He won the WWE title, the biggest wrestling belt in the world, at “TLC” in 2011. He held it throughout 2012 and in to 2013, a feat nearly unprecedented in modern wrestling. No other man can come close to the accomplishments of CM Punk in 2012, and that is why he easily ranks as the top wrestler of the year.
The list of competitors he beat to retain the title is even more impressive: Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, The Miz, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Big Show, John Cena & Ryback. Of course, he didn’t always do it based just on skill.
Punk spent the first half of the year as the company’s top babyface outside Cena. The two men were seen at nearly the same level on the card with Punk as champion and Cena as a top competitor involved in other storylines. Eventually the two would finally come to blows, only to have Punk show that he was more than willing to cheat to win. He aligned with Brock Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman and the two quickly turned to nefarious tactics to avoid multiple rematches.
Punk ended Ryback’s winning streak, in no small part thanks to interference by referee Brad Maddox. He defeated Cena and Ryback in a triple threat match when The Shield made their main roster debut and interfered.
Though it hasn’t been without help, Punk’s personality and in-ring skills have proven to make him one of the most watchable stars in modern professional wrestling and have cemented him as the top wrestler of 2012.
Review the entire Top Ten by clicking a link below:
- 10. Daniel Bryan
- 9. James Storm
- 8. AJ Lee
- 7. Eddie Kingston
- 6. Austin Aries
- 5. Ultramantis Black
- 4. Ryback
- 3. Bobby Roode
- 2. Kevin Steen
- 1. CM Punk
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