WWE: 10 Gimmick Matches CM Punk & John Cena Should Have
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
John Cena underwent surgery last week to remove bone chips from his elbow, but that doesn't mean that his rivalry with CM Punk is now over.
Far from it, in fact.
With Punk recently completing his heel turn by aligning himself with Paul Heyman and after the controversial ending to the WWE Championship Match at Night of Champions, the long-running rivalry between Punk and Cena now has some new legs.
Though we've already seen these guys face each other a boatload of times in the past, the latest chapter to their rivalry seems to be just getting started.
I'd fully expect to see Cena vs. Punk at least two more times this year (if not more), and I'm honestly not sure that the feud between the WWE's top two stars will ever really end.
As long as these two are at odds, there's a good chance we'll see them in plenty more matches down the road, and the odds are just as good that those matches will have some sort of gimmick or stipulation.
Keeping that in mind, here are 10 gimmick matches I'd love to see Punk and Cena have.
10. Falls Count Anywhere
On an episode of Raw several weeks ago, John Cena faced Alberto Del Rio in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, a bout that was won by ADR after CM Punk interfered and attacked Cena.
See where I'm going here?
I really like when the WWE acknowledges history, and that's exactly what the company would be doing if it gave us Punk vs. Cena in a Falls Count Anywhere match at some point in the near future.
The idea, of course, is that Punk interfered in Cena's FCA match against ADR, so the next time around, he's going to have to face Cena in the same type of match.
I'd be lying if I said I was crazy about Falls Count Anywhere matches, but if the majority of the action actually takes place in the arena rather than backstage, then they're usually pretty good, especially when you consider how heated this Cena/Punk rivalry is getting.
9. Steel Cage (Escape over the Top Only)
I hate the WWE's stipulations for its steel cage matches.
The idea that a steel cage match can be won by submission, pinfall or escaping the cage (either through the door or over the top) completely destroys the purpose of the cage in the first place.
That's why I firmly believe that all steel cage matches should only end when one competitor escapes over the top of the cage.
If that was the case, then that would be an ideal stipulation for CM Punk vs. John Cena.
When you consider that Punk is still continuing to get more heel-like week by week and will likely be more cowardly as a result, putting him inside a steel cage with Cena prevents him from running from "The Champ" like he might do in other scenarios.
Plus, the fact that Punk recently destroyed Jerry Lawler in a steel cage match in which Cena tried to save "The King" would make this is a very logical match choice that again would play up the recent history between the two.
8. Street Fight/No DQ/No Holds Barred
Whenever a wrestling feud gets really heated and intense, what usually happens?
The two rivals face off in a match in which there are basically no rules.
Call it a "Street Fight," a "No Disqualification" match, a "No Holds Barred" match or any of the other names it's been given, such as an "Extreme Rules" match. It doesn't really matter because the idea is always the same.
With the way that things are shaping up between John Cena and CM Punk, you have to think that a Street Fight (or whatever you want to call it) is a very real possibility that could result in a fantastic brawl between two bitter enemies.
The blowoff match to Punk's feud with Chris Jericho was a fantastic Street Fight, and it wouldn't be surprising at all if that's how the rivalry (well, at least this go-round of it) between Punk and Cena concluded as well.
John Cena doesn't really strike many wrestling fans as a great ladder-match competitor like Chris Jericho or Shawn Michaels.
But he's actually performed pretty well in the Ladder/TLC matches he's had, especially when he's been in there with the right competitor. I always look to his TLC Match against Edge at Unforgiven in 2006 as an example of how good Cena could be in the right ladder match in the right situation.
And I definitely think he'd be able to deliver the goods with CM Punk.
Though Punk isn't necessarily associated with ladder matches, either, he's a two-time Money in the Bank winner and, of course, faced Jeff Hardy in that absolutely epic TLC match at SummerSlam back in 2009.
When you combine two guys who have performed very well in ladder matches with a heated rivalry and the WWE Championship, you've got the makings of something very special.
6. Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing matches only work when the time is right and, for the most part, should only be used as the blowoff match to a big-time rivalry.
Obviously, the feud between John Cena and CM Punk would fit that bill.
If these two stretch out their rivalry for another two or three months, the WWE is going to need to book them in a major final match before they can go their separate ways. I think the Last Man Standing Match is a very good choice.
