BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Less than 24 hours after CM Punk & Kofi Kingston lost the World Tag Team Titles to The Miz & John Morrison at a live event in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, the Straightedge Superstar defeated Rey Mysterio in the Intercontinental Championship Tournament finals. Proving his resiliency to the WWE Universe, Punk's victory over a former World Champion may be a sign that he might not be without gold for long. (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Before the match, Punk and the Master of the 619 shook hands showing mutual respect for each other, but as their in-ring battle showed, both men were willing to give all they had to earn the opportunity to face William Regal for his coveted Intercontinental Championship. (View Tournament Brackets)
With champion William Regal sitting at ringside with Layla by his side, the first-ever meeting between the two former World Champions was a back-and-forth war as they both pushed their limits in hopes of victory. In the end, it was Punk hitting Rey with a devastating Go To Sleep and covering him for the 1-2-3 that left the Straightedge Superstar the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Title.
After defeating John Morrison in the semifinals and Mysterio in the finals, Punk is now just one step closer to holding the Intercontinental gold and not only adding his name to the list of legendary champions that have held the prestigious title, but also to be the first man to hold the World Heavyweight, World Tag Team and Intercontinental Titles in the same year.
The Straightedge Superstar has had more than his share of ups and downs throughout 2008, but if he can defeat Regal one-on-one, he will end the year on a high note and go into 2009 with gold around his waist.
Tune in on Raw to find out when and where Punk will have his opportunity to make history and see if he can join the list of greats that have given such honor to the Intercontinental Title.