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  • CM Punk, Samoa Joe, sixty minutes, best of three series, one of Ring of Honor's best moments. The second match even ended a drought of five-star matches in North America.
  • His promo at Wrestlerave '03 on why he hates Raven so much, as it was this promo (and his feud with Raven in general) that really helped make him a legitimate name in Ring of Honor and really, in indy wrestling in general.
  • And then, when he finally won the ROH World Championship, he did an immediate Face Heel Turn — he reminded the fans that "I'm still a snake, you idiots!", declared his intention to take the ROH belt to the WWE, and signed his real WWE contract on the ROH belt.
  • An earlier moment involving Punk took place at Death Before Dishonor 2003. As part of his feud with Raven, Punk has been ragging on ECW and its fans. Punk beats Raven in a dog-collar match, ties him to the ropes, and announces that he's going to send Raven back to rehab... but then the crowd EXPLODES as he gets jumped by Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer ties Punk to the ropes, releases Raven, and the two embrace, symbolically bringing an end to their long-running ECW feud. Then Dreamer does Sandman's "bash his forehead with a beer can until he bleeds" schtick, and Raven forces Punk to drink his first beer.
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  • Punk once rehabbed a broken skull without pain medication.
  • At the 2006 Survivor Series, his first WWE Pay-Per-View appearance, CM Punk was part of a 10-Man traditional Survivor Series match captained by DX, along with the Hardy Boyz. For the majority of the match, the crowd was chanting Punk's name like crazy while the whole team would impressively defeat Rated-RKO in a shut-out. CM Punk even brought this up 5 years later during his feud with Triple H.
  • In his feud with Jeff Hardy, Punk had riled up Jeff and as just when Jeff was ready to lay into him, Punk advised him not to do so with three words. Jim Ross said there's a lot of meaning to that phrase, but beyond that, it's basically the distillation of everything that worked about Punk's Smug Straight Edge gimmick into three simple words.
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  • Kicking Wade Barett out of The Nexus: he extends his hand out to him and takes his armband off and kicks him off the cage allowing Randy Orton to become the #1 contender. Only to cost him the title later in revenge.
  • His first World Heavyweight Championship defeating Edge by using his Money In The Bank contract, on his first night on RAW.
  • While many superstars had completed the Triple Crown, it was Punk who hold the record for accomplishing this the fastest by 203 days, having won the World Heavyweight Championship on June 30, 2008, the World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) on October 27, 2008 and the Intercontinental Championship on January 19, 2009.
  • Raw, 6/27/2011 — Punk went off, and the Pipebomb was born. Knowing full well he's leaving on July 17th, Punk ends the show by costing John Cena a tables match against R-Truth. After having said earlier on Twitter that he's in "what are they going to do, fire me?" mode, Punk cut a promo that buried just about everything bad and wrong about the WWE. He buries the Merchandise-Driven nature of the company, takes WWE to task for mispromoting the beejesus out of him, calls out Cena and The Rock for kissing Vince's ass, applauds Paul Heyman, refers to himself as a "wrestler" (practically a dirty word in the company), threatens to take the WWE Championship to rival companies (which aren't even acknowledged by Vince McMahon) — going so far as to namedrop New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Ring of Honor as possible venues to wrestle in after he leaves WWE, and acknowledges a fourth wall break. He was only cut off when he started going off on the company's anti-bullying initiativenote , though the audience was enjoying every second. As far as worked shoot promos go, this was easily the greatest since Joey Styles' infamous "I Quit" promo — and it may have surpassed that one, to boot.
  • Two weeks later, the 07/11/11 episode of Raw, he outright says to Vince's face in the moment below... one big "The Reason You Suck" Speech in front of a live audience, getting a massive pop from the crowd not only by mentioning his friend Colt Cabana (again), but arguing for getting his face on mechandise—including the wildly popular WWE Ice Cream Bars. To put it in perspective, the crowd started an "WE WANT ICE CREAM!" chant. And it made complete sense in context. And the chant immediately started a letter-writing campaign to bring them back. At first Good Humor cited poor sales as the reason of discontinuing them, but later started mentioning the increased letters concerning the former product.
    Vince McMahon: (to the audience) I don't give a damn what you want—
    • Inside this first part: getting Mr. McMahon to APOLOGIZE on national television! Punk himself quotes this as one of his greatest achievements in the WWE.
    • Then, when John Cena throws his two cents in, Punk retorts with a similar tirade against him, outlining that even though Cena regards himself as an underdog, he's the face of the company and has become "a dynasty." And then claims that Cena is not like the Boston Red Sox, but the New York Yankees. Considering that Cena's home town is Boston, that is as big of a Berserk Button as you can get, big enough for Cena to try and hit Punk. And this took place in Boston, so Punk just called a city's hometown hero their most hated rival. It resulted in some truly epic heat. In context it made tons of sense to set up the dark main event after RAW went off the air - Punk came out and was roundly booed, so when Cena beat him with help from his dad, who was in the crowd, everybody went home happy.
  • Finally, to cap off the feud, Punk defeated John Cena AND fends off Alberto Del Rio (winner of the RAW MITB match), who'd been ordered by Vince McMahon to cash in his title shot, then Punk blows a taunting kiss to Vince before escaping through the crowd to end the PPV, leaving Chicago with the WWE Championship. ABSOLUTE VICTORY.
