Many great wrestlers held that WWE Title. It’s a shame that some of them didn’t carry the title as long as Punk did.
Mick Foley said it himself when he confronted Punk two weeks after Night of Champions. Foley held the title for a combined 29 days during his three title reigns. During that time, he feuded with household names like The Rock, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title.
Those three men never had that yearlong reign as WWE Champion. Austin’s longest reign lasted from WrestleMania 17 to Unforgiven, a total of five months of 2001. Rock’s longest reign was in 2000, from June to October. Triple H never held the title that long until 2007, where he held the championship from April to November.
Not even Shawn Michaels had that yearlong reign, but he had the title from WrestleMania 12 to Survivor Series 1996, a total of roughly eight months.
Yearlong title reigns ended when guys like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage held the WWE title that long during their careers. Only John Cena has had that reign from September 2006 to October 2007.
Punk’s reign surpassed others in length. However, the level of established stars those men feuded with make their reigns understandably tougher. No disrespect to Punk, but those men fought legends and future Hall-of-Famers. Punk’s fighting people in his prime. To judge those reigns to Punk’s is unfair.
Punk is a statistic, but in time, his reign will be amongst those same legends of the past.