The second time that CM Punk won the World Heavyweight Championship came at the hands of the very popular Jeff Hardy. It was the start of a three month feud that, in my opinion, was the best story in WWE in 2009.
For the first time in his WWE career, Jeff Hardy had "reached the mountaintop" as a singles competitor by defeating Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship at the June 2009 Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Moments after Hardy's grueling victory, the still babyface Punk ran out with his Money in the Bank briefcase along with a referee by his side. He quickly hit Hardy with the Go To Sleep. Hardy kicked out. Hardy even managed a rollup for a two count. Punk fought back with a kick to the head followed by a second GTS and that was enough to give Punk the World Title. As Jim Ross put it on commentary: "CM Punk has ruined this Jeff Hardy party!"
Their next match happened at The Bash pay-per-view in late June where Punk retained the World Title after after he accidentally kicked the referee following an "eye injury" he suffered in the match.
At July's Night of Champions pay-per-view event, Hardy defeated Punk for the World Title in clean fashion. By this point Punk was showing signs of heel tendencies, but he wasn't all the way there yet.
On the first episode of Smackdown following Hardy's World Title win, Punk (whose Straight Edge lifestyle was being pushed heavily) turned heel on Hardy. No longer would he shake the man's hand. Instead, he hit Hardy in the head with a microphone. The assault continued around the ringside area as Punk left the champion knocked out. Punk had a smile on his face since the heel turn was complete.
At Summerslam, Hardy defended the World Title against Punk. Keep in mind that there was also a John Cena vs. Randy Orton match on the card, so for these two to go on last was proof at just how good the feud was. Punk ended up regaining the World Title after twenty grueling minutes in a TLC match. It was one of the best matches of the year.
They would have one more match on the following Smackdown as Punk defeated Hardy in the steel cage. It's the last match that Hardy wrestled in WWE. His contract expired, so he left to go to TNA.
The Punk/Hardy rivalry was perfect because as characters they were so different. While they were able to work together very well in 2009, these days the two are rumored to have legit heat with one another. Punk's known for living his life the Straight Edge way while Hardy has been charged for using drugs and has been known to have a drink or two. It's what made the rivalry special.
We don't want to see two guys that act the same way having matches. We like to see performers that can offer something different.
In their case their differences made their matches that much more special. I would love to see them have more matches together. If it never happens that's okay because at least we got to see their outstanding rivalry in the summer of 2009.