Adam wilkinson



At midnight tonight, your reigning, defending WWE Champion, CM Punk, will have been the top dog for 381 consecutive days. He will surpass John Cena’s 380-day title run from 2006/2007 to become the 6th longest reigning champion in the history of the illustrious WWE title.

Despite only moving into 6th place on the list of longest reigns, and still a long time away from Bruno Sammartino’s unbelievable 2803-day reign in the 60s, CM Punk has forged, arguably, the single most impressive WWE title run in history.

Back in the days of Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, and Bob Backlund, there were no massive national TV deals or PPVs. The way to draw money was through ticket sales at live events, and people came to see the hero of their region defend their title. In those days, it would not have made much sense to move the title around at a rapid pace or put the belt on a local heel for much longer than a few weeks. Essentially, it was a different sport in a different time.

When Vince McMahon took WWE national in the mid-80s, the thousand day title reigns came to an end with Hulk Hogan’s eventual loss to Andre the Giant in 1988 at The Main Event I. The late 80s saw the typical title run last just over 350 days before moving into the 150-250 day range in the early-to-mid 1990s.

As WWE moved into the Attitude Era, the average reign dropped well below 100 days as a huge influx of top talent made it impossible to keep the belt on one superstar without being a detriment to some of the other top guys. The average ballooned to a 3-to-6 month average from 2003-2008 before speeding back up to an Attitude Era-esque rate leading up to Punk’s current reign.

CM Punk’s 380-day (and counting) reign is an anomaly. His current run is something straight out of the days of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, something that cannot be ignored. We are truly witnessing a very special occurrence that, in my opinion, is the single greatest reign of the modern era.

Once his reign hits that 381-day mark, Punk will have set the benchmark for the longest WWE title reign contained fully in the Wrestlemania Era. In fact, only Randy Savage and the Honky Tonk Man have held any singles title longer than Punk has held the WWE title within the Wrestlemania Era (both held the Intercontinental title for over 400 days). Hogan’s 1474-day run is the only reign longer than Punk’s in the national TV era of wrestling.

Only 24 of the 89 WWE title reigns since 1992 have lasted longer than 100 days and only 10 of the 89 have lasted over 200 days. Punk, Cena, and Diesel are the only champions to have surpassed the 300-day mark within the past 20 years.

I also cannot stress how out of the ordinary a title run as long as Punk’s is in the modern day. Following Triple H’s 210 day reign in mid-2008, only The Miz has held the WWE title for more than 100 days consecutively with his 160 day run in late 2010/early 2011. Punk has more than doubled that.

Within his run, Punk has successfully defended his title against nine former world champions (The Miz, Alberto del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, Kane, John Cena, and Big Show) in matches ranging from a TLC match, to the Elimination Chamber, to a street fight, four triple threat matches, and a Hell in a Cell match. Throughout this time period, the five other titles in WWE have changed hands a total of 19 times.

Perhaps the most impressive trait of Punk’s reign comes down to a pure entertainment aspect above all of the statistics. Punk enjoyed a successful run as a top babyface before becoming the top heel in the company without ever dropping the title. He utilized his long reign to tell a story of moral corruption and what the stress of maintaining a top spot can do to an athlete’s psyche and persona. Above all else, he has kept his long run extremely fresh in a day and age where people tire easily and oppose stagnancy more than anything.

Enjoy the ride folks; it may all be coming to an end as we inch closer to the impending Punk vs. The Rock* matchup at Royal Rumble.




*Ironically, The Rock’s 7 WWE title reigns don’t even add up to 300 days.
Adam Troy Brown
I love the blog dude. Very informative and entertaining reading. Especially that last point about the Rock's seven title reigns not even surpassing his current reign. Only way they will put the title on Rock is if he plans on staying around for a while and on a consistent basis. There is absolut...
  • December 4, 2012
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Savlin Taes
Top blog for a top star.

Its been a fantastic journey & story, here's hoping he still holds the title heading into RR (which has to be a sure thing)

The dream would be to see him go on further, even if it were to end in a Reign vs the streak match at wrestlemania (but I know thats a long shot, howeve...
  • December 4, 2012
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KANSAS RATTLESNAKE
it's the worst run ever with different people coming in to protect him.times he has walked out and said i don't have too wrestle.hopefull at tonights smackdown tapings he will be challenged and beaten so he don't surpass cena.now quit talking smack punk lover.
  • December 4, 2012
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KANSAS RATTLESNAKE
except for the screwjob by maddox .ryback is still unbeaten and he has asked for his dream match against takers streak.personally i'd like to see ryback against lesnar.
  • December 4, 2012
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Adam Troy Brown
Here we go with the typical disrespect and hating on the Best in the World. You just can't stand that someone like Punk who has had to work his ass off for what he has and to retain it and is a much better worker and wrestler than Goldberg...oops Ryback...and Cena is the champ instead of McMahon's ...
  • December 4, 2012
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Adam Troy Brown
Ryback versus Lesnar would be the most boring match ever. Both have limited move sets and are so stiff it wouldn't last but maybe at a max 5 minutes. Definitely not a squash match I would watch. Put it on Saturday morning where all the kiddies can watch.
  • December 4, 2012
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Kyle McQueen
I actually wouldn't mind Lesnar vs Ryback if they handle it right. Lesnar has evolved into a sort of hybrid sports-entertainer/MMA fighter, which is interesting to me. Got the chance to see Brock vs HHH at Summerslam live and, although it was plodding, the match was really intense and enjoyable. ...
  • December 4, 2012
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Parker Lopez
Typical Cena fan. I have no problem with you liking Cena, but lately alot of Cena fans like you and Jamie Alborn have been running your mouth and completely bashing punk for no reason. The difference between you and us is that we bash Cena, but give him credit where credit is due, and still every on...
  • December 5, 2012
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relent
KANSAS some of the things you say make you a clear hate. Being the worst title run is a ridiculous thing to say. Then on your second post your logic is flawed. Ryback is not unbeaten. Ryback has lost twice no matter how it happened it is still a loss. If the Undertaker loss like that at Wrestleman...
  • December 5, 2012
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Dee Thomas
KANSAS RATTLESNAKE just shut up. While CM Punk constantly calls for respect in this current storyline, I think he gets disrespected by idiots like you for not giving him credit where credit is due. You would really pull for Vince McMahon's handpicked golden boy in John Cena over a guy like Punk who ...
  • December 5, 2012
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angeric rivers
punk has my respect and loyalty, people have to give it to him, he can wrestle talk on the mic and keeping the title as long as he has, alot of people cant do that
  • December 5, 2012
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Adam Troy Brown
It is obvious that he was a Cena troll cause he hasn't shown up to defend his ridiculous logic.
  • December 5, 2012
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Adam wilkinson
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