Top 50 WWE Moments of 2012

John Cena becomes the first Superstar to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and lose

Nearly 250 days into his WWE Championship reign, CM Punk faced one of his hardest challenges when he battled the tenacious John Cena.

Looking to become an 11-time WWE Champion — and gain some revenge on longtime rival Punk — Cena earned his championship match by winning the Money in the Bank contract at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view two weeks earlier. Much like the many previous encounters between the two Superstars, the Raw 1,000 clash quickly devolved into a physical, back-and-forth battle of wills.

Cena relied on his power to wear down the champion, while Punk fought back with his vast array of kicks and submission maneuvers. Ultimately, vengeful giant Big Show interfered and twice attacked Cena, leading to a disqualification win for the Cenation leader. Since titles do not change hands with disqualifications, however, Punk remained the champion and Cena’s precious title opportunity went up in smoke.

This shocking development made John Cena the first and only Superstar to fail at cashing in a Money in the Bank contract, a most uninspiring “first” on Cena’s otherwise sparking WWE resume.

What will 2013 bring in the long-running rivalry between Cena and Punk?