    • One particular moment in all of the match stands out. Punk has just kicked out of not one, but TWO Attitude Adjustments. Cena goes for another before Punk slips out and sets up for the GTS. However, Cena catches his leg and clamps on the STF. Punk crawls for the ropes, but Cena quickly drags him back to the center of the ring. On any other night, ANYBODY would have tapped. Punk even looks close to, then the fans start cheering his name. He quickly shouts No to the question of whether he gives up, gives a yell and then worms his free hand in between his neck and Cena's arm. All of a sudden, it's now Cena screaming in pain as Punk has reversed the STF, Cena's ultimate submission, into the Anaconda Vice, Punk's own. The pop was deafening.
    • This match also gained a 5 Star rating from the Observer, the first that WWE has earned since 1997, and the first for North America since 2006.
    • This match is also regarded by most fans as the best match of Cena's entire career — beating out both his matches with Shawn Michaels, who is widely regarded as the best in-ring performer ever. That's how good this match is.
  • Being the second man (after Kane) to hold the ECW Championship, World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship.
  • The original "This is Straight Edge!" promo from ROH.
  • Punk invades the 2011 WWE Comic-Con panel and gets into it with Triple H. Also a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    You should give me a call, Hunter. I know Steph's got my number!
  • Raw, 7/25/2011He's Back!. John Cena, who had just won the "championship" back that night, holds up his fake belt, then Punk holds up the real one and gets a much bigger pop.
    • To his old ROH Theme no less.
  • Raw, 8/08/2011 — Just when Cena and Triple H have accused him of being gutless, Punk looks dumbfounded then fires back with a retort for the ages:
    CM Punk: " Oh wait a minute! I'M gutless? I'M a phony? I'm gutless? Let's analyse that, who fires people around here? You? Or FUNKMAN over here, huh? Let me ask you a question Johnnie, FUNKMAN! Did you personally face to face fire Vladmir Kozlov on Friday? (crowd OOOOOOOHS) Did you fly yourself to Florida to tell Harry Smith - yes his name is Harry, not David Hart Smith - that he was no longer needed here? Did you tell Chris Masters, somebody who over the past year HAS WORKED HIS ASS OFF to get better, did you fire him face to face or did you phone him up and say "Hey kid, it's a budget thing, best of luck in your future endeavours!" DON'T CALL ME GUTLESS!"
    • Then he turns around and gives John Cena one for calling CM Punk a phony.
      Punk: Hey, John-boy. This is about you and this is about me. This is about the WWE Championship. It is easy for you to sit there and act all noble and holier than thou when you have been afforded opportunity after opportunity. You're placed on a pedestal so your perspective is skewed. You look down on everybody else. You look down on me, and I'll give you an example. Some odd years ago, I won my first championship here in the WWE, I won the ECW championship. The next day, you, who didn't bother saying two words to me before that, pat me on the back and said, "Good match. Congratulations, champ. I almost gave up on you." I hold grudges and ever since then, I have a sour taste in my mouth because who in the hell do you think you are? You gave up on me? You know who gave up, Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect? You know who gave up on their dream? You did. When you moved to California to become a body builder and became a Sports Entertainer because you couldn't hack it, alright. I started as a professional wrestler and I fought to get to where I'm at right now. And yeah, I held up the WWE for some perks. Do I want an Ice Cream Bar with my name on it? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT! You are the lion. I am the hyena. I got to fight for my share. I held everybody up to get the opportunities that you've just been handed. The opportunities that you've been just given. Yeah, you can take. Who would turn them down? Certainly, I wouldn't. Here is the thing John Boy. Seven years ago in Los Angeles, you walked in and won your first WWE Title. Congratulations. This Sunday. You are walking back into Los Angeles and you are walking out with nothing. YOU ARE WALKING OUT WITH NOTHING! Sure, you will be a big star the next day. You'll be in the Marine 4 or maybe, you'll have your big fight with Dwayne,which is great, and you'll still have your legions of fans who pee in their pajamas every time they think about you. Y'know what you are not going to have, John Boy? You are not going to have the WWE Championship. YOU. WILL. NOT. BE. WWE CHAMPION. Because the WWE Champion will be me.
  • In Summerslam 2011, CM Punk once again beat John Cena and remained the WWE Champion after another epic match. Unfortunately Kevin Nash showed up right after...
  • His third match with John Cena, once again another epic match between the two. Punk may of lost due to Kevin Nash distracting him, but a great showing.
  • His confrontation with Triple H on the 9/12/2011 RAW - or at least the end of it, when he says, "This isn't CM Punk talking to Triple H. This is Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque! Almost predictably, just as he's about to start another rant, they cut his mic off. Triple H asks for another one. CM Punk starts talking again. They cut his mic off a second time. Triple H reams somebody at ringside, who hands him a third mic. He offers it to Punk, who takes it...contemplates it for a second...then brains Trips with the mic, does the crotch chop over his body and tells him to "suck it!" and walks off, wearing a confident smirk.
    • The whole CM Punk/Triple H feud is one big Moment Of Awesome like the Cena/Punk feud before it. They really sell the angle to the audience, and Punk and Trips' interactions sounds 100% genuine.
