Created By: AndrewJ on July 25, 2011 Last Edited By: AndrewJ on January 17, 2014

Summer Of Punk

Wrestler threatens to leave with a title.

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Bye, Vince!

Needs More Examples, No Launching Please

A type of Professional Wrestling storyline where a wrestler who is going to to leave the company soon threatens to take a championship with them. Most wrestling organizations try to maintain some level of respect and integrity for their championships, so the danger of being without a champion, or of having the championship disrespected somehow, can potentially strike quite a chord.

In Real Life WWF Women's Champion Alundra Blayze infamously showed up on WCW Monday Nitro and threw the belt in a garbage can, and fear of Bret Hart pulling a similar stunt led to the Montreal Screwjob; although those incidents are probably in the back of every fan and writer's mind, the probability of a wrestler actually doing this, as opposed to just acting out a part in a storyline, are pretty low in today's wrestling business climate.

Because this trope is so strongly linked with those Real Life incidents Summer Of Punk storylines are apt to include unusually high amounts of Worked Shoot promos.


  • CM Punk is the Trope Namer because he has been the central player in this storyline twice across two different companies:
    • In Ring of Honor, Punk won the ROH World Championship in what was billed as his last match in June 2005. Afterwards, he turned heel and declared he would bring the title with him to WWE, then stayed around defending it until he was defeated by James Gibson in a Four-Way match about two months later.
    • In WWE, Punk earned a shot at the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank, revealed it was his last night with the company, declared he would leave with the title, and cut a Worked Shoot promo calling out Vince McMahon. This led to some shenanigans with Punk getting suspended and then reinstated, Vince trying to screw Punk during the match, and Punk winning and ultimately leaving the arena with the belt. Most commentators think he actually has some sort of deal with WWE that will see Punk returning eventually, but only time will tell how the story plays out.
  • When it was announced that Tyler Black had signed a developmental deal with WWE, he was holding the ROH title. Black promptly turned heel and announced he would take the title with him when his time with Ring of Honor was done, but Roderick Strong defeated him for it before that happened.
Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • July 25, 2011
    Not sure how common this is, as Punk basically cornered this move. Would you include "in-universe" examples with the WWE brands. Batista was drafted from Raw to Smackdown, and Batista gloating that he had left Smackdown without a title. Ironically it was CM Punk cashing in his Money in the Bank contract that saved the title.

  • July 25, 2011
    Hmmm....since the following really happened (rather than being angles), would any count?
    • Ric Flair left WCW for the WWF while still holding the NWA World Championship. (WCW being NWA in all but name at the time.) At the time the rule was that the champ put down a $25,000 deposit on the belt. Flair was more than willing to return it but WCW wouldn't give him his money, so he decided that he had bought the belt and took it with him, and the NWA recognized him as the champ.
    • Notably averted in ECW when Mike Awesome had the title and was leaving for WCW. Awesome agreed to drop the title (as he should) but he was surprised as to his opponent: Tazz, who was under contract with the WWF at the time. ECW head Paul Hayman cut a deal with Vince McMahon for Tazz to win the title. Tazz appeared on WWF programming with the ECW belt until he lost it to Tommy Dreamer. (On something of a sidenote, previously Tazz had been ECW champion before moving on to WWF and he dropped the title to Awesome before leaving. Unlike Awesome, he had given plenty of notice before leaving.)
    • Notably averted when Jeff Jarrett held the WWF Intercontinental Championship. He was booked into a match against Chyna, which - to everybody's surprise but his - came the day after his WWF contract expired. He basically held the title hostage for a big payoff to lose at the pay-per-view event, then showed up the next night on WCW Monday Nitro.
    • Notably averted when Chris Benoit won the WCW World Championship but then quit the company and showed up on Raw. It was ruled that he hadn't really won; the ref didn't notice that when Sid Vicious (not that one) submitted to the Crippler Crossface his leg was under the rope, which meant that by rule the hold should have been released. WCW held a tournament for a new champion and Vicious won. But on Raw Triple H acknowledged that Benoit had won the WCW championship.
  • January 17, 2014
    Almost two and a half years with no work, and named in haste after a (then-recent) event. Discarding.