Why CM Punk Needs John Cena as His Polar Opposite

David LevinSenior Writer IIFebruary 25, 2013


On a night when we could see the return of the Undertaker and a "fight" between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, we will also know who will be facing The Rock at WrestleMania.

When CM Punk and John Cena met face to face in the ring last Monday night, it just rehashed a rivalry that continues to be one of the better selling points in the WWE, causing us all to watch with excitement. I have said it before and I will say it again—it may not be Rock/Austin, but it's pretty darn good.

In the 1970s, Bruno Sammartino needed Pedro Morales and "Superstar" Billy Graham to push each other in the WWF. The same could be said for the likes of Harley Race, Jack Brisco and Ric Flair in the early 1980s. In the 1990s, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior battled it out.

Today, CM Punk and John Cena are continuing to foster their rivalry in the WWE through intervals that have included bouts with The Rock, Alberto Del Rio and other current superstars. The fact is Punk, who has been the anchor of the WWE the past two years in terms of consistency, is one of the biggest draws in wrestling, period.

See what happens when you drop a bomb like his shoot interview? He becomes the "Voice of the Voiceless," is revered as a face and shocks all of us when he gives The Rock the "GTS" when he feels disrespected. Punk is the rebel heel in the mold of Steve Austin, Bruiser Brody and other greats of the past. 

Like the others mentioned in the beginning of the article, Punk needs Cena to fuel him as the top heel in the company more so than The Rock or Ryback or anyone else on the WWE roster. While Cena is considered the top face and top draw in the WWE, Punk needs to push him as well to be the best he can be.

Angles like this are what professional wrestling is based on year after year. A champion, such as Punk or Cena or Sheamus or whoever, needs a true rival to get better. And when the two are in the ring together, they sell like no others, mainly with Punk being the one who puts Cena over in matches.

Remember as well, it is Cena who has never beaten the "Second City Saint" (or The Rock) and will again prove to the world why he is the best on Monday night when the two square off with a WrestleMania appearance at stake.

The fact that they are polar opposites only makes the rivalry better for both wrestlers and the fans. Cena once said Punk was the only wrestler in the WWE who was worthy of being in the ring with him. I wonder how he feels about that statement, knowing his rival has gotten the best of him time after time.

Ric Flair once said in his book, To Be The Man, that he always thought of Dusty Rhodes as the lead hero in the NWA and he was the lead villain. It was the basic premise of their rivalry. Punk is not Flair (more like Randy Savage) and Cena is not Rhodes (but more like Hogan). It works, and for that reason these two superstars must push each other to get the most out of this rivalry.

The polar opposition is what makes it so good.