  • October 3, 2011. Reports are coming in from WWE that John Cena, after 5 years atop the heap as the main merchandise seller of WWE, has dropped to 2nd on the list. The new #1? CM Punk. If there was any more proof needed that 2011 has been one extended Moment of Awesome for Punk, that was it.
  • October 22, 2011. At an appearance at an FCW (==WWE's== Developmental territory) show, CM Punk was confronted by Dean Ambrose, leading to a match later that night. The two then proceeded to tear the roof down.
  • October 31, 2011. Forcing Alberto Del Rio to give him a title match via Anaconda Vice.
  • November 20, 2011. At Survivor Series 2011, he made Alberto Del Rio tap out once again to the Anaconda Vice to win the WWE Championship yet again. The roof was ready to blow off the roof at Madison Square Garden right as Punk won.
    • Complete with Lambeau Leaps into the first few rows!
    • And he brought in a personal ring announcer, none other than THE FINK!!
  • November 21, 2011. The day after ''Survivor Series, Punk's first match as the new champion is a Champion vs. Champion match against the WWE United States Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler. In what was essentially a glorified exhibition match with nothing on the line, he and Ziggler proceed to blow the roof off the place. Definitely a Moment of Awesome for Ziggler as well, but this match proved if nothing else that Punk does not mail in his non-PPV performances like some other face champions have been accused of doing.
  • December 12, 2011. CM Punk wins Superstar of the Year at the Slammy Awards. What makes this even more awesome was that it was decided by fan votes, and one of the guys Punk beat was John Cena.
  • Punk sky dived from 13,500 feet in the air with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights.
  • December 18th, 2011. WWE's Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view event had Punk defending his WWE Title versus both The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. The match itself was a fitting main event to an evening of shockers, but Punk arguably stole the show via his crafty and brilliant way to victory. Miz has just handcuffed Punk to the turnbuckle, and it seemed all was lost for the WWE Champ, but Punk pulls a Batman and actually unscrews the rope with his bare hands before outfoxing both Miz & Del Rio to retain his WWE Championship.
    • The fact that Daniel Bryan cashed in to become the new World Champion on the SmackDown side made it an awesome Cue the Flying Pigs moment. Two guys that came into WWE with pretty much everything working against them, given the state of the company - indie roots, the fact that neither one cuts an imposing figure, and that both are wrestlers first and entertainers second. In the matter of a calendar year, the entire philosophy of what WWE is said to look for in a main-event titleholder has been flipped on its ear. It's actually a bit surprising that there wasn't a shot of the two celebrating together. Granted, considering what happened the last time WWE did that (the two superstars died young) it's probably for the best.
  • Remember in Punk's epic 6/27/11 promo how he lamented that he wasn't in the WWE's signature intro? As of December, 2011, he's now a part of the intro. It may be low-key, but it shows how far he's gone since that fateful promo.
  • January 16, 2012. In what has become something of a trend for Punk, he delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to John Laurinaitis after overturning a victory for Punk and Mick Foley. Punk tells Laurinaitis that he knows that Laurinaitis is jealous of Punk's success, and that he also knows that Laurinaitis is going to try to screw him out of the WWE Championship... and then after Punk leaves, getting Laurinaitis so angry that Laurinaitis flat out admits to Foley that he's going to screw Punk.
    Punk: You went from somebody who just sucked to somebody who just sucked up! Cause if you screw me, they're gonna be talking about how Mr. John Laurinaitis, executive vice president of talent relations and interim RAW General Manager, looks like he went through a meat grinder because CM Punk just kicked his pathetic ass!
    • It should be noted that Punk had Laurinaitis right in the palm of his hands, as proven by causing the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw to flinch shortly after finishing his tirade.
  • January 23, 2012. After a long (near 4 Month) wait, CM Punk finally nails Laurinaitis with the GTS.
  • January 29th, 2012. The 2012 Royal Rumble.: Punk retains his WWE Title in a well-fought match against Dolph Ziggler, even with Mr. John Laurinaitis officiating.
  • January 30, 2012. Champion vs Champion match. Yes, WWE Champion CM Punk faces World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.
  • February 6, 2012. CM Punk completely shuts down Chris Jericho's "The Reason You Suck" Speech by simply walking out to the ring, raising the WWE Championship Belt in front of him, then leaving, effectively pulling a Jeri-Trolling of his own. To put that in perspective, CM Punk said more with one action than Chris Jericho did in all the words he (finally) threw out.
    • Punk turned his back to him before leaving, presumably to show his "Best in the World" slogan on the back.
  • February 19th, 2012. Elimination Chamber 2012.: Punk literally knocks Chris Jericho out of the Raw Elimination Chamber Match with a kick to the head, on the way to retaining his title by putting The Miz to sleep.
  • Punk takes Chris Brown to task, after Brown made a badly-researched tweet on Punk: "Not to mention the roids hes on has made it utterly impossible for him pleasure a women".
    • The utter calmness in Punk's voice as he dishes out the verbal pwnage just makes it even more awesome.
