United States Champion Dean Ambrose def. Kane via Count-out

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June 16, 2013

CHICAGO – Facing Kane in his second defense of the United States Championship, Dean Ambrose walked through hell, fire and brimstone and came out smelling like a rose on the other side, standing tall at WWE Payback and taking advantage of a time-honored rule to keep his star-spangled championship from the gloved clutches of The Devil’s Favorite Demon.

Thrust into the last-minute match by Vickie Guerrero following a Disqualification loss to Kane on Raw, Ambrose was on the defensive from the start in his inaugural pay-per-view defense of Old Glory, using his speed to avoid the hammering attacks of The Big Red Monster and getting his licks in where he could.

Photos: Ambrose wins U.S. Title | Retention at Payback

His opportunities were few at first. Kane spared no animosity in his pursuit of Ambrose’s championship. Perhaps he felt somewhat liberated without Daniel Bryan at his side, or perhaps the urgency of the match – the U.S. Title remains the only championship Kane has not won in WWE – spurred him to action. But whatever his motivation, Kane was in rare form for the contest, throwing heavy punches and tossing Ambrose around at will in the bout’s opening minutes to literally bring the champion to his knees.

Ambrose’s quick thinking kept him in the running after he targeted Kane’s ankle in an attack that left the big man at a disadvantage from which he never managed to recover. With the former World Champion compromised, Ambrose unleashed his quickness and cruelty, battering Kane and trapping him in the ropes, pausing only for an attempt to mimic The Undertaker’s legendary “Old School” maneuver.

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The disrespect to his brother galvanized Kane into a final offensive frenzy, regaining the advantage before tossing Ambrose through the ropes and preparing him for a Chokeslam through the Spanish announce table. But before The Devil’s Favorite Demon could send Ambrose crashing to the cold Chicago ground, the Cincinnati scrapper retaliated with a DDT onto the floor that left Kane unable to reach the ring in time to beat the referee’s 10 count. Ambrose was (understandably) all smiles with his Count-out win and United States title retention, but given Kane’s history, the champion’s own dose of payback may yet follow.

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