WWE Champion CM Punk made the late decision Monday to take a personal day.
And the result was almost unfathomable: his loyalist fans in his hometown of Chicago actually booed him.
Earlier in the night, Punk -- who had been spotted assaulting Jerry "The King" Lawler backstage -- was given a hero's welcome and exploited the support of the his followers to get his point across that he never turned his back on the WWE Universe.
But when Punk walked out on the scheduled champion-versus-champion match against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, no one seemed too happy.
Even Intercontinental Champion The Miz, who was filling in for Lawler on commentary, criticized Punk's behavior, saying that other Raw stars just returned from an 18-hour flight from Australia and were still out there giving their all.
When The Miz is rightfully calling you out, you know you're doing something wrong -- or right, depending on the reaction you're aiming for. In this case, WWE certainly did something right.
Many have already waxed poetic on the successes and failures of Punk's turn to the villainous side. The fact of the matter is that WWE has put things into full gear making Punk an enemy of the people in the past two weeks.
What really began with the Jerry Lawler incident now continues, as Punk turned his back on the Chicago fans, taking away their anticipated champion-versus-champion match and depriving them of seeing their icon wrestle.
If WWE had continued with the Sheamus-Punk match, which could certainly happen at some point in the future, the crowd obviously would have rallied behind their hometown guy, even though he's supposed to be the villain.
Now maybe, just maybe, when the match does happen, people will be against Punk, who turned their back on the fans the last time.
A lot of fans in Chicago surely seem like they were baited and switched with an announced Punk appearance only for his in-arena time to be limited (assuming he's not part of the post-show dark match).
Nonetheless, WWE did the unthinkable and got the Chicago crowd to boo Punk -- even if it was only for a fleeting moment.
To quote the oft-forgotten comedy "What About Bob:" Baby steps.
Quick Hits **
Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus, the No. 1 contenders to the two world titles, fought in a falls-count-anywhere main event. These two went all over the staging area, using their environment to their advantage. The two men put together a really fun match that was more than fitting as a television main event. The ending saw them brawl to the backstage arena, where Cena seemed to get the better of Del Rio with an Attitude Adjustment onto some equipment. But before Cena could get the win, Punk returned and laid out Cena, helping Del Rio get the victory. It was refreshing to see a falls-count-anywhere match end somewhere other than in the ring or at ringside. And the closing visual of Cena laid out backstage while Punk held the title high above him was good. These two will certainly have a strong showing at Night of Champions.
** Daniel Bryan and Kane have been given one of the worst storylines imaginable to work with, but I'll be damned if they aren't making it the highlight of the show. What started with last week's amazing anger management sessions and Kane's recounting of his past continued this week with another series of vignettes from anger management and a segment that has to be nominated for Hug of the Year. Many people are crapping on the bit online, but it was just too funny. After embracing within the context of The Miz's rules of hugging, which he was making up on the spot on commentary, Bryan and Kane let their anger take over and got into a brawl. The end game of this whole thing seems to be them becoming a tag team, but it appears they have some more relationship issues to work out first.
** Dolph Ziggler got his win back from Randy Orton after losing on Friday's Smackdown. The match was slower paced and very methodical for most of the contest, and while it was good, it didn't seem to hit high gear. Ziggler won with a roll-up after a reversal, but a win's a win, and Ziggler is one of two people who hold a decisive victory over Orton since his return from suspension. If these two have a rubber match at Night of Champions, it would be great to see Ziggler go over.
** Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara had a fun little tag team match with the odd pairing of Tensai and Cody Rhodes. The masked stars went over and looked good as a team. It was odd that the commentators said this was the first time they've teamed, when they actually did so a few weeks ago, but they should continue being presented as a team, as they could help that division. Also, Rhodes really needs a win at some point to make his rivalry less one-sided and more compelling.