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Punk 365: A Wrestlezone Forums Special - Part 2
This is Part 2 of the Wrestlezone Forums editorial series, "Punk 365". You can still check out Part 1 any time you like, exclusively on Wrestlezone.com! And don't forget to discuss both these pieces, CM Punk's year-long WWE Championship reign, and more in the Forums!
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CM Punk has held the WWE Championship for one full calendar year. A remarkable achievement when you think about it. In what Paul Heyman described as the most “hyper-competitive” environment in WWE history, Punk has kept hold of the industry’s top prize for 365 days plus. When we take into account that WWE produces seven hours of broadcast television a week (Raw, SmackDown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam), combined with regular PPV’s and consistent trips overseas, Punk really should never have accomplished such a feat. Indeed I, like many others no doubt, did not believe it was possible. So in this impossible year, what has stood out the most for me?
Could it be the Raw 1000 turn on The Dwayne? How about those clashes with Chris Jericho? Oh I know, his love quadrangle (it’s a thing) with Kane, Daniel Bryan and AJ? Nope. To me, none of that stands out and above CM Punk’s chemistry with John Cena. They are polar opposites. One is the face of the company, the other an outsider’s king. Punk is tattooed, pierced and bearded. Cena is clean-cut, muscular and chiseled. Yet despite all that, Punk and Cena are the best of enemies. Whether it was Punk threatening to jump off the tron during his Nexus days (what do you mean you forgot about that?) or their five star clinic at Money in the Bank PPV, it’s been obvious since day one that they had that rare chemistry that comes around once in a generation.
This year however things were a little different. Now considered “on Cena’s level”, Punk had recently turned. He was determined for validation and craved respect. He needed to beat the man who overshadowed him and that man, was John Cena. He would seek to do it in Cena’s own hometown. Thus the stage was set for Night of Champions, from Boston Massachusetts. What followed was a 25 minute epic that told an awesome story. Two gladiators fighting for the grandest prize in wrestling, each needing to prove themselves as the “Best in the World”. We saw finishers hit, submissions traded, signatures stolen and even a crooked moonsault. But then came the end; a double pin, snatching victory from Cena’s grasp and keeping the title on Punk. He belt shot to the cancer supporting, all American babyface on that night solidified Punk as the most cowardly, diabolical and evil character in WWE. He proved once more that he was the greatest foil for the company’s top man, because after all, what is a hero, without his villain?