CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman; Handicap elimination rules.  This match is NOT advertised as being for the Intercontinental Title.

Drew Koscelek:

Could someone please explain why this is not a title match?  Is CM Punk too good for the title?  Or, is the feud TOO HOT for the IC Title?  I don’t know.

The heat between Heyman and Punk has been magnificent, and Heyman is quickly approaching being a part of the “Best Manager of All Time” conversation.  On the flip side, Curtis Axel is not making a very good “Paul Heyman Guy.”  I’m not sure what exactly is not clicking, but whatever it is, they need to abort ASAP. 

I don’t think this feud is done by a long shot.  I do think we’ll see Punk get a measure of revenge here - possibly take out Axel and/or Heyman.  I’m hoping they use this moment as an opportunity to set up a new Paul Heyman guy - either someone from NXT that has more charisma than Axel, or perhaps someone from Heyman’s past.  Matt Morgan makes sense on so many levels.  My fingers are crossed they pull the trigger and bring him in.

I think we’ll see CM Punk win the match, via DQ.  I also think he will be laid out in the ring after the match.  The feud with Heyman must continue.  The feud with Curtis Axel must not.

Matt Hester:

Looking past the fact that the IC title is not even on the line. This is one of the few interesting matches on the card. Both Punk and Axel are good in ring workers and the story attached to it only makes this more fun. I won't even pretend that Curtis stands a chance of winning, but it should be a solid bout.

Heyman has always been able to sell a story and this time is no different. I remember when Brock got a hold of Heyman in the ring and the crowd went nuts. I can only imagine that we will see the same results when Punk finally gets a hold of him.

Winner CM Punk

Bill Wentz

This story has been so good although the last week or so has cooled just slightly.  And these two guys (Punk and Heyman) have essentially said “buy the event and you’ll see…” and it has worked.  That’s the benefit of having two guys who can talk working a feud.  So from a story perspective, this has been my favorite program.

Heyman has tried to get out of this, using some old-school heel tactics by faking an injury.  On Smackdown he said that he will “guarantee” that Punk will destroy him.  Will this be the last we see of Heyman?  For some reason I just don’t feel like we can trust that statement.

The one small problem has been Axel.  He just hasn’t held up his end of the bargain in terms of promos and reactions.  At this point, it’s going to be imperative to move him on to something else so that it doesn’t start to hurt the overall Punk/Heyman story.  Heyman will now need a proxy if this story is continuing.

This story has been so good and I hate to see it end, but maybe it will just be a pause.  In the meantime, a new Paul Heyman guy will surface until Punk gets his chance to redeem himself against Lesnar.  But on this night, Punk gets a measure of revenge before the new Heyman Guy arrives.

Winner – CM Punk