    CM Punk: I never intended to include Chris Brown's name in one of my tweets to start some kind of controversy or to gain publicity or anything like that. And now that he's thrown accusations my way about using steroids, I feel the need to reply. So please allow me to retort: I'm a lifelong proud drug-free, straight edge individual. So, Chris, I come from two completely different worlds. I don't have a manager, I don't have a bodyguard; I don't need a bodyguard, I don't have an assistant, I have no need for a PR team to tell me what to tweet or when to delete tweets... and I don't hit women. See? Period. You don't hit women. In my world, women are to be revered and respected and I firmly believe that, in this life, there are consequences and repercussions for people's actions and I don't think Chris has paid for what he's done. Picking up trash on the side of a highway does not make amends for repeatedly striking a woman in her face and sending her to a hospital. So Chris wants to throw stones my way now and I say... "that's fine", but put some gloves on and get in the ring. I will choke you out and I will make you feel as weak and as powerless and scared as any woman who has ever had the misfortune of knowing a sad, cowardly little boy such as yourself. And all proceeds can go to a women's shelter of my choosing. If you wanna pick up more trash on the side of the highway than make some amends, you should donate more time, maybe tell kids that exactly what you did isn't right. But I'm also a realist. And I know none of these things will ever happen. Because Chris Brown isn't a man. And that's fine. I just know that some day, somewhere, somehow, somebody will put Chris Brown exactly where he belongs and it honestly doesn't have to be me. I would just really like it to be.
  • April 1st, 2012. WrestleMania XXVIII.: Even with a stipulation added by General Manager of both Raw & SmackDown John Laurinaitis where he'd lose the WWE Title if he got DQ'd, Punk wrestles his heart out versus Chris Jericho, and managed to retain the title by making Jericho tap out to the Anaconda Vise.
    • That doesn't quite do it justice, frankly. This match was every bit the wrestling and storytelling clinic that most people in the know predicted it would be, and ended with something like a pin reversed into the Walls of Jericho reversed into the AV reversed into the Walls again and then reversed back into the Anaconda Vise—all in about 30 seconds.
  • April 23, 2012: Punk pulls one his best Batman Gambits to date. Alex Riley points Chris Jericho to what he believes is the scene of Punk drinking backstage which (apparently) violates company policy, so Laurinaitis states that if he can prove Punk is drunk, the title will be vacated and be handed over to Jericho. Cut to Jericho, Teddy Long and two police officers in the ring calling out Punk. When Punk makes his entrance, he slumps, he nearly trips over the floor and he even accidentally drops the title, as soon as he opens his mouth; it's the same deal, he slurs his words, he stutters, he even calls the fans the "WWF Universe". Punk proceeds to fail reciting the alphabet backwards and can't even walk in the marked straight line in the ring. The officers determine Punk is intoxicatednote , and per agreement, Punk has to vacate the title. He looks disappointed in himself as he hands the title to Teddy Long but as soon as he hands it over, he begs for one more chance which Teddy Long reluctantly grants. Cue him reciting the alphabet backwards perfectlynote . while walking down the straight line, he even moonwalks back to the start when he finishes it and does it again by doing the famous Ric Flair strut, and then you realize that this has all been one long ruse to get Jericho in the ring alone with him so he can freely beat the shit outta Jericho, which is exactly what he proceeds to do.
  • April 29th, 2012. Extreme Rules: Again in a big-match situation in front of his hometown fans in Chicago, this time taking on Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight for the WWE Title, Punk more than delivered. Highlights include: Hitting his "Macho Man" Flying Elbow on Jericho through the Spanish Announce Table, escaping the Walls of Jericho by way of fire extinguisher, and more importantly, sealing the win with a GTS to Jericho, avenging his family's honour.
  • May 20th, 2012, Over the Limit: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. Not only was it a great wrestling match, it was a massive Cue the Flying Pigs moment for smarks the world over.
  • May 28th, 2012: Revealing that he is on the cover of WWE 13. While trolling John Laurinaitis in the process.
  • Punk is now the longest reigning WWE Champion in almost five years - since John Cena held the title for over a year in 2006-2007.
  • The Main event of the Record breaking 1000th Episode of Monday Night Raw? CM PUNK VS JOHN CENA IV. Just goes to show how much WWE cares about Punk that he's main-eventing a once-in-a-lifetime event.
  • The 1001st Raw, the week after Punk's heel turn, saw the WWE champion call the company out on always having John Cena in the main event of every single show, even when the WWE title is on the line. On top of that, he takes Jerry Lawler to task for declaring that Punk had turned on the people by attacking The Rock; and whilst on commentary for the Big Show vs. John Cena match to determine the number one contender, proceeds to verbally eviscerate Lawler & demolish every argument he had to try & paint Punk as the bad guy.
    • And then, after Big Show side-stepped a charging Cena & he flew across the commentary table into Punk, he proceeded to boot Cena in the back of the head as he tried to hit the Attitude Adjustment on Big Show & followed up by knocking Big Show out with a kick to the head as he tried to get up.
  • A promo for WWE 13' had Jim Ross interviewing both CM Punk (who is on the cover of the game) and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (the most heavily featured wrestler of the game as well the cover star for the collector's edition). Both men teased a match with each other and though it didn't happen (due to Austin's retirement as well as his injuries), its still awesome to see these two thinking what might happen if they are in the ring together.
