The Rock and CM Punk have more in common with each other than WWE titles. They share similarities that raise both men above others in the world of professional wrestling.
Rock and Punk have a rare ability to connect with the audience, to speak volumes and make the whole thing seem real. Their feud has been epic, and their match was a classic because Rock and Punk are two of a kind.
With Rock, he's a ball of intensity, focused intensity, who can throw around catchy words and phrases like a Hollywood screenwriter.
And that's what you get: a performance worthy of the screen. He mixes standard wrestler tough guy machismo with down-to-earth comedy. Like old Warner Bros. cartoons, his jokes resonate with the younger fans while delighting the older ones with their subtext.
Then there's Punk, who's also a talented wordsmith. He, too, comes out with wrestler toughness in his words.
But where Rock mixes in comedy, Punk goes for realism. Gritty, no-holds-barred realism. Whether scripted or planned like everything else in wrestling, it doesn't matter. Punk grips the fans when he talks because he opens that backdoor to the inner workings of the show.
An excellent example of this would be on the Raw following the Royal Rumble.
During his exchange of words with Rock, he mentioned how over the course of the weekend he would be in different cities wrestling. Rock would not, due to his many obligations outside WWE.
It was slap of realism that The Rock had to know was coming. But the fact that it was said makes a viewer feel like a line was crossed somehow. As if Punk shouldn't have said that.
But, words aside, both men also walk the same line when it comes to their in-ring work. They are both expert storytellers with their actions.
Rock plays a superhero just as well as John Cena. He just doesn’t get booed. Punk plays the dastardly villain to a tee. They both can slip into their respective roles at the drop of hat and, at the same time, make you believe it.
Any hardcore fan who reads the online rumors knew Rock was going to win the title. But for a while, these two guys made you think it wasn't going to happen that way. They sold each other so well and told the story so fluidly that the match could have gone either way.
But, of course, it didn't go any way except as planned, and it doesn't matter.
It will never matter with these two men because when they step into the ring, they suck you into their world. They may lock horns many times, call each other names, beat each other black and blue and claim one is better than the other.
But Rock and Punk are two of kind: masters of their craft.