CM Punk has had quite a few finishing moves over the years, with the most popular being the “GTS” and the “Anaconda Vice”. However, WWE fans may not have heard about his original finisher that is the most impressive (and dangerous) of the lot – the “Pepsi Plunge”.
The Pepsi Plunge is one of CM Punk’s finishing moves, that he has used in companies like TNA, ROH and AEW. The move is effectively a top-rope Pedigree – the “Pedigree” being the finishing move innovated by former WWE Champion Triple H – and is an incredibly impressive-looking wrestling maneuver.
The Pedigree’s technical name is the Double Hook Facebuster, and sees Triple H place his opponent’s head between his leg, before locking their arms behind their backs. The Game then jumps into the air, slamming his opponent down onto their face, and usually pinning them to win the match. (Learn more about how Triple H created The Pedigree).
CM Punk took this move and took it to another level. During his early days on the independent scene before he was signed to the WWE, he would climb the top rope, placing his opponent’s head between his knees. Hooking their arms, he would jump off the turnbuckle while keep their arms hooked. He would either come straight down, or spin around (like a swinging DDT) before planting his opponent’s head into the mat.
Punk first used the Pepsi Plunge on the indie scene, later using it to win championships in Ring of Honor. He hit Jay Briscoe with lethal-looking Pepsi Plunge to win the ROH Tag Team Championships (alongside Colt Cabana) in 2004. You can see that Pepsi Plunge by watching the video down below.
However, once CM Punk got to WWE in 2006, everything changed. Due to Triple H being one of the biggest stars in the company and still using the Pedigree as the move that helped him win multiple WWE Championships. He had to find a new finishing move, which led to him stealing the “Go To Sleep” (also known as the GTS) from KENTA, as well as using the “Anaconda Vice” as a submission finisher.
Another reason for CM Punk stopping his usage of the Pepsi Plunge is due to the impact on his knees. Jumping from the top rope and landing directly on your knees is horrible for your health, and would have contributed to a lot more injuries if he had continued using the move as his finisher.
However, CM Punk did not completely retire the move. After the Chicago wrestler returned to wrestling in August 2021, he brought back the Pepsi Plunge on two separate occasions. The first was against MJF on AEW Dynamite, in one of CM Punk’s best matches in AEW. The other was CM Punk’s last match, when he beat Samoa Joe at Wembley Stadium. He used the Pepsi Plunge at All In to win the match against Samoa Joe, and was actually the last move he may ever hit in wrestling.
The move is called the Pepsi Plunge because CM Punk LOVES Pepsi! He even has a tattoo of the Pepsi logo on his arm, which has an interesting story behind it. Bruce Prichard revealed on his podcast that CM Punk saw one rock star getting a Coca-Cola tattoo because he loved Coke, so he wanted to get a Pepsi one for the same reason.
“He really liked tattoos. He got into tattoos and what have you,” Prichard said on ‘Something to Wrestle‘. “There’s a story of the big Pepsi tattoo where he was reading an article about one of his favorite music stars, who got a Coca-Cola tattoo because they liked Coke. And he says, ‘Well, you know what? I like Pepsi so I’m going to get a Pepsi logo on my arm,’” (Learn more about CM Punk’s Pepsi Tattoo here).
If CM Punk does return to the WWE at Survivor Series as rumored, do not expect to see the Pepsi Plunge follow him – while Triple H no longer wrestler, he does run the company!
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.