  • Few people can make driving out of an arena with someone awesome. At the end of the 9/3/12 broadcast of Raw, CM Punk, after claiming he's taking the night off earlier, comes back and costs Cena a falls-count anywhere match against Alberto Del Rio. Punk then picks up Cena, delivers a GTS off the hood of the car, and crouches down next to Cena and says, "Respect!" The best moment is Punk getting in the car while raising his title to the delight of his hometown Chicago crowd, then, as he's driving away, who should peak their head out the window to look at Cena's inert body? Paul Heyman!
  • As of Survivor Series, Punk seemed to be in a Power Stable with Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, which is headed by Paul Heyman. Sadly, it was subverted, but still, hear that? That's the sound of the IWC exploding (although the presence of Roman Reigns neutralized it).
    • Just as notable - if not more - was the fact that as of that day, CM Punk has held the WWE Championship for a year. Ladies and gentlemen, Punk is now the longest reigning Champion in the past 25 years, having surpassed 400+ days, the previous record holder being Cena's 380 day reign. Unfortunately he suffered a knee injury which required surgery and the rearranging of the 2012 TLC PPV. Fortunately, he wasn't stripped of the title.
  • He became the first WWE champion since Hulk Hogan to hold the title for a full calendar year, and on top of that, held it for 434 days. He also made a valid point about how holding the title for that long in the modern era means more than holding it for numerous calendar years back in the 70s and 80s, due to there being many more pay-per-view events to defend the title in, as well as the existence of many more brutal matches like Hell in a Cell and the Elimination Chamber which didn't exist back then, either.
    • Cena did it before him (winning it at Unforgiven 2006 and vacating it near No Mercy 2007 due to injury, lasting 380 days altogether). However, Punk did set a 25-year record for longest reign.
      • A calendar year begins on the New Year's Day of the given calendar system and ends on the day before the following New Year's Day. In that regard, he is the first since Hogan to pull it off, holding it for the entirety of 2012.
  • His confrontation with The Rock in the first Raw of 2013 has this quote:
    CM Punk: Your arms are just too short to box with God!
  • He wrestled John Cena yet again in the main event of Raw on February 25, 2013 for the #1 contendership to the WWE Championship and a match with The Rock at Wrestlemania. The match is another 20 minute instant classic, and saw Cena pulling out a Batista Bomb (sitout powerbomb), a Benoit-style crossface, and a hurricanrana. Punk proved that he knew Cena well enough to dodge and counter multiple of Cena's signature moves. Which included dodging one of his second shoulder tackle and send him flying out of the ring, and even resurrected the original piledriver.
  • A minor awesome moment in the wake of becoming the man to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania, but Punk "exorcised" a past demon of his own by pinning Randy Orton, a man who was nigh undefeated against Punk in recent years, in the Fatal Four Way to determine Taker's opponent for WM 29.
  • Punk vs Taker. WrestleMania 29. If ever a match fully delivered on it's promise, it was this one. Nothing could have followed that. Nothing.
    • During his feud with the Undertaker leading up to Wrestlemania, Punk repeatedly disrespected the recently deceased Paul Bearer, culminating in him beating down Taker with Paul Bearer's urn, then standing over Taker's prone body, opening the urn, and bathing himself in the dead man's ashes. Jesus wept!
  • Punk's return to the ring at WWE Payback, in his hometown of Chicago, no less. Sporting Wolverine-esque mutton chops and Chicago Blackhawks-themed ring gear, Punk made an impressive comeback by beating Chris Jericho in front of the cheering Chicago fans, just a couple of months removed from his unexpected sabbatical.
  • The very night after his return, CM Punk had a face off with none other than Brock Lesnar, who gave him an F-5 to kick-start their feud.
  • While Punk did pin Randy Orton earlier in the year, he had a much more vindicating one-on-one win in a solid main event against "The Viper" on the 7/8/13 RAW, countering the RKO twice, including a high angle roundhouse kick (not unlike Rob Van Dam) into a GTS for the 3.
    • A bit of Awesome Genre Savvy as well, as Punk didn't once go for his signature springboard clothesline, likely knowing Randy could turn it into a mid-air RKO like he did two years earlier at WrestleMania.
  • Punk on 7/15/13, after losing the MITB match because of Paul Heyman, calls out Heyman and Brock Lesnar, and it's clear Punk is pissed. Heyman comes out, in full-on heel mode, and talks down to Punk, explaining that without Heyman, he is not the best in the world, he is nothing. Punk, ever the Implacable Man, simply says, "Are you done yet?" He then makes it clear to Heyman that he is going to get his revenge on him, and it doesn't matter who stands in his way, whether it be his friends, his clients, or even his family, Punk will get his revenge. Even after Heyman calls out Brock to put a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Punk, he fights back with all the ferocity of a god damn cougar. Keep in mind that Punk is much smaller and less physically imposing than Brock, and this is a man who just the previous night had thirteen staples put into his head to close up a wound.
