It was definately better than most Rock/Cena stuff.
Well the main difference here is that the CM Punk/ Rock dynamic truly is a thing of polar opposites, and unlike the Cena feud, they actually have material that they can build upon aside from fruity colours and not showing up blah blah blah.
The problem with Rock and Cena was that you couldn't really feel any tension between the two aside from some rare occations, and both guys remaining clear cut faces made for an awkward dynamic. With CM Punk, you legitimately feel that his title reign may be coming to an end, and you know how much that means to Punk. Rock wants to be the WWE champion and go on to Wrestlemania defending it. You can almost feel a creative tug of war happening not only backstage with those running the show, but also with both men involved as the battle to one up each other evolves.
Like I said, both guys utilized their strengths perfectly here. During the Cena/Rock stuff, it always felt like one or the other wasn't on their game, they knew their Mania match was historic, so they worried too much not to fuck things up rather than going into it naturally and passionately.
Punk and Rock have something completely unique, they are both lauded for their mic skills, but their deliveries are completely different. Punk's off the cuff shoot style agressiveness vs Rock's tongue twisting natural charisma just makes for something that fans can be on both sides of the fence with, unlike the Cena/Rock feud where everyone pretty much sided with the Rock. At times I almost felt like they were running out of material during that feud in their overprotecting of both guys, here I feel like both guys will just let it loose. We learn from our mistakes, and Rock came into this with a clear-cut statement: He knows what Punk is capable of, and that will drive him to be the best Rock he can be to make this one of the truly
memorable feuds in recent history.