Wrote this in the MOTYC thread, thought I'd post my thoughts here too
Punk vs Cena
was an odd one for me. I seriously thought for the first two thirds it was going to my new MOTY. They kind of lost me towards the end, but not because I actually thought anything was bad. Punk working on top is where he really shines, and working from the bottom is where Cena is best, so that structure really worked and it played off their two PPV matches last year. Punk's facial expressions throughout while he constantly one upped and cut Cena off were amazing. Loved how he had a counter for everything, and basically wrestled a perfect match but still couldn't put Cena down and got gradually more and more pissed about it. The interactions with Heyman outside (who was amazing btw) reminded me of Austin/Rock @ WM 17 with Austin getting so frustrated and looking to Vince for advice etc. Really added a lot to the match imo and it was a great story. Match really made both guys look like the top guys in the company and I loved them both having to bust out new shit because they couldn't get the job done. Cena's suicide dive was surreal and awesome and wonderful. Punk's moonsault was atrocious, but that didn't bother me because the way he did it looked as though he knew he couldn't do it, but was prepared to do anything by that point. What brings the match down for me is the way they went about the near falls towards the end. The fact that there were a lot of them didn't bother me because it worked in the context of the match, but they weren't believable. I never thought Punk was losing to the first AA and I never thought Cena was losing to the first GTS etc. Rock Bottom was fucking awesome though, and Punk's face after he hit it was amazing. There were also parts you could clearly see them talking to eachother and working out what to do next and that really took me out of it a bit towards the end. When Cena put Punk up top I knew something stupid was going to happen, and yeah, that finish was just weird because when has Cena ever attempted a normal German before let alone a middle rope one. Just seemed unbelievable that Cena would do that for some reason. Punk's reaction to hearing the decision had been reversed and he still had the belt was pure gold though. What a smarmy little dick. Seriously thought Punk was BITW material in this tbh with his character work and little things he'd do like really sell the leg after the STF. How many people do that? I can't think of any, but Punk does it and it's what makes me like him so much. Cena was great too though, being worked over he's great here. Annoyed me when he popped up straight after a GTS (I think) and went for the AA but that's to be expected form his character. So yeah, I adored a lot of this tbh, but the last run kind of just felt flat to me. Still, what came before was legit MOTY material imo, and I can't really ignore that. It's not like I even thought it was that bad in the home run, just kind of zoned out of it and I really want to re-watch it. It definitely felt 'epic' and had a huge feel to it, something that only these two guys could do with the current roster imo.
But yeah, I'd need to watch it again to put a rating on it. Think it was Cal that said it isn't what he expected from them and I felt the same way. There's also so much that I could write about this match. Ton's of brilliant stuff happened in the match that I didn't even mention in my review.