In his career, which has spanned over 20 years, CM Punk has had many classic matches. While having a successful independent run in the early 2000s, Punk’s career prospered when he competed in Ring of Honor and then WWE. His wrestling career would have ups and downs, which included a seven-year layoff before he returned to the squared circle when he signed with AEW in 2021.
Let’s look at CM Punk’s top 10 career matches.
10. CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar – No Disqualification, SummerSlam 2013, WWE
When CM Punk returned to WWE at the 2013 Payback PPV to face and defeat Chris Jericho, he quickly found himself in a feud with his former manager and Brock Lesnar. Following weeks of attacks, Punk challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam, and the no-disqualification stipulation was added later.
The match began with Lesnar dominating Punk; however, Punk played the scrappy, never-giving-up, underdog role to perfection. Throughout the match, the momentum shifted back and forth with multiple chair shots, aerial maneuvers, and brawling on the outside. When Punk finally hit Lesnar with the Go to Sleep, it seemed like he had the match won before Heyman broke up the pin. An enraged Punk applied the Anaconda Vice submission on Heyman, and Lesnar took advantage of Punk’s distraction and hit him with a chair. Lesnar then hit Punk with the F-5 onto a chair for the victory. Punk’s hard-fought efforts earned appreciation from the crowd after the match.
9. CM Punk vs. Austin Aries – Death Before Dishonor III, Ring of Honor, 2005
Before he was set to leave Ring of Honor and join WWE, CM Punk challenged ROH Champion Austin Aries at Ring of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor in 2005.
The match began slowly as both men traded standing switches, trying to size each other up. Both men successfully hit their big moves, with Aries even using Punk’s Pepsi Plunge against him. As this was seemingly set to be Punk’s last night in the company, the crowd was 100 percent behind him, cheering his every move and booing Aries at every chance. Punk uses the crowd’s support to his advantage, hulking out of Aries’ big moves. In the match’s final moments, Aries goes for a crucifix bomb; however, Punk counters with a TKO and Shining Wizard combination. With Aries dazed, Punk sets him up on the top rope for the Pepsi Plunge; Punk hits it and gets the three count for the victory and title win.
8. CM Punk vs. The Undertaker – WrestleMania 29, WWE, 2013
When The Undertaker returned on an “Old School Raw” episode of Monday Night RAW, he challenged any wrestler to face him and try to end his undefeated WrestleMania streak. CM Punk, Randy Orton, Big Show, and Sheamus stepped forward, prompting a fatal four-way, which Punk won to earn the right to face Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Punk did a phenomenal job of bringing out the best of an aged Undertaker. Although he was a heel, Punk was the underdog, which brought an interesting dynamic. Punk tried cheating, mockery, going strike-for-strike, surprise dives, using his manager, hitting the referee, and more to try and pin the Undertaker. But in the end, it didn’t work. Undertaker would drill Punk with his signature tombstone piledriver for the victory. Many fans consider this match to have been the best match of the night and one of the best of The Undertaker’s streak.