Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Top Ten: CM Punk

By. Kevin Pantoja

Right at the start, I have to note that normally I would only do a Top Ten Thursday. However, given the circumstances of CM Punk being removed from the active roster on, I decided to make a top ten dedicated to him in honor of his retirement. Now, this is not a top 10 matches or moments. It's just a top 10 related to Punk. Could be matches, gimmicks, promos or something else.

10. Pipe Bomb II

On the first Raw of 2013, CM Punk not only retained the WWE Championship in a TLC match against Ryback, but he also came out to close the show. He removed the WWE logo from the microphone and went on to drop a pipe bomb that was filled with hate. He mentioned that everything he does is for himself and not the fans. He brings up the underused Tyson Kidd and the dumb gimmick that Brodus Clay was saddled with. Things got serious when The Rock appeared though and CM Punk hit him with the infamous "your arms are just too short to box with god" line. Badass indeed.

9. Classic Matches

There were too many to give each a spot so I bunched them together. You want technical wrestling? Watch his Over the Limit match with Daniel Bryan. Want a brawl? Watch his match with Brock Lesnar or the Chicago Street Fight with Chris Jericho. Want a classic WWE spectacle? See WrestleMania 29 against The Undertaker or any match that he's had with John Cena. CM Punk could do it all, and putting on great matches is included in that for sure.

8. The Best and The Beard

I know that this didn't last long, and really was only to face Luke Harper and Erick Rowan at Survivor Series, but man this was awesome to me. My two favorite guys in the WWE roster teaming up. Especially after their feud for the WWE Championship and their days on the indies. The Best and the Beard was a really cool name and their match at Survivor Series was the best on that show. Plus, who could forget their in ring promo with the amazing Renee Young. Funny stuff and I wish this got more shine.

7. Attires

This might seem like an odd thing to include but I've always been a fan of a cool attire and CM Punk has had some of the best. There was the Macho Man inspired attire after his untimely passing, the GI Joe attire from WrestleMania 26, the Chicago flag trunks from MITB 2011, the Bret Hart style attire from SummerSlam 2012, the Undertaker attire from WrestleMania 29 and the Yankee pinstripe attire he sported in Boston. That's a good way to get heat. There were also non-special attires that were cool like Royal Rumble 2013. But yea, attires are cool.

6. ECW

When he first debuted in the WWE in August 2006, CM Punk started on the ECW brand. Now, I was not a fan of that brand at the start, but Punk was one of the things that interested me as I heard so much about him. He impressed me as I watched him there, but he didn't wow me. However, I became a fan and watched as he came close to the ECW Title many times, before finally winning it in September of 2007. His run with the title didn't feature many great moments and he dropped it to the underwhelming Chavo Guerrero, but I still enjoyed his time there. He did win a Money in the Bank briefcase while there so there's that.

5. Money in the Bank wins

Going into WrestleMania 24, everybody picked Jeff Hardy to win the Money in the Bank briefcase. He was unable to make the show due to a suspension I believe, which opened the door for CM Punk to win. This shocked me because, as a member of the ECW brand, I didn't expect him to win. But he did and was drafted to Raw, where he successfully cashed in against Edge. That title run didn't go far, and he was back in the Ladder match at WrestleMania 25 the next year. Once again, I had a different guy pegged to win in Christian. CM Punk surprised me again by winning once more before cashing in two months later on Jeff Hardy and turning heel. Both matches are really good and were big moments in Punk's career.

4. Money in the Bank 2011

You have to know how much I love CM Punk if I have this gem at number four. Besides the fact that the entire Pay-Per-View was great, the atmosphere in Chicago that night was unbelievable. I remember I was unable to watch this live because I had to work that night but I got home, went right to bed and watched it on DVR the next morning. Avoiding all spoilers, I don't know if I've ever been more into a match. The crowd was 100% behind Punk, it was one of the best matches I've ever seen and Punk ran out of Chicago with the WWE Championship. Everything about it was perfect and can never be duplicated again. John Cena and CM Punk have had plenty of amazing matches but none will top this for me.

