Destiny’s a funny thing. At SummerSlam, it seemed as though either JohnCena or CM Punk was destined to walk into Night of Champions in possession of the WWE Title. However, that honor was stripped from them both thanks to a contentious series of events that culminated with Alberto Del Rio’s opportunistic Money in the Bank cash-in. Having finally fulfilled his own personal destiny by becoming WWE Champion, The Mexican Aristocrat puts his good fortune to the ultimate test against The Cenation Commander-in-Chief on the one night when every championship will be on the line.
Both staking claim for the No. 1 contendership to Del Rio’s title following the controversial conclusion of their SummerSlam confrontation, Cena and Punk battled on Raw for the right to vie for the WWE Title at Night of Champions. The Cenation leader defeated The Straight Edge Superstar largely due to a distraction by the massive Kevin Nash – a figure that has cast a dark shadow over the WWE Championship landscape since his debut at The Biggest Event of the Summer.
To ensure the crowning of an Undisputed WWEChampion at SummerSlam, newly appointed WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H served as special guest referee as two WWE Title bearers, Cena and Punk, clashed to determine the one true champion. An officiating miscue that awarded the Undisputed WWE Championship to The Straight Edge Superstar stunned both Cena and Punk, but what happened next sent shockwaves throughout the WWE Universe.
As Punk brushed aside his misgivings about the circumstances of his momentous Undisputed WWE Championship victory to celebrate with his legions of fans at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center, a hulking figure made his way through the crowd and charged the ring. With his 7-foot frame and raven-black hair and beard, the behemoth was instantly recognizable as Nash, unseen in WWE since his surprise appearance in the 2011 Royal Rumble Match. The veteran grappler and former WWE Champion viciously battered Punk before hoisting The Straight Edge Superstar high into the air and sending him crashing to the canvas with a ring-shaking Jackknife Powerbomb.
Watching this carnage unfold from the locker room area, Del Rio knew that it was time to strike. Becoming the ninth Superstar to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on a vulnerable champion to attain a World Title, The Mexican Aristocrat further punished Punk with his signature enziguri to win his first WWE Championship.
The following night on Raw, Triple H apologized for his questionable officiating while Nash led many to believe that the controversial conclusion of SummerSlam – from the three-count to Del Rio’s cash-in – was masterminded by The Cerebral Assassin himself. As the two longtime Kliq cohorts’ opposing stories whipped the WWE Universe into a speculative frenzy, a fired-up Cena kept Del Rio in his sights and issued a stern warning: “You are not a champion: You’re a target.”
Now that the 11-time World Champion is the new No. 1 contender, is Alberto Del Rio’s destiny about to be derailed? Additionally, will Triple H or “Big Sexy” once again play a role in shaping the future of the WWE Championship? To find out, tune in to Night of Champions, Sept. 18, only on pay-per-view.