Originally Posted by KeepinItReal
Punk vs. Rock isn't billed as "two all-time greats," its an all-time great versus an illegitimate cheater who shouldn't have the belt. Rock is the hero, Punk is the villian. Can Rock overcome the cheating bullshit that no other hero on the roster has been able to overcome. I'm a huge Punk fan, I approach it as "can Punk beat Rock," but that's really not the story. Punk didn't lose credibility in the Ryback storyline because his credibility wasn't premised on being "Best in the World," it was premised on him being a cheating asshole who won't let go of his belt (lol he literally clutches the thing with total fear in his eyes).
What you're saying is not reflected in the promos that The Rock is cutting. He's been saying that he knows how good Punk is, that he's a record breaker and deserves to call himself the best in the world. He hasn't focused at all on how Punk beat Ryback in those matches, which is understandable since what The Rock is doing is a much better story line where both guys get hyped going into the match.
And Punk hasn't been constantly cheating until Ryback came along. When he had his feud with Cena as a heel he was kicking out of finishers more than once per match and really taking him to his limits (the tally was one draw and one clean win in the triple threat). Also note how his first match during the Rock feud had Punk make his opponent tap out cleanly, just because this is a different kind of story where Punk again isn't completely without competence. And even when he did cheat, like against Sheamus on Main Event, he did it on his own by being smart in the ring and not by not being able to do anything on his own like with Ryback.
So the Ryback feud stands out in how Punk was booked. For me it does in a very negative way.