How Did CM Punk Achieve His Dream of Becoming a WWE Champion?

Published 12/20/2020, 7:30 AM EST
CM PUNK – 25.09.2009 – WWE Smackdown et ECW Live Tour – Palais Nikaia de Nice, (Photo : Icon Sport via Getty Images)


Former WWE superstar CM Punk made history on June 30, 2008. He won his first World Championship in WWE by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Edge. Punk won the contract at WrestleMania 24 and did not wait long before cashing it in at the most opportune time.

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CM Punk cashes in MITB against Edge

Edge had just beaten The Undertaker and found a new challenger in Batista. The Animal faced Edge at Night of Champions, where an interruption from La Familia helped Edge keep his title. The following night on Raw, Batista destroyed Edge with Batista Bomb.

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As Batista walked up the ramp, out walked CM Punk with the Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. He dragged referee Mike Chioda along with him, who made the match official. One Go To Sleep later, Punk became the brand new World Heavyweight Champion.

Punk would hold the title for 69 days, before Randy Orton caved his skull in with a vicious Punt Kick. The champion could not defend the title at Unforgiven in the Championship Scramble match and was forced to vacate the title.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances of his title reign, Punk’s win was the first time the Money in the Bank contract was cashed in on Raw. The fact that it came against the man referred to as the Ultimate Opportunist made the moment even sweeter for Punk.

Punk would repeat the strategy of 2008 in 2009

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Punk would go on to win the Money in the Bank contract in 2009 as well. The cash in on Jeff Hardy was far more significant than the cash in on Edge. This was because of the outstanding rivalry that was kick-started between Punk and Hardy.

Punk’s first reign was criticized mostly because he was a babyface. His reign in 2009 was exceptional because of his heel antics and downright villainy against Jeff Hardy. Punk went to the lengths of mocking Jeff Hardy’s drug addiction and his prior run-ins with law enforcement.

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Let’s face it, CM Punk was simply sensational in the heel role. He was a fan favorite, and his name will always be chanted at WWE events, but his heel runs in 2009, 2010, and 2012 make him the superstar we know and love today.

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Nathan Fulgado

1039 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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