Punk makes mark in wild night of ECW action
SAN ANTONIO -- Just two days after seeing the ECW World Title slip out of his grasp at Vengeance: Night of Champions, CM Punk had one goal: to reestablish himself as "the man."
"It's time CM Punk became the man in ECW," Punk told WWE.com before heading to the ring Tuesday night. "I've kind of been the uncrowned man for quite a while, but I haven't been able to nail it down and pull the trigger on the big one. Now is the time for me to make it happen."
And did he ever. Taking on New Breed leader Elijah Burke, Punk scored the final two pinfalls in a best-of-three-falls match to be named the No. 1 contender for Johnny Nitro's freshly-won ECW World Title.
With both Superstars splitting the first two falls and momentum on the Straightedge Superstar's side, Punk went for the knockout blow, trying to catch Burke in a GTS. Burke elbowed his way out of it, and after a series of counters by the pair, Punk was able to stun Burke and hit the GTS for the pinfall win.
After the match, Nitro came down to ringside and posed with the ECW World Title, staring down Punk. (WATCH)
Also, the AT&T Center crowd witnessed two special appearances by WWE Superstars on ECW on Sci Fi.
First, WWE Champion John Cena visited ECW for the first time in more than a year, challenging the new ECW World Champion Nitro to a Champion vs. Champion exhibition match.
Allegedly suffering from a high fever and cold symptoms, Nitro took it to the WWE Champion. He showed traces of new-found hardcore improvisation, throwing the Chain Gang commander into the ringside steps.
Nitro's attempts to grind Cena down just couldn't close the deal, as Cena battled back, setting up Nitro for a FU, but Nitro was able to counter it by flipping out of the slam and sending a kick to Cena's head from the second rope.
But Nitro could not capitalize. As he set Cena on the top rope for a superplex, The Champ shoved Nitro down to the mat, and caught the ECW Champion with a leg drop from the top rope. Cena quickly hooked Nitro in the STFU submission to score the victory. (WATCH)
Nitro appeared later in the program to issue a warning to his ECW counterparts, saying that his loss to Cena was a fluke, due to his illness. He also said it didn't matter who was named No. 1 contender to his title.
"I am the ECW World Champion, and no one can take that away from me," Nitro proudly boasted.
Also, fans witnessed a meeting of the minds between former New York City schoolteacher Matt Striker and WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
Striker came down to ringside during Piper's appearance with a birthday cake in hand. He told the "Hot Rod" of his admiration for the Scot and his storied career. Then he asked Piper to join in singing "Happy Birthday" to celebrate Striker's recent birthday. Piper lead the San Antonio fans in a round of singing, then smashed the chocolate cake in the teacher's face just before the final verse.
As Striker tried to clean the fudge frosting out of his eyes, Boogeyman appeared from a cloud of sulfur smoke at ringside, and headed after the former educator.
Striker's escape was cut off by Piper, who tossed him back into the ring, where the pit dweller powerbombed Striker into his cake debris. Then, as a special birthday gift for Striker, Boogeyman fed the teacher a mouthful of nightcrawlers -- no gift wrap required, and no gift receipt. (WATCH)
Can't get enough of ECW on Sci Fi? Relive all the action on ECW.com's Hardcore Hangover.