Power Ranking CM Punk's SummerSlam Performances
CM Punk has thrived at SummerSlam.
Since 2007, Punk has shown himself to be one of the more intriguing performers of the event. As the years have passed, WWE has slid Punk up the card. He's been in the WWE title match at the event for two years straight now.
Where will his match against Brock Lesnar rank?
Will he be able to top his work against Big Show, John Cena or Jeff Hardy? Without a title on the line and with Lesnar not a consistent part of the buildup, there's still a great chance 2013 earns a place high on this list.
Ranked on how entertaining his wrestling and action were and how his match compared to the other matches of that particular SummerSlam, here are Punk's SummerSlam performances from worst to first.
6. SummerSlam 2008: CM Punk vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
This solid World Heavyweight Championship match didn't have as much energy or sharpness as CM Punk's best SummerSlam performances.
Punk did well to sell John Bradshaw Layfield's punches, reeling on wobbly legs, but most of the action is standard fare. There is little memorable from this match other than the moment JBL and Punk banged heads, making the world champ bleed.
Punk successfully defended his title but in a decent match outshined on the card by the Undertaker and Edge Hell in a Cell match and to a lesser extent, the match between John Cena and Batista.
5. SummerSlam 2007: CM Punk vs. John Morrison
Battling for the ECW title, CM Punk came off here as defiant, feisty and at times, like a cornered dog.
This was a short match for a championship with less prestige than his other SummerSlam bouts, but it was an entertaining one. Punk did well to blend grappling with scrapping in his attempt to dethrone John Morrison.
Had Punk and Morrison gone longer than seven minutes, perhaps they would have created more powerful theater rather than being a match overshadowed by the event's bigger bouts.
4. SummerSlam 2010: Big Show vs. Straight Edge Society
While the match itself was not CM Punk's greatest, his performance was impressive. He played the role of the cowardly cult leader, a scavenger and strategist.
His exuberance in that role helped make this lackluster three-on-one battle far more entertaining than it would have been otherwise.
Punk joined Joseph Mercury and Luke Gallows in trying to take Big Show down. The story of the match was as much about Big Show's dominance as it was about Punk's predatory ways.
Punk waited for his opportunities and then attacked with rabid energy. He tried to injure Big Show's wrist to take away the threat of the knockout punch.
In terms of actual wrestling, there isn't much to highlight here, but Punk has to be praised for the compelling nature of his character and how it glowed during this match.
3. SummerSlam 2012: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
CM Punk came off as wily, timely and enthralling in last year's WWE title match.
Punk played Big Show's victim for much of the action. He was the crash test dummy sent flying against the ropes or tumbling outside the ring.
He was as convincing in his role as he was when he swooped in and picked perfect opportunities to strike. He was both a survivor and a strategist.
In the end, Punk pushed Cena out of the way and fell atop a fallen Big Show for the sneaky win. The focus was on Brock Lesnar and Triple H later that night, but Punk delivered some fun in his bout.
2. SummerSlam 2011: CM Punk vs. John Cena
The story following this SummerSlam was Kevin Nash's surprise return and attack on CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio's subsequent Money in the Bank cash-in.
The great performances by John Cena and Punk get a bit lost. These two great rivals didn't top their Money in the Bank classic, but as always, they put on a great show together.
Their chemistry shone in the main event.
Punk's passion and desire to reclaim the undisputed nature of his WWE title was clear that night. He targeted Cena's ribs, slid from counter to counter and helped end the night on a dramatic, memorable note.
1. SummerSlam 2009: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
John Cena may be CM Punk's greatest all-time rival, but in 2009, the world's eyes were on Punk and Jeff Hardy.
Their Tables, Ladders & Chairs match for their World Heavyweight Championship was one of the better matches of their critically acclaimed feud. Both Punk and Hardy's intensity and hatred are clear on the screen.
Punk attacked his foe with electric aggression.
He used the ladders and chairs around him as torture devices. Punk was the cruel, relentless challenger. His victory over Hardy was easily the match of the night and ended the event on an emotional climax.
He and Hardy were the talk of this SummerSlam, two white-hot stars on a roll.