Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Doing a little bit of research right now, I looked at every single WWE Championship reign of the modern era that lasted atleast 150 days and I've come to a conclusion ; Punk's reign can be argued as being the best of the modern era (84-now) for sure. I'd throw out all the numbers and what I did to get them (CAL SCALE like method, except I divided to negate the fact that Punk has held the belt for so long) , but nobody wants to know about that so I'll basically just say this ; when it comes to strictly his PPV defenses during his reign (not even counting his Henry defenses), he clocks in at about an average of *** 3/4 per match. That's fucking astounding. The fact that he's done it for over 400 FUCKING DAYS has to mean something too.
HOWEVER.... One could also argue Shawn Michaels' run in 1996 as being the greatest reign of all time as well, with notable title defenses against Diesel, Vader, Mankind, and SID, the showstopper also averages about *** 3/4 a defense, actually a few decimal spots higher than Punk. The only reason I'd put Punk ahead is that he's had superior TV defenses than HBK while at the same time holding the belt almost twice as long. If I had the ironman match ranked higher, he'd undoubtedly be averaging four stars a PPV match, hich is crazy even though he only has 7 PPV title defenses to Punk's 8.
John Cena's 2006-2007 reign can be debated as being one of the best WWE Championship reigns in history as well, although his matches don't add up as well as the former two champions I just mentioned. He came in at a little below *** 1/2 per title defense, a pretty damn awesome number but below HBK and Punk obviously. It should be noted that during this period Cena wrestled a ton of great matches that weren't title matches (NWO TAG, RAW TAG, RAW vs HBK), but I'm only factoring in title defenses here (which is why I never included any of the other Punk-Bryan matches in my rankings). The number would probably be alot higher if it wasn't for that shit-tastic match that he had with Orton at Unforgiven, DAMN was that bad.
Then you have Austin in 2001. HOLY FUCKING SHIT AUSTIN'S REIGN IN 2001. I don't even need to explain this, six PPV title defenses and FIVE of them were ****+. He cranks out the highest number, averaging four stars per title match (and that's not even including the Benoit defenses, holy shit). The only match in his reign I didn't fucking LOVE was the Canadian triple threat at KOTR which was actually pretty shitty for all three guys believe it or not... I feel it gets higher ratings then it should due to who's in the match but that's my opinion. In terms of the straight up best title reign when it comes to averages, Austin is KING.
To take it back even further, we go back to Bret Hart's reign starting at Wrestlemania X and ending at Survivor Series 94. Since we don't have the same PPV format we have today back then, we have to look at ALL of Bret's title defenses that were televised (believe or not there were only seven) ;
vs Yokozuna (Wrestlemania) : ** 1/2
vs Diesel (King of the Ring) : **** 1/4
vs BOB BACKLUND (Superstars) : ****
vs Owen Hart (Summerslam) : *** 3/4
vs Owen Hart (Action Zone) : ****
vs The 1-2-3 Kid (RAW) : **** 1/2
vs BOB BACKLUND (Survivor Series) : **** 1/4
AGAIN, damn near four stars on this one, and would have a higher rating than Austin's if it hadn't have been for that damn YOKOZUNA match. Would have been interesting to see how a guy like Bret would have performed with the belt in a modern PPV type deal, with defenses on PPV every single month, no doubt in my mind that the man would have set the world on fire with his workrate for sure.
So in the end, if I'm going strictly by averages, here are your top 5 WWE Championship Reigns of all time (ones that qualify anyways, reigns like Triple H's in 2000 were pretty short and featured only a handful of defenses, no doubt if Hunter kept the belt longer he'd be here, same with guys like Undertaker) :
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania X-7 - Unforgiven 2001)
2. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania X - Survivor Series 1994)
3. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania XII - Survivor Series 1996)
4. CM Punk (Survivor Series 2011 - Present)
5. John Cena (Unforgiven 2006 - No Mercy 2007)
I put John Cena away from the top four because he didn't average out nearly as well as the other four, but he definitely deserves a mention. If I took the numbers away and included longevity, TV defenses, etc into the equation, here would be how I would rank the top five ;
1. CM Punk (Survivor Series 2011 - Present)
2. Steve Austin (Wrestlemania X-7 - Unforgiven 2001)
3. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania X - Survivor Series 1994)
4. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania XII - Survivor Series 1996)
5. John Cena (Unforgiven 2006 - No Mercy 2007)
Personally I think you can make a case for any of these guys for sure, and the only knock on Austin is that he didn't have NEARLY enough defenses and longevity, but as of right now I think it's a draw between CM Punk and Steve Austin for the greatest WWE championship reign of all time. If Punk hangs onto that belt at the Rumble and manages to get a four star match out of Rock in the process, he has the potential to wrestle a few more matches to break this draw and solidify himself as having the greatest WWE Championship reign in history.
Thoughts on what (in your mind, obviously) is the greatest WWE Championship reign in history ?
"He's not the biggest. He was never the strongest. He was never the fastest. He was overlooked. He went in the sixth round. So with that being said, all of the intangibles that a quarterback is supposed to have, they overlooked it with him because it was burning from inside of him" - Ray Lewis on Tom Brady