3. Straight Edge Society

Man, I miss the Straight Edge Society. If you don't remember or you ignored Smackdown, you missed great stuff. CM Punk came out and preached how much better he was than others because he was straight edge. He started to attract followers like Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury. Things got real interesting when he added Serena, who I knew from SHIMMER, and she agreed to shave her head and cleanse herself like the rest of the group. So many memorable moments came from this. Punk singing happy birthday to Rey Mysterio's daughter was great. Let's not forgot how Punk dominated the early goings of the 2010 Royal Rumble either. His run with the mask was cool too and just everything about this group was great.

2. Pipe Bomb

The infamous moment that got people who hadn't watched wrestling in years interested again. CM Punk, with his contract set to expire in a few weeks, sat atop the stage in a Stone Cold shirt and delivered an epic promo that is now dubbed the "Pipe Bomb". It's easily one of the top 10 moments in the 20+ year history of Raw. If you haven't seen, go watch it right now because the things I can write about it won't do it justice.

1. 434 Days

There could be no other choice for first. CM Punk's 434 day title reign from November 2011 until January 2013 was my favorite thing that he's ever done. After his pipe bomb, the WWE fumbled Punk by having him drop the belt to Alberto Del Rio and get into a useless feud with Triple H. But at Survivor Series, in Madison Square Garden, Punk bested Del Rio and began an incredible title run. During the run he defeated Del Rio, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, John Cena and Ryback. And that's only the people I can remember. On televised events. Yes, he should've main evented more PPVs but regardless, he was the best thing going at every show while he was champion. It's a shame that he couldn't enter WrestleMania 29 as Champion after this reign and he had to lose it to The Rock, but I'll always remember this outstanding run.

Main Event Recap

Main Event opened last night with the WWE's "A-Lister" The Miz. He came out looking fashionable and decided to read a letter to the fans. It was similar to the infamous LeBron James essay, but saying he was leaving home instead of coming home. He also called himself Cleveland's favorite S-U-N, which was pretty comical. Of course, this would be interrupted by his opponent for the night, Sheamus. Both of these guys are strong picks for the Intercontinental Title Battle Royal at Battleground. While not much of note happened in this segment, it was entertaining.

The opening contest pitted former Funkadactyl Cameron, and her new theme music, against Emma! I was definitely happy to see Emma back on my TV screen for the first time since her unfortunate arrest. While Cameron is still not impressive in the ring, she is nailing her heel character and seems more comfortable in that role. Naomi was on commentary and did a fine job there, better than I expect. The same could be said about the match as it was better than I expected. Emma won, which was great and surprising and I'm all for more Emma wins.

Next up, we witnessed a tag team match between four of the guys in the Battleground Battle Royal. Rybaxel took on Kofi Kingston and Big E in what was a fun little match. Big E and Kofi were randomly thrown together here. It made a little sense on Raw because of the connection that they've both faced Cesaro. Anyway, Rybaxel continues to be one of my favorite things on the current product, but they unfortunately took the loss here. Kofi and Big E impressed me and I wouldn't mind if they joined a floundering tag team division.

The main event of Main Event was next, and Sheamus continues to be the MVP of this show. No, not the Montel Vontavious Porter, the Most Valuable Player. Every week he has a good match and he is usually booked to appear on Main Event. Much like their match on Raw, Miz and Sheamus treated the fans to a very good match, though I prefer this one. There was a funny spot where The Miz ducked for cover like a bomb was going off when Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick. The United States Champion was able to avenge his loss from Raw and is probably the favorite to win the Battle Royal and unify the belts.

Another really good episode of Main Event as Tuesdays have become a great time for me. Following Main Event, I would normally discuss WrestleMania Rewind and Countdown but there were no episodes last night. Instead we were treated to a Beyond the Ring featuring CM Punk. This is surprising since Punk was finally officially moved to the Alumni section of the roster page. Normally, when someone is on their way out, they are completely ignored but Punk has been featured the last two weeks. It was a lot of fun to watch this documentary again as it's one of the best the WWE has put out.

That's all for now folks, another fun Tuesday night for me. I will dig more into CM Punk officially leaving later as I will present an special Top Ten later today, this one featuring the "Best in the World". 

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