WWE Payback: Looking Back at CM Punk & Chris Jericho's Previous Matches
CM Punk and Chris Jericho go to battle once more, this time at WWE Payback, extending a growing history between them.
Looking back at their work together shows a chemistry that started off great and has only gotten better. Punk and Jericho mesh perfectly together in the ring or in wars of words.
Championships have come and gone for them. With added experience and added tattoos, their rivalry continues to evolve.
From their King of the Ring semi-final match in 2008 to their latest classic on WWE Raw, let's see what Punk and Jericho can borrow from each previous match to enhance their newest one.
King of the Ring 2008
Winner: CM Punk
CM Punk and Chris Jericho's first pay-per-view battle was among their shortest. Even in the relatively brief time frame given to them, with no title on the line and little bad blood between them, they produced an exciting match.
From the initial feeling-out stage of the match until the final bell rang, Jericho and Punk showed how well they gelled together. They would go on to build onto that in later years.
In the semi-final of the 2008 King of the Ring tournament, Punk outlasted Jericho only to lose to William Regal in the finals.
Jericho had already composed a resume fit for the Hall of Fame and Punk was just beginning to shine. Punk won that year's Money in the Bank ladder match and would eventually ride that to snatching the world title from Edge.
This match blended bursts of technical wrestling with moments of speedy action. Jericho and Punk can't keep the pace from this match at Payback, but they can insert bits of it to provide jolts of exhilaration.
WWE Raw: Sept. 15, 2008 (Steel Cage)
Winner: Chris Jericho
By the time Chris Jericho and CM Punk battled again, Punk had won and lost the World Heavyweight Championship that Jericho now wore. A punt from Randy Orton concussed Punk forcing him to forfeit the title, and now the Straight-edge Superstar had a chance to win it back.
Their steel cage match began with an intense stare-down, something Jericho and Punk could certainly do for their latest match.
An angry Punk controlled much of the match until Jericho clamped on the Walls of Jericho and later slammed the steel cage door onto Punk's skull. After each man tried to slither out of the cage door, a headbutt sent Jericho flying backwards and falling out of the cage for a lucky win.
Without a cage surrounding them, Punk and Jericho won't be able to recreate the danger and brutality that his match had, but if they extract half the emotion of this bout then the fans will go home happy.
WWE Raw: Oct. 13, 2008
Winner: CM Punk
In the heart of a feud between Batista and Chris Jericho, CM Punk got another shot at Jericho, but this time without the title on the line.
Batista chose Punk as Jericho's surprise opponent and inserted himself as special guest referee.
Punk was looking to reinsert him into the picture against a cowardly heel Jericho. The match, though, was more about Batista and Jericho building toward their Cyber Sunday 2008 match.
Batista bent the rules and let Punk get away with plenty. Punk stayed in control and dished out much of the offense including a scintillating kick to the chest.
Jericho did turn it around and landed the Codebreaker, but just as Batista was about to count to three he pretended to have something in his eye and halted the count. Punk picked up the win after Batista powerbombed Jericho.
Their Payback match shouldn't look anything like this.
It's shorter than we'll see at the pay-per-view and there won't be third party like Batista either. Only Jericho and Punk's chemistry will be mirrored at Payback.
Winner: CM Punk
Fast forward to four years later and CM Punk and Chris Jericho had switched roles in terms of champion and challenger.
This match went beyond the WWE title, though, as Jericho attacked Punk's family and tried to tear him apart mentally.
Just like this show-stealing match at WrestleMania, Punk and Jericho will likely be the talk of the night on June 16—even without a title in the mix.
Besides the continued fantastic chemistry between them, this match was powered by how personal and important it felt. Both men appeared drained near the end, as if they'd given all of themselves to top the other.
Jericho taunted Punk. Punk responded with anger and taking risks like his flying clothesline to Jericho outside of the ring.
An awesome spot where Jericho turned a potential hurricarana into the Walls of Jericho doesn't have to be repeated, but their Payback match will benefit from something equally as creative.
Extreme Rules 2012
Winner: CM Punk
CM Punk and Chris Jericho's most brutal bout was a Chicago Street Fight. More than a year later, these two return to Punk's hometown, this time with Punk as the villain and Jericho as the hero.
Without a change in stipulation, their Payback match won't be nearly as violent as this one, but can be just as intense.
This was a story of one man remaining strong and valiant throughout his foe's attacks. Their Payback battle is likely to tell a different story, but it can benefit from big spots like Punk's elbow drop through the table, as well as the emotional pull the two stars had on the crowd.
Both men came out of this looking like warriors, and that should be the goal going into their latest clash. The eventual loser needs to push the winner as hard as Jericho pushed Punk at Extreme Rules.
WWE Raw: Feb. 4, 2013
Winner: CM Punk
CM Punk and Chris Jericho picked up their rivalry several months after Extreme Rules 2012.
Punk had just lost the WWE title and a now-good guy Jericho faced him in a match that has been one of the best on free TV all year.
Just like it will be at Payback, there was no championship on the line. This match still felt momentous, however, and that should be their goal once again.
This match is a testament to how Punk has grown and evolved as a performer and how Jericho has gotten even better with age. Together, they make everything look so easy.
Even after facing each other several times, they managed to come up with variations of counters, to instill new life into their battle.
Punk refused to tap out despite being in the Walls of Jericho for a long time. This was also true in several other of their matchups. If WWE is consistent with their booking, Punk may lose on June 16, but it won't be by submission.
The smart money is not on him to lose at all, though. Punk has five head-to-head wins compared to Jericho's one.
However, previous history isn't a guarantee of the outcome at Payback. Judging by their history, the one guarantee is that the match will be thrilling.