2009: CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy – TLC
Speaking of brutal matches. Here we are with CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy in a TLC match. These two had a heated blood feud heading into this and boy did it pay off for this match. Straight edge vs…well, not straight edge. All over the World Heavyweight Championship.
You could absolutely feel the sheer amount of vitriol these two shared with every punch, every chair shot, every move. It felt… ‘real.’ You felt the anger. It’s not something that’s easily done and it’s something that’s lacking in recent times.
There, of course, were countless high spots in this match including but not limited to, Punk absolutely going to town with chairs, a cringe-inducing superplex from the top rope onto a ladder, a Jeff Hardy Special™ where he delivered a Swanton Bomb to CM Punk through the announce table off a giant ladder, and loads more. These two brutalized each other.
CM Punk was the eventual winner, and as he stood above a prone Hardy holding the title aloft, a familiar gong struck and darkness hit. But after the lights came back up, Undertaker was nowhere to be found. Or was he? In a very clever subversion of expectations, Hardy had been replaced with ‘The Deadman’ as he sat up and delivered a Chokeslam to the new champion. A fun ending to a fun match.
What we learnt: CM Punk and Jeff Hardy hate each other. Like, for realsies. Ladders are scary. Undertaker is also cool.