Taking into account how obvious it seemed that WWE was moving toward a John Cena vs. The Rock WrestleMania rematch, the match was far more entertaining than it should have been.
The stipulations stated that if The Rock was counted out or disqualified, he'd lose the title.
That was used to add drama right away. Punk tried to anger Rock enough to goad him into getting disqualified. He spat in Rock's face, much like Christian to Randy Orton not too far back.
While not original, it set a tense tone for the match.
Punk was outsmarting Rock. He was manipulating him, dominating him. Punk ground down the champ with chinlocks and elbows to the gut.
The story was that Rock was off his game, diverted by his anger which allowed Punk to gain an advantage.
The Rock eventually fired some authentic-sounding punches mid-match, shots that sounded like they really popped Punk in the jaw.
Their match ended in chaos, referees tossed to the ground, writhing in pain as sure pinfalls were happening in the ring.
Punk hit The Rock with the Go To Sleep, but there was no one to count to three.
In the end, Rock beat Punk again, but this time the climax was more fulfilling. The two men had fought until their legs wobbled. Rock earned this victory through luck, determination and a Rock Bottom in the center of the ring.
It was a match worthy of the main event, a level of sports theater that Cena and Rock will attempt to outdo in a few weeks.
Biggest Moment: The Rock catches CM Punk in mid-air, delivers the Rock Bottom, but CM Punk kicks out.
Real Winner: The fans
While it's admittedly a corny answer, it's true here. Both Punk and Rock put on an excellent show. Their match, even if most fans saw the outcome coming, was an enjoyable ride.
Rating: 4.75/5 stars