By Chris Shore
What a difference a year makes. Last year, as we built to the John Cena vs. Rock match at WrestleMania, everyone was ready to go after the Cena and Rock promos with a fine toothed comb and declare one or the other a "clear winner" for the night. I am not claiming there were clear winners. I am merely stating that there were many who were quick to make those claims.
This year, things appear to be different. This year, many say it is foolish to try and decide who "won" the verbal exchange this past Monday between Rock and CM Punk. It is an odd switch, and one that should be rejected immediately because the truth is, CM Punk did win Monday night. It's just that he didn't beat the Rock in the process.
Before I expand on that, a quick point. For those who are using "Punk beat Rock" last night as a way of expressing your enjoyment of Punk's performance over Rock's, please understand what you are saying poorly describes your position. I enjoyed Punk more than Rock. I thought Punk was significantly better and went a long way to proving to his doubters that he should be considered on the same level as Rock. At that moment, Punk was just better than the Rock.
But that doesn't mean he "beat" Rock because they weren't in a contest. Unlike last year, when there really was a competition for the WWE audience between Rock and Cena, Rock and Punk neither went out there to (necessarily) one up the other. They went out there to sell a match, and they did. Rock and Cena needed you to buy into them personally because it was a babyface vs. babyface showdown. Rock and Punk just need you to be into the match because it's a clear babyface vs. heel story. That Punk was better, in my opinion, only means the match was made that much hotter.
Yet Punk still won in that moment, not by defeating Rock, but by defeating his critics and doubters and naysayers. In that moment, Punk showed that he could, in fact, go one on one with the great one and not look like…well, a punk. He showed that he belonged at the top of the card. That was settled for me years ago, but I am still shocked at the number of people who thought he still wasn't on the same level as even John Cena as late as last month.
Punk proved that he deserves to be in the conversation anytime "WWE Greats" come up in the future. He proved that his "pipe bomb" in 2011 wasn't a fluke. He proved all those who said he was a flash in the pan wrong. And he did it as stale John Cena sat at the top of the hill. CM Punk Monday night, and in the process, all of us won too.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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Shore's Blog: CM Punk won Monday night, but he didn't beat The Rock
Jan 9, 2013 - 05:20 PM
Jan 9, 2013 - 05:20 PM
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