John Laurinaitis def. John Cena

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May 20, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Sunday night, before a capacity crowd in Raleigh’s PNC Arena, John Laurinaitis endured a punishment every member of the WWE Universe wishes they could have doled out themselves.

The WWE executive looked to be only a three-count away from finding himself on the unemployment line when something big happened. Stunning WWE fans worldwide at WWE Over the Limit, Big Show – terminated by Laurinaitis days earlier – actually aided the man who publicly fired the 7-footer and saved his ex-boss’ job in the process. (PHOTOS)

The delight of the WWE Universe turned to sheer shock as The World’s Largest Athlete landed a knockout punch to John Cena's jaw—an act by Big Show that will perhaps never, ever be forgiven. (WATCH: WWE fans' reaction)

WWE was nearly rid of Laurinaitis as its purveyor of “People Power.” The WWE Board of Directors decreed not only that “Mr. Excitement” would be fired if he lost his one-on-one encounter with Cena on pay-per-view, but that any contracted Superstar who interfered in the bout would also be terminated. It seemed the General Manager’s time was up—and he knew it walking into Over the Limit.

Clad in a sheen jumpsuit, emblazoned with the hollow words “People Power,” Laurinaitis sulked to the ring like a man headed down the green mile. From the get-go, the match unfolded like a televised mugging as the General Manager was relentlessly contorted and battered by Cena, who took slow pleasure in manhandling the General Manager—at one point dumping a garbage can full of arena swill over Big Johnny’s head and cooling off the shame-faced GM with a fire extinguisher.

Throughout the main event humiliation, the Cenation leader toyed with his prey, finding unique ways to torture Big Johnny. Cena even locked Laurinaitis in the STF for a 10-second burst of brutality while the passionate WWE Universe elatedly counted along. Not that the GM could hear the shouts—moments earlier, Cena deafened him with an eardrum numbing “ding” from the timekeeper’s ring bell.

Even when Laurinaitis briefly mounted a comeback by grabbing a steel chair, he paid the price when Cena drove the hunk of metal right into “Mr. Excitement’s” face.

Suffering indignity after indignity, Johnny finally launched his best strategy of the night: a fleet-footed retreat over the barrier. More than once, though, Cena dragged the wretched WWE EVP of Talent Relations back to the ring. But on his third attempt, Laurinaitis finally broke free and shambled toward the backstage area … only to run right into the paws of The World’s Largest Athlete.

Grins grew wide among the crowd as Big Show dragged Laurinaitis back to the ring. There, caught between the Cenation leader and The World’s Largest Athlete, the executive was clearly and finally done for. And then it happened.

In a stunning turn of events, Big Show, who had been publicly fired by Laurinaitis only days earlier, delivered a crushing blow to Cena as he hoisted the GM for a WWE-banishing Attitude Adjustment. Completely blindsided, Cena withered from the Weapon of Mass Destruction, which enabled Big Johnny to pin the 10-time WWE Champion. On one of the darkest days in WWE history, the WWE Universe exhaled in dismay as reality set in: “Mr. Excitement” is here to stay.
(WATCH: Superstars applaud Mr. Laurinaitis post-match)

Perhaps underestimated, Laurinaitis did what no one believed he could … with the help of a near 500-pound wrecking machine. Which begs the question: Why? Why would, but also how could, The World’s Largest Athlete save Mr. Excitement’s career? Was Big Show hoping to be rehired? Was this a calculated, premeditated attack planned by the massive, former Superstar and Laurinaitis?
(WATCH: Big Show refuses to explain his actions)

Whatever it was that motivated the 7-footer, as far as John Cena is concerned, there will be hell to pay.

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