Paul Heyman, the key to Sunday's CM Punk-Brock Lesnar encounter, stood ringside at WWE's SummerSlam, and storyline aside had to be legitimately proud of what he had created.
In one corner stood CM Punk, the man Heyman spent all his political capital promoting during a past stint in WWE management. In the other stood Brock Lesnar, the man Heyman has so deftly kept main-event relevant with his mic skills desite Lesnar working only a limited schedule.
In the end, it was Heyman's interference allowing Lesnar to get the win over Punk in a match that paid homage to Punk and Lesnar's shared appreciation of both pro wrestling and MMA.
Punk, who has trained in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, used a triangle choke on Lesnar at one point of the match, and got the Staples Center crowd to chant "Randy Savage" while hitting the late Macho Man's finisher, an elbow off the top rope.
Former WWE and UFC heavyweight champ Lesnar opened up a very MMA-like gash on Punk's back after throwing him over the announcers' table -- nearly nailing analyst John Bradshaw Layfield in the process -- followed by laying the top of the table on Punk and jumping on him with both boots. He later hit three suplexes in a row on Punk to provoke an "Eddie" chant from the crowd for late champion Eddie Guerrero.
Lesnar eventually looked like he would tap out to Punk's anaconda vice submission hold. Heyman interfered one too many times, and Punk put the hold on Heyman.
But that allowed Lesnar to take control, using his F5 slam to nail Punk's head on a folding chair for the pin.