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A Hero's Review: CM Punk's Title Reign

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Mr original plan was to review this week in WWE, so here's that: it sucked. So after I went over that, I thought of something much better for a review. The over 400 day championship reign of CM Punk.

In the last year, CM Punk has defeated almost every top level superstar, and that's not just a figure-of-pro-wrestling-speech, he really has. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Mark Henry, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, John Cena and Ryback have all been defeated by CM Punk in championship matches since Punk picked up the gold at Survivor Series 2011. 95% of these competitors he's even beaten on multiple times. So even between his switch from the "Voice Of The Voiceless" face character, to the cowardly, loud mouthed heel character, CM Punk has still looked strong and an exciting champion. How did this happen? Lets have a deeper look;

Capturing The Gold:
When CM Punk won the championship from Alberto Del Rio, he was the most exciting prospect in all of professional wrestling. He was finally getting his chance to shine and over the previous few months had already held the WWE Championship, walked out and returned to the WWE and cut the best promos the WWE had seen in years. With the internet and the WWE Universe behind him, no one would object to straight edge superstar being top of the company and his reign began.

How It Stayed Fresh:
Admittedly, I never realized how long Punk's championship reign had actually lasted until a few months back when he began pointing out how long he had held the gold. How did that happen? I was more than aware than Santino held the United States Title for months too long but yet Punk had it for 9 months before I noticed anything? The mix of rivalries, match types and even what character Punk was playing helped keep it fresh, the exact opposite to Sheamus' title reign, who faced Alberto Del Rio countless times in the same match. From Survivor Series CM Punk has had 20 Pay Per View opponents and in a variety of stipulations, Extreme Rules, Elimination Chamber, TLC, Triple Threat, Hell In A Cell, Falls Count Anywhere and many more. Fit into this reign has been full rivalries with Del Rio, Ziggler, Punk, Cena and Ryback. And on top of that, half way through the year the unthinkable happened, completely out of nowhere, CM Punk turned heel. Even managing to get a 50-50 cheer in a match versus John Cena had Punk on the way to being one of the golden boys, how could he change that? By attacking The Rock. A new character, as well as Paul Heyman has kept the second half of his championship so fresh, that I could gladly watch all 400 days again.

Best Moments:
For me, most Punk's best moments didn't come from promos, or comedy sketches or anything that didn't come from the squared circle. The matches of 2012 have all been excellent boughts. From the Wrestlemania dream match with Chris Jericho, and their following Chicago Street Fight, to the technical internets wet-dream Over The Limit match with Daniel Bryan. Then there was all the times he got in the ring (psychically and verbally) with Hall Of Famers like Mick Foley, Bret Hart and even Vince McMahon himself. Everything has been an excellent watch, but here's Booker T style fav 5. A close sixth is Punk ending Ryback's winning streak at Hell In A Cell.
5) Punk defeats John Cena on Raw 1000, then attacks the Rock.
4) Punk vs. Vince McMahon
3) Punk and Foley on Raw.
2) Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
1) Punk makes Jericho tap at Wrestlemania

Where To Go From Here:
Well, at the Royal Rumble, CM Punk will face the Rock. And it's pretty much set in stone that The Rock will win to bring on a terrible Rock vs. John Cena 2. (It was only once in a lifetime if you died in 2012). Is that how it should go down? No. The Rock and John Cena should stick to a one time thing, not just because I'm not interested in the match, but because a second encounter would just cheapen the year long build up to the match. We don't need a Rocky II (Oh yes, there will be a rematch Apollo.) So where should the Champion go from here? To Wrestlemania. CM Punk should walk in to Wrestlemania 29 as champion. But leave without it. Imagine a Wrestlemania moment when the close to 500 day reign as WWE Champion is closed on the biggest stage of them all? Who should take the belt? A new, fresh face. I'm not going to see Dean Ambrose, or Daniel Bryan, or anyone like that. Just a first time WWE Champion, possibly the winner of the Royal Rumble. Nothing would be able make the next champion look like a major threat by cleanly winning over the longest reigning champion of the modern era at Wrestlemania. If Punk is going to need a send off, he's going to need one with the glory and energy you'll only get from Wrestlemania, and to be taken down by someone who will be around to make the belt worth something.

Well that's my review on the championship reign. I'll attempt to be back next week with a Week In Review as long as Santa Claus doesn't make a comeback and heel turn.

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  1. sret's Avatar
    Alright, it's about time somebody says this. This past smackdown was one of the better ones we've seen in a while. The sum-up posted here really didn't make it justice and it saddens me that I seem to be the only one who thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps I was the only one who actually watched it.
    Anyhow, this blog was good. It was nice to look back at this amazing title reign even though you didn't add enough details to really help us reminisce. I especially enjoyed your fav 5. Everybody keeps praising Punk and Jericho's street fight match but I personally thought Punk making him tap at mania was even more amazing. I can't say that my memory is that vivid (need to go rewatch these matches) but I recall the last few minutes of that match being the most amazing technical wrestling I've seen. I also absolutely loved the face-off with Vince, it was one of the best raw endings of the year.
    Finally I agree 110 % that if Punk has to drop the title it should be at Mania. The idea of having a new guy go over him is very interesting and enticing but I don't see it happening.

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