Who is The One in 1-21? CM Punk or Ryback?

Ryback is better than CM Punk. Deal with it.

CM Punk and Ryback will forever be entwined in wrestling history thanks to a low blow from Brad Maddox at Hell In A Cell 2012.  CM Punk ended Ryback's undefeated streak on that night, and by the middle of 2013 Ryback gained notoriety for always coming up short on Pay-Per-View (PPV) matches.

At Payback 2014, The Big Guy finally gained redemption.

Before I explain the details of that redemption, it's time to take a history lesson from another man who always came up short on PPV.  That man's name is CM Punk.

Here is a list of how CM Punk fared on the 22 consecutive PPVs that WWE hosted between October 2009 and May 2011.  Punk's victories are in bold:

  • Hell In A Cell 2009:  Undertaker defeated Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) inside HIAC
  • Bragging Rights 2009:  Undertaker defeated Punk, Mysterio, and Batista in a WHC Fatal 4-Way. 
  • Survivor Series 2009:  Team Kingston (Kofi, Henry, MVP, Truth, Christian) defeated Team Orton (Orton, Punk, Cody, DiBiase Jr, Regal)
  • TLC 2009:  R-Truth defeated CM Punk (dark match)
  • Royal Rumble 2010:  Punk was eliminated by Triple H in the Royal Rumble match
  • Elimination Chamber 2010:  Jericho defeated Punk, Undertaker, Mysterio, Morrison, and Truth in a chamber match for the WHC
  • WrestleMania 26:  Mysterio defeated Punk
  • Extreme Rules 2010:  Punk defeated Mysterio
  • Over The Limit 2010:  Mysterio defeated Punk
  • Fatal 4-Way:  Mysterio defeated Punk, Big Show, and Swagger in a WHC Fatal 4-Way
  • Money In The Bank 2010:  Punk did not compete on this card
  • SummerSlam 2010:  Big Show defeated Punk, Gallows, and Mercury in a 3-on-1 handicap match
  • Night Of Champions 2010:  Big Show defeated CM Punk
  • Hell In A Cell 2010:  Punk did not compete on this card
  • Bragging Rights 2010:  Team Smackdown (Big Show, Mysterio, Edge, Del Rio, Kofi, Swagger, Reks) defeated Team Raw (Punk, Sheamus, Miz, Morrison, Ezekiel, Truth, Santino)
  • Survivor Series 2010:  Punk did not compete on this card
  • TLC 2010:  Punk did not compete on this card
  • Royal Rumble 2011:  Punk was eliminated by Cena in the Royal Rumble match
  • Elimination Chamber 2011:  Cena defeated Punk, Sheamus, Orton, Truth, and Morrison in a chamber match
  • WrestleMania 27:  Orton defeated Punk
  • Extreme Rules 2011:  Orton defeated Punk in a Last Man Standing match
  • Over The Limit 2011:  Big Show and Kane defeated Punk and Mason Ryan in a tag team championship match

Over a span of 22 consecutive PPV events, CM Punk's record was 1-16.  If you count the non-televised dark match with R-Truth at TLC 2009, the record falls to 1-17. CM Punk did not compete on the remaining  4 shows.

So out of those 22 events, Punk garnered just one win.  He failed to achieve victory on 21 of those 22 shows.  In that sense, CM Punk became The One in 1-21.

Now how does all of this relate to Ryback?

Well here is a list of how Ryback fared on the 22 consecutive PPVs that WWE hosted between August 2012 and June 2014.  Ryback's victories are in bold:

  • SummerSlam 2012:  Ryback did not compete on this card
  • Night Of Champions 2012:  Ryback did not compete on this card
  • Hell In A Cell 2012:  CM Punk defeated Ryback in a WWE Championship HIAC match
  • Survivor Series 2012:  CM Punk defeated Ryback and Cena in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship
  • TLC 2012:  The Shield defeated Ryback and Team Hell No in a 6-man team TLC match
  • Royal Rumble 2013:  Ryback was eliminated in the Royal Rumble match by Cena
  • Elimination Chamber 2013: The Shield defeated Ryback, Cena, and Sheamus in a 6-man tag team match
  • WrestleMania 29:  Mark Henry defeated Ryback
  • Extreme Rules 2013:  Ryback and Cena fought to a No Contest in a WWE Championship Last Man Standing match
  • Payback 2013:  Cena defeated Ryback in a 3 Stages Of Hell match for the WWE Championship
  • Money In The Bank 2013:  Ryback defeated Chris Jericho
  • SummerSlam 2013:  Ryback did not compete on this card
  • Night Of Champions 2013:  Ryback did not compete on this card
  • Battleground 2013:  CM Punk defeated Ryback
  • Hell In A Cell 2013:  CM Punk defeated Ryback and Heyman in a Handicap HIAC match
  • Survivor Series 2013:  Mark Henry defeated Ryback
  • TLC 2013:  Cody and Goldust defeated Rybaxel, The Real Americans, and Mysterio/BigShow in a tag team championship Fatal 4-Way match
  • Royal Rumble 2014:  Ryback was eliminated by Batista in the Royal Rumble match
  • Elimination Chamber 2014: Cody and Goldust defeated Rybaxel (pre-show)
  • WrestleMania 30:  The Usos defeated Rybaxel, The Real Americans, and Los Matadores in a tag team championship Fatal 4-Way match (pre-show)
  • Extreme Rules 2013:  Ryback did not compete on this card
  • Payback 2014:  Rybaxel defeated Cody and Goldust in a tag team match

Over a span of the first 21 consecutive PPV events in the list above, Ryback's record was 1-12-1.  If you include his two pre-show losses, that record falls to 1-14-1.  Ryback did not compete on the remaining 5 shows.

Out of those first 21 PPV events in that 22-PPV stretch, Ryback only gained one win.  He walked away from 20 of those 21 shows without a victory.  Therefore if Ryback departed Payback 2014 without a win, he would have joined CM Punk as The One in 1-21.

There is no doubt that the stakes at Payback 2014 were enormous and that Ryback's unannounced tag team match would of course go down as one of the most important WWE matches of the year.  But Ryback finally showed that he is a true clutch performer.  Sure, he needed a little help from a "Cody Rhodes is a giant loser who is probably going to become a perverted Goldust clone" storyline to make it happen, but Ryback stood up to the challenge nonetheless.

After nearly 22 months of walking up to the front of the line at Panera Bread dumbfounded by their menu and haplessly ordering a "Feed Me More" to no avail, Ryback finally mustered the courage to order a Kids Mac And Cheese.

So there you have it, Cagesiders.  Ryback's partner Curtis Axel lies to the world every week by claiming he is "Better Than Perfect".  But at Payback 2014, Ryback proved to all of us that he is "Better Than The Best In The World".

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