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MIAMI – For weeks, Chris Jericho made things personal with WWE Champion CM Punk, bringing his family into things ( WATCH). Even as WWE.com trailed both titans in its exclusive WrestleMania Diary, the rivals' paths to WrestleMania dueled until their highly anticipated clash. The two used The Grandest Stage of Them All to settle their score and finally prove who indeed is best in the world. ( PHOTOS)
Before the match, Punk was informed by new General Manager of Raw and SmackDown John Laurinaitis that if he lost his temper and were disqualified, he would lose his title. "I don’t want a brawl out there,” Laurinaitis warned Punk prior to the opening bell. Even before he entered the squared circle, the deck was stacked against the champion.
Punk and Jericho couldn’t have had a better stage to back up their claims of being the best in the world. They went to war in front of 78,363 in attendance at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium – a new record for the venue. The massive event was also only the third time in history that WrestleMania was held outdoors.
With The Grandest Stage of Them All set, the rivals went to work, each bringing a wealth of experience to the ring. Heading into his 11th WrestleMania, Jericho boasted being the first-ever undisputed World Champion, a six-time World Champion, and a nine-time Intercontinental Champion. Going into his sixth WrestleMania, Punk was a five-time World Champion.
As the battle began, Jericho wasted no time trying to get Punk disqualified. When Punk raised a steel chair and was poised to strike his opponent, Jericho urged him on with taunts about his family. But Punk didn’t let his emotions get the better of him and held back before getting himself disqualified.
As the two went toe-to-toe, it appeared Punk had Jericho where he wanted when he blasted him with the GTS. But Jericho avoided the pinfall by cleverly putting his leg on the ropes.
Next, Jericho locked the champion in his punishing Walls of Jericho. But Punk dug deep and found his way to the ropes to break the hold. When Jericho served up a blistering Codebreaker, even that was not enough to bring down the champion who continued to scratch and claw to prove who was best in the world.
As The Second City Saint continued to fight tooth-and-nail to defend his title, he went for another GTS. But Jericho countered with another session in The Walls of Jericho. Yet again, Punk fought his way out and locked his foe in the Anaconda Vise. Unbelievably, Jericho fought his way out. But the champion regained the upper hand and pulled Jericho into his clutches one last time, making him tap out to the Anaconda Vise.
On The Grandest Stage of Them All, Punk proved he is indeed best in the world.