Sunday, September 2, 2012

WWE Title By the Numbers

CM Punk retains WWE title
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

I'm going to give Lords of Pain the assist on this blog, as they did all the math (something I was never good at anyway).  Basically they broke down all the lengths of title reigns for the WWE champions.  CM Punk is at this point the 12th longest reigning WWE champion.  Assuming Punk makes it to Night of Champions later this month with the title in hand (which there's no reason to think he won't), he'll crack the top ten.  Let's take a look at the numbers...

1.  Bruno Sammartino (2,803 days)
2.  Bob Backlund (2,135 days)
3.  Hulk Hogan (1,474 days)
4.  Bruno Sammartino ( 1,237 days)
5.  Pedro Morales (1,027 days)
6.  John Cena (380 days)
7.  Randy Savage (371 days)
8.  Hulk Hogan (364 days)
9.  Diesel (358 days)
10. Billy Graham (296 days)
11. Ultimate Warrior (293 days)

My friend Adam Testa from the Baltimore Sun's Ring Posts blog did even more math for the equation.  So as mentioned, Punk will break into the top ten at Night of Champions, even if he loses the title.  If he retains, and holds until Survivor Series, he'll be tied for 8th with Hogan.  Assuming he continues on after that and holds until TLC in December, he'll move to 6th place.  But to break into that top 5, Punk will need to retain the title until September 13, 2014.  For Punk to take the top spot on this list, he'll have to hold the title until July 25, 2019.

CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler
2012 Royal Rumble
Photo by: My 1-2-3 Cents
Realistically, I see Punk holding the gold and taking that 6th spot on the list.  Retaining for nearly two more years to crack the top five seems like a stretch in this day and age.  But personally, I'd love to see it happen.  I think in general titles are traded far too often.  This is the first time in a while I've viewed the both the WWE and World Titles as stable.  Sheamus has been the world champ 154 days as of this writing.  As of Monday, September 3, 2012 he'll be the third longest reigning world champion.

Back to Punk and the WWE title.  He's had an interesting series of challengers, including the Big Show, Cena, Daniel Bryan, Kane, the Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Chris Jericho.  That's a who's who of the WWE elite right now, and Punk holds victories over all of them.  But in this day and age of weekly TV and monthly pay per views, will the fans tire of Punk on top?  The WWE and Punk are doing a good job of keeping his character fresh.  I'll be honest, for the first couple of years he was in the WWE, I did not like the CM Punk character.  It was the Straight Edge Society that really got my attention and he has continued to evolve since.

Punk vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by: My 1-2-3 Cents
And to be fair to the guys at the top of this list, like Bruno and Hogan; they were defending the titles on the house show circuit.  I don't know if they were defending the title with the frequency that today's champions do, but they were doing it in front of a much smaller audience.  Now days, we all see it when Punk or Cena or Sheamus or Miz defend a title.

I haven't made my official prediction for Night of Champions yet, but I believe that Punk should retain and continue to move forward to the Royal Rumble with the Rock.  A victory over the People's Champion will undoubtedly earn CM Punk a shot at immortality.

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