  • An otherwise token match on the 8/3/13 SmackDown has CM Punk squaring off against Fandango. Typical job for the rookie that ends with a GTS and Punk looking strong, correct? Not quite. Fandango actually fights on a relatively even footing with the multiple-time champ (a Moment of Awesome for him in itself) and has Punk set up for his leg drop finisher. Punk, being Genre Savvy, springs to his feet and kicks one of the ropes (which causes Fandango to slip and land on his fan-dangly bits), jumps up to the top turnbuckle, blows a kiss to the crowd, then takes Fandango over for the superplex, floating directly over into the Anaconda Vice submission without letting go of Fandango at all.
  • Summerslam 2013. The Best vs. The Beast. Twenty-five minutes of brutal action. Both men took a vicious beating. While Punk ultimately lost, he put up an amazing fight and looked credible against one of the biggest, baddest men to ever compete in wrestling.
  • The day after, on RAW, CM Punk is out cutting a promo, when a fan boos him loudly. CM Punk immediately puts the fan in his place, and amazingly, does so without breaking character or interrupting the flow of the promo. Even more amazingly, that part was completely improvised by CM Punk.
  • November 4, 2013: For the first time since December 2011, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan stand side-by-side against a common foe: The Wyatt Family. Just the sight of seeing two of the biggest names from the indies taking on some of NXT's brightest prospects is one to behold.
  • Possessing the same unfazed, pragmatic mindset going into the 3-on-1 handicap match against The Shield that he had going up against Brock Lesnar. Three against one? He knows the odds are impossible. Bruised, possibly busted ribs? He already had a target on him from the get-go, so he doesn't want any bandages. The likelihood that he'll be annihilated at TLC? All that matters is that he plans on taking as many of the Shield as he can with him.
    • Pulls off a HUGE upset at the TLC PPV, capitalizing on a partially blinded Reigns spearing Ambrose by mistake to pick up the pinfall. This makes Punk the only wrestler to beat all three member of the Shield in a handicap match, something that even tag teams rarely did.
  • He is still one of the most frequently and loudly-chanted for wrestlers in the WWE, well after he deserted the company in January 2014. You never know when the next CM Punk chant will show up, but when it does, you know it will be passionate. That's how popular he remains.
    • An example: while promoting the beejesus out of the WWE World Cup for Crown Jewel in 2018, Shane McMahon just had to mention the words "Best in the World" in order to trigger a "CM Punk!" chant from the audience. This is notably because, even after his bad stint in MMA, Punk is still one of the most beloved and acclaimed alumni of the WWE, in spite of the unpersoning that the higher-ups did to him. So, since Smackdown Live! is a live show and there was no way of editing the chants out, Shane-O-Mac had no other option but to acknowledge it:
      "I think he's not in the tournament."
  • On episodes 226 and 227 of best friend Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast, CM Punk finally broke his silence on the circumstances of his departure from WWE. The revelations therein promptly overshadowed Sting's historic WWE debut at Survivor Series, took over discussions in the pro wrestling fandom, and even grabbed attention from non-wrestling news outlets. For lack of a better way of putting it, CM Punk and Colt Cabana broke the internet.
  • At UFC 181, CM Punk was confirmed to have officially signed as a UFC fighter.
  • November 12th, 2019: After months of speculation and rumors floating about, for the first time in almost six years, CM Punk made his return to the world of WWE at the very end of an episode of WWE Backstage. The internet exploded. All he has to say is the below quote, channeling Roddy Piper, one of his heroes.
    "Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the culture!"
  • August 20, 2021: He's Back! CM Punk walks out in All Elite Wrestling in his hometown of Chicago to one of the loudest pops in professional wrestling history, then cuts a promo about how he's not going anywhere. His promo also gives a Badass Boast aimed at Darby Allin: "There's nothing you can do that is more dangerous than wrestling CM Punk... except wrestling CM Punk in Chicago." Just before he leaves, Punk gives a Call-Back to one of his most well-known WWE promos by offering everybody in the crowd a free ice cream bar when they leave.
    • An incredible moment that's very easy to overlook with all the emotions and chaos of his return, but somehow, the crowd had the initial pop when Punk's theme begins playing, they continue cheering as it plays on, and then despite never getting quieter after the theme started, the moment Punk actually walks through the entrance and down the ramp, the crowd unbelievably gets even louder as Chicago welcomes back their hometown hero.
    • The best part of this whole thing was that his return was never explicitly mentioned or advertised. With only well-corroborated rumors that were never denied by AEW or Punk, barely-disguised hints by various wrestlers like Darby Allin, MJF, and Kenny Omega, and the company naming the event "The First Dance" (a reference to The Last Dance, the documentary about Michael Jordan's comeback to basketball, especially since the event took place at the United Center, home of Jordan's team the Chicago Bulls), anticipation for Punk's return was at such a fever pitch that AEW managed to pack 15,000 people into the United Center through pure word-of-mouth.
    • To further hammer home the Jordan vibes, he tweeted a press release the night of his debut in direct homage to the fax announcing MJ's 1995 return.
    • The ShopAEW and Pro Wrestling Tees sites crashed for about 24 hours the moment his shirt went on sale. Within 72 hours, it had become the company's highest-selling shirt of all time, breaking a record last held by the Bone Soldier Bullet Club shirt for the previous 7 years. It got so intense that PWT had to buy every single black ringer shirtnote  in North America to meet demands.
