Vintage Vault “Pre-Viewing of Punk”: Backlash 2009

CM Punk vs. Kane

We were now out of WrestleMania 25 and continue on through the spring of 2009, and CM Punk was on an interesting path as the first man to win the Money in the Bank match two years in a row. In addition to that, he had been drafted over to Smackdown which was a good move as he was not likely to be moved back up to the main event picture on RAW and a change of scenery was good for him as it gave him some fresh matches. On the flip side, Kane was also sent to Smackdown and doesn’t seem like he has much going forward, so having him go after Punk given that he was the last one Punk fended off to win the MITB match made some sense. It would keep Punk busy for a month and also gave Kane something to do, plus they had not feuded before so it was a fresh matchup as well and seemed like it could be an interesting clash of styles between the two.

On the 4/6 RAW, Punk teamed with John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, and Ricky Steamboat to defeat Kane, Edge, Matt Hardy, Chris Jericho, and the Big Show in a 10-man tag match, and on the 4/13 RAW both Punk and Kane were drafted to Smackdown. On the 4/20 RAW, Punk defeated Kane in a match and on the 4/23 Superstars, Kane teamed with Show to defeat Punk and Mysterio in a tag match as it was announced Punk and Kane would face off in a rematch at Backlash. On the 4/24 Smackdown, Kane and Matt Hardy defeated Punk and Jeff Hardy in a tag match, and the build for this match has been fairly basic though you figured they would still be able to deliver a solid match at worst.

Punk gets a good pop from the crowd while Kane had solid heat as a heel. The two men square off to start as Punk gets a pair of kicks in and avoids a shot before pounding on Kane in the corner, and Kane backs Punk into the corner and gets a knee in before pounding on him and he whips him hard into the corner. Punk catches him with a boot to the face and goes up to the middle rope as he grabs the arm and hooks a submission on the ropes, and he releases the hold and goes up top as he drives the knee into Kane’s shoulder and kicks at it twice. He pounds on Kane who shoves him back and Punk hits a dropkick that sends Kane through the ropes to the floor, and he attempts a slingshot plancha only for Kane to catch him coming in as he grabs him by the throat and attempts a chokeslam only for Punk to grab the ropes to block it. He gets on the apron and breaks Kane’s grip as he kicks at him and hits a clothesline off the apron, and both men roll back into the ring and Punk stomps on the arm as he hooks a submission on and rams the knee into him twice. He kicks at Kane twice and Kane reverses a whip into the corner as he sends Punk back first into the post, and he hits a baseball slide that drives Punk’s back into the post and he falls to the floor as Kane rolls outside as well. He rams Punk’s back into the corner again and throws him back into the ring for a two count as he hooks a body scissors on, and Punk hits a series of back elbows to the arm to break the hold and Kane avoids the running knee in the corner only for Punk to catch him with a back elbow. Kane hits a clothesline for a  two count and stomps on Punk in the corner before pounding on him, and he hits a backbreaker on Punk and hooks another submission on as Punk pounds on the arm again to break the hold. Kane stomps on Punk who catches him ducking with a kick only for Kane to grab him by the throat though Punk counters the Chokeslam with an armbreaker, and he kicks at Kane’s legs and pounds on him until Kane rams him into the corner only for Punk to avoid a charge as he hooks a modified Tarantula on Kane. He releases the hold and hits a springboard clothesline to the back of Kane’s head only for Kane to hit a big boot, and he goes up top only for Punk to catch him with an enzurgiri and Kane gets crotched on the top rope. Punk puts Kane on his shoulders though he can’t keep him up due to his back and he hits the running knee in the corner, and he hits a running bulldog on Kane for a two count and rolls out to the apron only for Kane to catch him coming in with an uppercut for a two count. Punk escapes a tilt-a-whirl and takes Kane to the mat as he hooks an armbar on though Kane fights to his feet and hits a sidewalk slam for a two count, and he looks for the Chokeslam only for Punk to catch him with a kick to the head and he kicks at him repeatedly. He pounds on Kane who blocks a kick and grabs Punk by the throat before hitting the Chokeslam which gets the three and he wins the match.

The match itself was pretty good as both men worked hard and put on a pretty solid match. Punk was really starting to hit his stride by this point while Kane could still put on good matches when put with the right guy, and despite the lack of a real feud between the two, they were still able to go out and put on a good match. As I said earlier, given who was involved you expected a solid match at worst and that’s pretty much what we got as it just went under 10 minutes which was a good length and they had some pretty good chemistry. The only thing that puzzled me was why Kane won the match clean considering Punk was Mr. MITB and this seemed like a good opportunity to keep him strong going into his eventual cash-in, but for some reason they had him job here to Kane who was really going nowhere at this point and it didn’t make much sense. The crowd was into the match and Punk, but they are not happy when Kane won though he did get a few cheers to be fair. Kane gets the surprisingly clean win over Punk and both men move on.

Final Grade: ***