Generally speaking, these types of matches are very physical brawls that also mix in some quality wrestling, and both Punk and Cena have proven to deliver quality performances in matches that do both of those things.
If we get to a point where Cena and Punk simply want to knock each other unconscious (which I think we will), then there's no better choice than a Last Man Standing match, in which that's the main goal of the bout.
5. 2-out-of-3 Falls/3 Stages of Hell
For a couple of years, I was pining to see a 2-out-of-3 Falls or 3 Stages of Hell match.
We got the former one at Extreme Rules when Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan in a phenomenal match that is easily one of the top five WWE matches of 2012 so far.
And what did that do? Well, it made me want to see another one.
There is a very interesting dynamic to 2-out-of-3 Falls and/or 3 Stages of Hell matches, and the latter one, in particular, can be incredibly entertaining if the situation calls for it.
It did when Triple H faced Shawn Michaels way back in 2002, and given all the animosity between the two, I certainly think it could happen between John Cena and CM Punk this year.
These guys clearly hate each other, and I'm sure both Cena and Punk would be willing to go through hell to beat their biggest rival.
4. Iron Man
Iron Man matches are extremely rare: so rare, in fact, that there have only been seven in WWE history.
The common link between those seven matches, however, was that each one involved two major WWE stars who were involved in a long-running rivalry at the time.
John Cena and CM Punk have had an on-and-off feud for well over a year now, and one of the main aspects of that rivalry has been Punk's constant griping that he is the "best in the world."
I'm honestly not sure there's a better way for him to prove that and settle his rivalry with Cena than to battle it out with his archenemy in an hour-long classic in which the man who out-wrestles his opponent for 60 minutes wins.
Although Iron Man matches shouldn't be overdone because it makes them less special, this is one of those rare scenarios in which all of the factors involved call for it.
The WWE's top two stars in a gimmick match that almost never happens? Yes, please.
3. 'I Quit'
In not just pro wrestling, but in pro sports well, there is nothing more humiliating and embarrassing for an athlete than being labeled a quitter.
No athlete or "sports entertainer" wants to be known as someone who doesn't give his all every single time he steps on the field, and that's precisely what makes the "I Quit" match so great.
Though some of the WWE's "I Quit" matches haven't been all that good, the concept itself is a fantastic one that works particularly well in main-event caliber feuds between two bitter rivals.
When I see the way that the current feud between John Cena and CM Punk is shaping up, I can't help but think that an "I Quit" match would be more than appropriate here.
Both Cena and Punk have so much pride and are such big stars that not many fans can picture either guy (particularly Cena) throwing in the towel in front of millions of fans around the world.
Although the fact that Cena would never say "I quit" makes this gimmick match very predictable, I think the bout would still deliver the goods because of the two superstars involved.
2. Hell in a Cell
One major problem I have with the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is that it often results in forced Hell in a Cell matches that aren't really appropriate for the feuds that are going on at the time.
But as we approach the 2012 Hell in a Cell PPV, there's one HIAC match that wouldn't seem forced: John Cena vs. CM Punk.
Given all the history between the two and especially after what's transpired recently, the Cena/Punk rivalry is quickly becoming a very intense and heated one in which Punk is transforming into the WWE's top heel and the fans are hating him for it.
While a Hell in a Cell stipulation simply wouldn't work for a short-term rivalry that wasn't over wih the WWE fans, the feud between Punk and Cena undoubtedly is.
The live crowd and the fans are always into whatever Punk and Cena do, and after they've battled it out so much over the last two years, reaching the climax of their rivalry inside the Hell in a Cell structure would certainly be fitting.
One gimmick match we hardly ever see anymore is the submission match, and I think that's largely because not very many superstars use submission finishers.
But two guys that do? John Cena and CM Punk.
From time to time, CM Punk finishes off his opponents with the Anaconda Vise, and Cena, of course, frequently wins matches by making his opponents tap out to the STF.
So, instead of seeing these two go try to put each other away with the GTS and AA, respectively, how about having them try to make each other tap out?
Like with "I Quit" matches, it's somewhat humiliating for top stars like Punk and Cena to tap out, so having them face each other in a match in which that's the only way to win would add an interesting dynamic to their encounter.
The three major matches between the two so far have all been standard wrestling matches, so changing things up a bit would be a nice way to give us a fresh feel to a match we've already seen several times.