    • In the official video of the segment, no less than the official account of the Guinness World Records stepped in and proposed it as the "biggest wrestling pop world record".
    • It also emerged that not only were the ice-cream bars Punk's idea as well (he'd had the idea 2 years before his return), but he'd paid for the production of all 15,000 or so of them himself. They were supposedly pretty good ice-cream bars too. It's even more epic when you know about the drama the Pretty Cool ice creamery had to go through to get them made in time.
  • After 7 1/2 years and almost unbearable anticipation, Punk wrestles his first return match against his hand-picked opponent, AEW's top youngblood Darby Allin at AEW's biggest show ever, All Out 2021. And despite so much time between this and his last match, despite the humiliation he'd gone through in his failed UFC career, Punk has Still Got It- he started out a bit tentative (exactly as you'd expect him to be after 7 years out of the ring) but it soon came back to him ("like riding a painful bicycle" as he would say afterwards) and he showed off once again exactly why he called himself "the Best in the World", putting on a masterful display of technical grappling and ring psychology. The highlight of the match came when Darby tried to take what he thought was an opportunity to finish Punk, taunting Punk with his own "go to sleep" gesture before going for the Coffin Drop- which Punk evaded by sitting up Undertaker-style and grinning as Darby crashed on the canvas behind him. Punk eventually put Darby away by reversing his poison rana into the GTS, all doubts as to his ability laid to rest and having succeeded in his goal of elevating the young AEW star even in defeat before the Chicago crowd.
    • Many viewers noted that numerous sequences of this match were taken from an old Bret Hart vs 123 Kid bout, which also pitted a veteran 'Best' wrestler against a highflying newcomer, with the youngster quickly earning the veteran's respect. Punk is a massive Bret Hart fan, so this was also an homage to a classic.
  • CM Punk made his televised in-ring return to action at Grand Slam 2021, defeating "Powerhouse" Will Hobbs in his first match back on TV in seven and a half years, following an unprovoked attack on him during commentary on the September 15th episode of Dynamite
  • The October 15, 2021 Rampage opened with CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal, which was a full display of both men's skills. Note that this came right after Danielson vs. Suzuki on the pre-show, and still didn't drain the Miami crowd.
  • Following their "backstage incident" one week earlier on the October 29 episode of Rampage, due to Eddie Kingston's loss to Bryan Danielson in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, he confronts CM Punk on the November 5, 2021 Rampage and engages in a fiery promo with him - a must see, when Eddie calls out Punk, claiming he's been "mistreated" by Punk since their days in the independent scene, while Punk retorts that Eddie failed himself for not living up to his peers' standard, even calling him "a bum". The confrontation finally turns physical when the Mad King suggests that after he finishes beating up Punk at Full Gear 2021, the latter should "quit again and leave for seven years". Punk interrupts Eddie with a headbutt for the insult and the brawl is on, to the point where referees, backstage personnel and wrestlers have to break them up.
  • The match between Punk and Eddie Kingston at Full Gear 2021 was easily Punk's best since returning. Shortnote  but startlingly violent, Punk finds himself having to fight back from under an early disadvantage when the Mad King almost KO's him with an Uraken before the bell even rings and then busts him open until Punk's entire face is a crimson mask. Even more shockingly, the crowd turns on Punk in favour of Ensemble Dark Horse Eddie, which Punk (like The Rock during his iconic WrestleMania 18 match against Hulk Hogan) plays into by working heel, even going for John Cena moves. After the most gruelling match he'd faced since his return, Punk eventually triumphs after hitting a second GTS on Kingston and, suitably chastened after having previously dismissed his opponent as "a bum", offers him a respectful handshake, which Kingston walks away from, and which Punk lets go.
  • One week earlier on the November 17th episode of Dynamite, MJF pulls a promo on his win against Darby Allin from Full Gear 2021, stating his intentions to eventually get a title run for the AEW World Championship and that "there's nobody in the locker room [who] is on [his] level". Cue CM Punk coming to the ring to confront Maxwell face-to-face, but without even saying a word, let alone greet MJF (who offers Punk a handshake), leaves and simply smirks at the sight of Maxwell. Before Punk's scheduled match against QT Marshall at the start of the November 24, 2021 edition of Dynamite. MJF calls him out for what happened last week. What follows is a near-20 minute promo that will go down as legendary and talked about for years, from CM Punk stating MJF is a "less famous Miz" to Max claiming Punk has gone "PG" and preaches "hustle, loyalty and respect" and he'll always be second-best to the "King of Kings". Punk fires back by saying while he was selling out arenas, Max was "marking out" to Rosie O'Donnell, that all MJF does is talk when someone like Britt Baker is replacing him as a "pillar"note  and that if Maxwell really wants to be number one, he'll have to wait until AEW owner Tony Khan has "a daughter" that Max can marry.
  • CM Punk, Sting & Darby Allin vs. MJF & FTR at Holiday Bash 2021
    • The former team all came out with unique facepaint: Sting with CM Punk's fists-and-lightning design, Darby with Sting's Wolfpac paint and Punk with Sting's old-school "surfer" paint.
