CM Punk is still the champion as the WWE and the rest of the world marches further into 2012, and while he is embroiled in a feud with Chris Jericho, there are plenty of "what ifs" that linger around him.
Pro wrestling fans are always booking fantasy feuds and matches that haven't happened yet or that could only have occurred if time travel became a possibility. With the option of a Delorean Express not available, some of Punk's most interesting options are thrown out the door. Others are still competing today in pro wrestling and could happen, though.
Some of these men have even faced Punk and different points in his career, but not at the same level he is at now.
No matter when they wrestled, it would be interesting to see each man on this list match wits with CM Punk and see how they stack up.
Seth Rollins is better known as Tyler Black to Ring of Honor fans. For those not in the loop, he is a talented young wrestler who has technical skills and the burgeoning ability to talk on the mic.
While he isn't ready to be on the WWE's main roster yet, the time is soon approaching when he will be and when he does it should be impressive.
If he gains enough momentum quickly he should be able to fulfill ROH fans dreams and compete against CM Punk in a match if no a feud.
MVP and CM Punk have faced off before, but they never really got a chance to shine in a full-blown feud. They had some tag-team matches with other wrestlers and a match or two against themselves, but never a real story angle.
Even if they had, both men were at different places in their careers. To see how each man could show how they have evolved while flaunting their mic and wrestling skills would be entertaining to say the least.
Both men know each other well and watching them in one match wouldn't really be enough.
This would have to be another angle that would span months and pit the former tag team and wrestling opponents against each other.
Watching Colt Cabana and not Scotty Goldman turn against Punk or vica verse would be incredible and as long as the two friends were having fun, so would the fans.
Sean Waltman made his breakthrough as X-Pac, but before he became a member of D Generation X and had attitude he was the 1 2 3 Kid. While he didn't have the edge he would be later known for he did have incredible high-flying moves and incredible ring psychology.
His match with Bret Hart is still considered a classic and if he injected enough X-Pac into his persona it would make for an interesting clash with Punk.
While Roberts was a brilliant ring technician, he makes the list for one reason.
His ability to talk.
Roberts could make fans sit and listen to him and believe everything he said.
With Roberts a word was never wasted and a move was never done just to look flashy. He always knew what he was doing and having him face Punk would lead to one of the more cerebral matches in wrestling.
While some wrestlers like Roberts make this list because of a combination of skills and persona, Steamboat is here because of a different mix.
He had in-ring talent that few possessed, but he was also one of the perfect good guys. He just exuded a type of energy that got fans on his side and made them think that he was the hero.
For Punk the contrast in look and character would be perfect while the chemistry in the ring would churn out five star matches.
The man who made the sharpshooter famous had to be on the list somewhere. He may not have been the best on the mic, but few could be him in the ring.
Plus it would be entertaining to see the best there is, was and ever will be square off against the best in the world.
Arn Anderson had the misfortune of having his career run parallel to Ric Flair's.
For all of Anderson's ability to talk and wrestle he was used as an enforcer for the Four Horsemen and a bodyguard for Flair. The man was a standout talent and if he had pursued his own career apart from Flair, history might have been kinder to him.
He would have been a great giant for Punk to rise up against and face.
Malenko was more of a talent in the ring then he was out of it. Any interaction with Punk would have to be in matches and nothing more.
Then again, with a nickname like "the man of 1,000 holds" would you really want to see him do anything else?
William Regal may be the best announcer the WWE has right now unless they bring back Jim Ross. He just knows how to sell fights and build stories with the right mixture.
That talent is gained from having spent so much time in the ring and improving everyday. He helped train Daniel Bryan and any man who can do that is one of the best wrestlers in the world.
His attitude of knowing real wrestling holds and how they work on bodies would compliment Punk's attitude towards the business well.
The man won a gold medal with an injured neck. He then made the transition to pro wrestling and quickly became one of the best wrestlers in the world.
While he may have an abrasive attitude to some, it is his drive to be the best that won him gold at the Olympics and made him one of the best in the WWE.
Someone like Punk could appreciate that and work a great program with him.
Sadly, this matchup could never happen. While both men would never have met in the ring because of when their respective careers started, Hart's death made it so they can never meet.
Owen Hart seemed to enjoy his time in the ring and looked like a wrestler who didn't take it seriously. Punk may be focused when he is in the ring, but he also looks like he is having a good time.
If both wrestlers would enjoy themselves then the crowd would end up doing the same.
Punk has given tributes to Macho Man Randy Savage in ring attire by wearing pink trunks and also by pointing his fingers upward and doing diving elbows off of the turnbuckle.
