn't need the Money in the Bank contract to win the title, but he has already learned that being on top makes you a target. With Undertaker returning tonight and Jeff Hardy eager for a rematch, The Straightedge Champion will be at no loss for challengers.

Will the new World Heavyweight Champion be able to hang onto his gold? Find out this Friday night on SmackDown.

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