  • Punk giving MJF a very rare Dynamite loss at New Year's Smash 2022 by attacking his scheduled opponent, Shawn Dean, immediately after the bell rang giving Dean the win via disqualification.More importantly, because win-loss records for AEW reset every year, Punk ensures Max begins 2022 with a 0-1 record, thereby preventing him from getting higher up the rankings for a shot at the AEW World Championship.
  • Punk finally getting his long awaited match with MJF on the February 2, 2022 Dynamite. This was a 40 minute war with MJF using every heel tactic in the book to try to put away Punk. Punk, in turn, dug further and further into his old bag of tricks to try to beat MJF including pulling out the Pepsi Plunge for the first time in 20 years. In the end, Wardlow managed to provide a distraction for long enough so MJF could hit Punk with the Dynamite Diamond Ring and pick up the win.
  • The week after his loss to MJF, Punk came out and demanded a rematch... against Wardlow, pricking MJF's ego enough for him to change his mind about not giving Punk another shot, but only on the condition that he could find a tag partner (explicitly not including Sting or Darby Allin who had come out to back Punk up) and beat FTR in a tag team match that night. Punk accepted and when the time came for the match, out came his partner: the man who had ended MJF's own undefeated streak in AEW, Jon Moxley! The 20-minute match was an absolute slamfest, with nearfalls including Punk and Mox hitting a Doomsday Device onto Dax Harwood and Punk kicking out of a ring bell shot and brainbuster. After a jam-packed closing sequence (where Punk hit the GTS on an interfering Tully Blanchard), the faces hit simultaneous finishers on both members of FTR to win and grant Punk his free rematch shot against MJF anywhere and anytime he wants, causing the slimy leader of the Pinnacle to throw a rage-fuelled tantrum backstage.
  • Fresh off of his victory from the previous week, CM Punk announces the date and time for his rematch with MJF: March 6, 2022 - AEW Revolution. However, when it comes to the match stipulation, Punk has to think on this. While it was largely surmised by audiences that a cage match would suffice, CM Punk argues that Max can still run away and Wardlow can simply climb into the cage to interfere. Instead, Punk recalls how Max keeps referencing "Piper in Portland" and that he's better than him. Digging deep into wrestling lore, Punk settles on the only suitable stipulation: a Dog Collar match, as he takes out a pair of collars linked to a chain from a box, while making a quip to MJF about "being his Valentine" days after the February holidaynote .
    • As Max comes out to the stage, CM Punk shows the memetic photo of a young MJF in a meet-and-greet with Punk many years earlier. He ends the promo by disparaging what Max thinks was important to him and accomplishes the rare feat of, once again, leaving Max completely speechless with an expression that mixes anger, anxiety, confusion, disappointment and shame as he leaves.
    CM Punk: "I'm sure you remember it well - possibly the greatest day of your life and to me, it was Friday.
  • In response to MJF tricking him into walking into a beatdown by The Pinnacle, CM Punk, while attended to by paramedics, brings out his last promo before Revolution with the sort of ferocity he was known for years earlier, but hasn't had the chance to use it in AEW:
    CM Punk: Few people are going to understand that being in this much pain makes certain people feel so very alive. I think you understand, Max, and if you don't, on March 6th, you will. You are going to find out exactly what you think you already know - that CM Punk is the master and I know exactly who the fuck I am. You wanna call me "PG Punk"? You wanna pretend like I'm not that same guy? You WANT that same guy that you grew up idolizing?! Congratulations, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, BUT YOU'RE NOT READY! And on March 6th, I'm going to walk you like a dog. I'm gonna BEAT YOU and BEAT YOU and I'm gonna BEAT YOU until your own mother won't recognize you! I'm gonna leave parts of you in that ring and I'm gonna leave parts of you all over Orlando, Florida. This is what you want, but more importantly, this is what you deserve. On March 6th, I will become a monster...TO FIGHT THE MONSTERS OF THE WORLD! Because I'm CM Punk...and I'm better than you!
  • Punk's feud with MJF finally comes to a head at Revolution 2022, as the two face off in a dog collar match. Before the match even starts, Punk, clad in his classic ROH-era gear, makes his entrance to AFI's "Miseria Cantare", his old ROH entrance theme, for the first time in nearly two decades, prompting a massive pop from the live crowd (who of course, sing along with the chorus) and the mother of all Oh, Crap! reactions from MJF himself. The match itself is beyond brutal, with tons of blood spilled and several wince-inducing thumbtack spots as the two take each other to their absolute limits. Battered, broken and bloody beyond anything he's ever experienced before, MJF cries out to Wardlow for help. Wardlow arrives, Dynamite Diamond Ring in hand...and hands it to Punk, who proceeds to put the ring on and absolutely pulverize MJF before pinning him. The end result is an immediate classic — a perfect finish to one of AEW's most captivating feuds, and one of the grandest examples of Laser-Guided Karma in wrestling history that also finally pulled the trigger on Wardlow's long-teased face turn.
  • The April 13, 2022 Dynamite opens up with the first ever matchup between CM Punk and Penta Oscuro, in front of a hot New Orleans crowd. At several points, it looked like either man could win the match, with Penta escaping the Go 2 Sleep several times and almost breaking Punk's arm. In the end, Punk would catch Penta when he attempts to springboard and deliver The GTS onto him and win the match.

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