It is obvious he had an admiration for Savage and that he wants to honor such a great wrestler.
One can only imagine the kind of bouts they would have had if they had been able to collaborate.
Edge was the villain you loved to cheer and hated to boo. He just had a way about him that made you grin and shake your head whenever he was doing something mischievous.
Punk is much the same way. He isn't really the hero and still fans just can't help, but cheer him on.
Watching the two try to get the crowd to boo them would be something in itself. In the end, they would both get cheered as would the match they would put on.
Benoit isn't the only tragedy on this list, but his death and the passing of his family is among the worst. It changed the pro wrestling world in a way that was needed, though it is terrible that it took such a horrible act for it to happen.
The WWE has chosen to forget Benoit, but for fans who remember he was one of the most proficient grapplers in the company and in wrestling.
A feud between him and Punk would see two of the most intense men on the planet go out to prove that they were the best each time.
Punk has stated many times that he was inspired by Roddy Piper and his attitude. If Punk got a chance to work a program with Piper it would be gold with each man trying to outdo the other.
Getting to see the WWE's original ant-hero try to one up the new version would be worth the money even if they didn't have a match.
Just put the two of them in Piper's Pit with a couple of coconuts and it would make wrestling history.
There is almost no negative content that one can find on Eddie Guerrero. He was so well-loved that even on the Internet such material is hard to find.
Punk respected Guerrero as everyone in wrestling did. The man blended technique and persona in a way that has yet to be replicated.
There will never be another and while that is understandable, it is a shame that even though they got to wrestle around the world, they never got to do a full program in the WWE.
The Deadman is a staple of the WWE and a large part of WrestleMania.
He is an icon at this point. Something that transcends the human who portrays him.
Seeing Punk get to face him, especially at WrestleMania and be part of the Streak would have been momentous.
They did meet at one point, but it wasn't the same as Punk's character wasn't given the free reign it is now and was booked as a coward.
How their match at Hell in a Cell would play out now would be interesting with a few new twists.
Mick Foley and CM Punk could show the fans that each are hardcore, but the problem is that fans might want to see Punk square off against one of Foley's many personas.
Perhaps a mach with Dude Love would make them laugh.
A match with Mankind would be sure to get the crowd cheering.
Of course Cactus Jack would push Punk to limits that he had never seen before.
With how skilled both men are, they might have been able to do a match involving all of the above and get fans to believe it.
That would have been worth seeing.
While it goes without saying that anyone on this list should be matched with Punk in their prime and at no time after, Michaels gets a special consideration.
Many people remember the older, more humble Michaels that came back to the WWE after a few years off, but in his early days Michaels was a selfish wrestler who only thought about himself.
Seeing someone so vain take on Punk would be hilarious and could have even ended in an iron man match.
One of the few wrestlers to never actually make it into the WWE makes this list. Sting is a talent that was able to last generations without the WWE machine behind him.
He made his name in WCW and has stayed relevant in every company he has ever been in.
Much like Punk he marches to his own drum and the crow version of his persona facing off against Punk is enough to send a fan's imagination into orbit.
While Ric Flair aged well there was no one like him in his prime. He was able to fly all around the world while holding the the title.
Even today in his 60's he continues to be a part of wrestling and while that might not be mentally or physically healthy, it shows his love for the business.
He was also a superior athlete in the ring with real technical knowledge and Punk and he would blow the roof off when they stepped through the ropes.
One has to respect Punk's wishes with this one. Not only would the match get his blood pumping, but it would raise the eyebrow of every hardcore wrestling fan and inspire them to tune in.
Race is known for being legitimately tough out of the ring and being able to harm people. So is Punk.
How much of their match would be scripted and not stiff is up to them, but it would be brutal to watch.
Punk may despise Dwayne Johnson on a personal level, but the match would be something to see.
The wrestler turned movie star who came from wrestling royalty facing the self-made talent who struggled for every break he got would be a great clash of personalities.
Who would fans root for? Hard to say though it would probably be the Rock.
Still, it is a question worth finding the answer to.
Beer drinker versus strait edge clean living.
The man who opposed Vince McMahon versus the man who opposed John Laurinaitis.
The WWE's most famous anti-hero versus their current offering.
Punk and Austin are two men who more then anything walked into the ring, put on great matches and just were themselves. They never tried to make characters other then heightened versions of their own personalities and it got over with the fans.
They were both held back in their careers and fought for every ounce of recognition and earned it and each had a defining moment on the mic.
It may be past its primed date to make the match, but it could happen down the road.
And that is the bottom line.