CM Punk’s Five-Star Matches In His Career, According To Dave Meltzer

Hamish Woodward

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CM Punk will go down in history as one of the greatest (and most controversial) wrestlers of all time, putting on multiple 5-star matches and ruffling even more features during his incredible career. He changed the business in the WWE with his iconic Pipebomb promo, before spending 434-days as WWE Champion.

He walked out of the business at the 2014 Royal Rumble, which was the catalyst for Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania 30 WWE Championship victory. Punk returned to wrestling in 2021 to join All Elite Wrestling, winning two AEW World Championships before being fired for backstage fighting. His time in wrestling was never dull, and his matches were always exciting.

Now, we will look at of CM Punk’s five-star matches. He was awarded the five-star match rating twice in his career, as part of the Wrestling Observer’s star ratings. CM Punk was judged by Dave Meltzer to have had two matches that qualify as five-star star matches.

Meltzer is the premier wrestling journalist who gives out star ratings as his opinions. While the scale is considered to be between zero and five stars, he has broken the scale and awarded up to seven stars in the past. While people often argue about his star ratings, they are generally a good indicator of whether a match is worth watching.

Some matches fans will consider were not given the five-star rating by Dave Melter. His opinion is completely subjective and should not be taken as a fact that a match is good, or not good. Matches like CM Punk vs The Undertaker, or CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston could be considered five stars by you, even though Dave Meltzer thinks differently.

CM Punk has had two five-star matches, according to Dave Meltzer. These five-star matches from CM Punk’s career are:

  • CM Punk vs Samoa Joe – ROH Joe Vs. Punk II
  • CM Punk vs John Cena – Money In The Bank 2011

CM Punk vs Samoa Joe – ROH Joe Vs. Punk II (Five Stars)

The first five-star Match in CM Punk’s career came before he ever signed for the WWE. Before he was cutting pipe bombs and putting on classic matches in WWE, he was doing that in Ring of Honor and doing it so well that he was an inaugural inductee into the ROH Hall of Fame.

One of CM Punk’s best matches during this run, according to Dave Meltzer, was his clash with Samoa Joe in Ring of Honor. ROH Champion Samoa Joe, who held the belt for nearly two years, battled against the Straight-Edged challenger in CM Punk in a huge battle for the World Title.

This match is the middle one in their incredible trilogy and the highest rated. It features two legends at the start of their career, wrestling in their mid-20s, and before they would find success in WWE and TNA, respectively.

The match told a simple story. Both men respected each other greatly, but wanted to prove that they were the best. The match had a great pace to it, never stopping and keeping the crowd on the edge of their seat.

Just like their first match, this one also ended a 60-minute draw. However, it improved on the original enough for Dave Meltzer to award this the iconic star rating, marking CM Punk’s first five-star match in his career.

CM Punk vs John Cena – Money In The Bank 2011 (5 Stars)

The first five-star match in WWE in 14 years was awarded to CM Punk when he wrestled John Cena at Money In The Bank 2011.

The Summer of Punk in 2011 was one of the biggest missed opportunities WWE ever had. They fumbled (or sabotage) the biggest buzz they had in CM Punk as WWE Champion. Why they thought Kevin Nash vs Triple H was the way to bookend it was a mystery, like evolution.

CM Punk vs John Cena took place inside a sold out, rabid crowd in Chicago, Punk’s hometown. CM Punk was trying to take the WWE Championship with him. Normally he would be the heel in this situation. However, his “Pipebomb” promo had endeared him to the crowds and brought a whole new set of intrigue from wrestling fans.

The match itself was a genius blend of hard hitting action and supreme storytelling. Cena and Punk left it all in the ring, as the Chicago crowed made it a hostile place for Cena to wrestle.

The crowd were willing Punk to win and take the WWE Championship away from WWE. Never has a crowd been more behind one man and against another. CM Punk was bigger than Jesus in Chicago and this match the prime example of it.

CM Punk won the match, fighting off interference from Vince McMahon and Mr Money in the Bank Alberto Del Rio. Punk left with his Championship into the crowd, blowing one final kiss to Mr McMahon as he left.

Learn more about CM Punk’s AEW career that ended in him being fired for a fight backstage at Wembley Stadium.

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