Former WWE Champion CM Punk is arguably one of the biggest superstars in the history of WWE. One of the crowning accomplishments for CM Punk during his WWE career was his record-setting WWE Championship reign from 2011 to 2013.
CM Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series 2011 to become the WWE Champion for the second and final time in his WWE career. The WWE title reign would last an incredible 434 days before CM Punk finally lost it to The Rock at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January 2013.
At the time, WWE recognized CM Punk's WWE Championship reign as the longest World Championship reign of any kind in the "modern era" of WWE. This record lasted until Brock Lesnar's WWE Universal Championship reign broke it in June 2018.
CM Punk had several high-profile opponents throughout his historic WWE Championship reign. This led to some impressive and huge victories for the Second City Savior over the course of 434 days.
Let's take a closer look at CM Punk’s 5 biggest victories as WWE Champion.
#5 CM Punk def. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Royal Rumble 2012)
After winning the WWE Championship in November, CM Punk entered a feud on WWE television with Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis. Punk would often mock Laurinaitis for the way he spoke and acted on Monday Night RAW.
This led to the Interim RAW General Manager booking CM Punk in a gauntlet match on RAW against several WWE Superstars. After facing several opponents, CM Punk was eventually defeated by Dolph Ziggler, making Ziggler the number one contender for the WWE Championship.
Throughout January 2012, John Laurinaitis cost CM Punk several matches on Monday Night RAW against Dolph Ziggler, causing the WWE Champion to lose by disqualification and count-out. This constant outside interference eventually led to CM Punk hitting John Laurinaitis with the GTS on Monday Night RAW.
CM Punk was then booked to defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, with John Laurinaitis serving as the special guest outside enforcer for the match. A pre-match stipulation stated that Dolph Ziggler's tag team partner, Jack Swagger and manager, Vickie Guerrero, were both banned from ringside.
After a back and forth match, which also saw the referee incapacitated for a period of time, CM Punk hit the GTS on Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Championship. Outside enforcer John Laurinaitis even made the three count, much to the surprise of CM Punk.