In several ways, a CM Punk-Daniel Bryan WWE Championship Match was always fated to be. The two Superstars are among the purest athletes and finest technicians WWE has ever seen. Their championship reigns were some of the most dominant in late 2011 and early 2012, and they come from a hardscrabble, old-school wrestling background that has endeared them to the WWE Universe in a way that is not typically seen amongst modern Superstars. And now, at Over the Limit, they will finally meet with the supreme prize on the line.
The clash is sure to be a memorable one: each time these two have met in the ring, the results have been electric. The two wrestled a fierce sequence of Champion vs. Champion Matches earlier this year, when Bryan still held the World Heavyweight Title, and their paths have crossed numerous times over 10 years in smaller, independent promotions all over the world.
Bryan seemed to be out of the world title picture after a pair of losses to Sheamus – the infamous 18-second defeat that cost him the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, and a grueling 2-out-of-3-Falls rematch a few weeks later at Extreme Rules. But the upstart Superstar was actually emboldened by his effort in the rematch, which saw him trap The Great White in the “Yes!” Lock and render him unconscious in the process. Bryan’s bravado carried him through a Beat the Clock Challenge on the following night’s Raw, when he beat times set by Randy Orton and The Miz to earn the right to challenge for Punk’s mantle.
Immediately after learning of his new No. 1 contender, The Second City Saint made his presence known. Punk sized up his future opponent from the stage and offered a round of applause in approval for his opponent before holding his title aloft in defiance of his challenger. Bryan responded with a mocking gesture of his own, which is particularly fitting given the rivalry between these two: neither will budge, neither will back down. But only time will tell who is left standing with the ultimate prize in hand.