On this day six years ago, CM Punk would go against all odds and defeat John Cena at Money in the Bank in arguably the best WWE match of the 21st Century.
With the Chicago crowd rooting for Punk in iconic fashion, Punk would shock the world, walking from the arena as WWE championship with many believing that his contract with WWE was truly over. Although he would return almost two weeks later, even the most hardcore fans were left to question if Punk had just ran away with Vince Mcmahon’s brass ring, never to return.
Going in to the match, many were left thinking that this would be Punks last battle inside a WWE ring. Even though he hit his iconic pipe bomb, his contract was coming to an end and his tenure with the WWE up until that point had been lacklustre in Punk’s perspective. It looked as if Punk would put on a great showing before ultimately losing to Cena. However, the steam the Punk had picked up since the pipe bomb was almost undeniable: they had to put the championship on CM Punk.
Punk Leaves With The WWE Title
Punk would go on to sign a contract extension with WWE on the night of Money in the Bank, sealing his fate with the company to go on and become WWE champion. Cena and Punk would go for over half an hour, exchanging near falls and finishers to a point where it looked a stalemate. With Punk coming close to victory, McMahon and his right hand man, John Laurinaitis , would attempt to stop proceedings, similarly to the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Yet, Cena insisted to play clean, taking out Laurinaitis before he could reach the bell. This would prove to be Cena’s downfall, as he would re-enter the ring and receive a match-ending GTS: Punk had won the championship. He would run with the championship through the Chicago faithful, blowing a famous kiss goodbye to his boss before leaving in a getaway car.
The Champion Returns
Punk would sell the departure as realistically as he could, making multiple appearances outside the company with the belt, and showing up at an independent show with the belt in hand. After Cena won the new WWE championship, Punk would return with new music, playing the famous “Cult of Personality”, and looked like he had been refreshingly rebranded.
Punk would go on to become a three time WWE champion, and continuing his run with WWE for another 2 and a half years before eventually walking out from WWE due to a number of issues he had with the company at the time, believing that a long term infection was not being treated, as well as not being happy with how he was being booked. He would go on to visit the UFC world to pursue a new challenge, and would be defeated in his first bout in the octagon. With rumours speculating that WWE would like Punk back, looking back at a moment like this is fitting for the current rumour mill. However, with Punk’s current lawsuit against WWE’s current doctor, as well as claiming that his wrestling days are done, it seems unlikely that Punk will return to the company to regain his iconic status.