It's now official. WWE Champion CM Punk has held that distinction for 381 days in a row now, surpassing John Cena for the longest consecutive reign in the past 25 years.
WWE released a handy-dandy chart to mark the occasion:
That's impressive any which way you slice it. In today's WWE, where the company reacts the way it does to low ratings and other outside pressures, Punk having held the belt for this long is hard to fathom.
Yet here we are.
Cena reacted to the news on Twitter today:
"Injured or healthy, today @CMPunk is the longest reigning @WWE champ in modern era, it would be hypocritical not to acknowledge + respect it."
There were some who thought WWE may strip Punk of the title just before he broke Cena's mark after his knee injury, a clever bit of kayfabing to somehow keep Cena at the top. But it turned out the cartilage tear and subsequent surgery were legitimate and he'll miss the TLC pay-per-view (PPV) on Dec. 16 in Brooklyn. Despite that, he'll keep the title and likely be back in action in just a few weeks.
If Punk holds the strap all the way until the Royal Rumble on Jan. 27, 2013, where The Rock is expected to win it from him, his reign will end at 434 days. Quite frankly, I'm not sure we'll ever see another reign that long.