November 18, 2012 is important.
It's important to CM Punk, and it's important to wrestling fans who remember the days when world titles meant more than they have in recent memory.
It's important for cities where wrestling means more than just a theatrical satire.
November 18, 2012 marks the 26th installment of WWE's fall classic, Survivor Series, and CM Punk has a chance to go down as one of the greatest WWE Champions in history.
Currently, as of November 14, his title reign stands at 360 days.
It was on November 20, 2011 at Survivor Series that CM Punk defeated then-champion Alberto Del Rio to capture his second WWE Championship.
Since then, CM Punk has established himself as one of the top stars in WWE and as a big-time contender. In a time that fans like to call the "PG Era," CM Punk's title win meant more than just another guy holding a title.
Fans who remember the days from 14 years ago remember the talent from the Attitude Era such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and The Undertaker, to name a few. They remember the days of no-nonsense, hard-hitting, in your face wrestling when "hustle," "loyalty" and "respect" were words laughed at.
John Cena represents an era that fans of yesteryear don't appreciate much.
They'd rather have someone who goes against the grain, someone who speaks their mind and doesn't put up a nice-guy routine much like many feel John Cena does.
For these reasons, CM Punk is a type of anti-hero.
Many fans feel CM Punk represents what WWE ought to be, which is the hard-nosed, no-nonsense and often controversial wrestling.
But digging deeper, CM Punk's wrestling style and championship reign also speaks of what fans feel wrestling needs again. No longer are the days when champions are crowned and hold their titles for a long run.
The last time a superstar held the WWE Championship for over 300 days was John Cena, who held it from September 2006 to October 2007, when he had to vacate the title due to injury.
Long title reigns mean a few things to superstars and to fans.
When a superstar holds the title for so long, it speaks volumes of his ability to keep the fans interested in his product and what he means to the company.
In turn, it speaks volumes of his talent, which many fans feel superstars of today lack. CM Punk is a talent who if he had not opened his mouth, would have gone on the long list of superstars who came and went through the WWE.
He can talk and he can wrestle, and through these two avenues, CM Punk elicits emotion from the fans that few can do in today's age.
While CM Punk's title matches have been before main event matches like Lesnar vs. Cena, his title reign represents the company's willingness to have Punk represent them because of his desire and passion for the business, and they also see his importance on the roster.
A few days is all that separates CM Punk and his goal of being WWE Champion for one year, which only a handful of superstars have been able to do.
A year-long WWE Championship reign, which many fans expect to extend beyond a year, is exactly what CM Punk needs to solidify himself as one of the greats in WWE history and reach legendary status with the likes of John Cena, Stone Cold and The Rock.
To some, this may be far-reaching, but CM Punk has been able to turn his career completely around—from his infamous shoot-promo on RAW, to his memorable 2011 summer feud with Cena and Vince McMahon—and become relevant and important to the company.
CM Punk made himself into a folk hero—a man who fans see representing wrestling with attitude and at times crosses the line.
CM Punk's reign has brought importance and value back to the most coveted prize in professional wrestling. In turn, the title has brought legitimacy to CM Punk and gives his career the exclamation point it needs to be a legendary one.
This Sunday is Punk's opportunity to etch himself in the list of long-reigning champions that also showcases Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Randy Savage.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!