In what has been described as an "instant classic," last week's RAW main event between John Cena and CM Punk was almost undoubtedly the most entertaining non-pay-per-view match of the year so far. The high-stakes stipulation of a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 29 certainly added to the emotion and intensity of the match, and it was all achieved with a single week's build.
John Cena vs CM Punk is the match and, despite their long and storied history, it never seems to grow old. While WrestleMania's past and future have and will showcase marquee match-ups between part-time wrestlers and active members of the roster, there should, in the not to distant future, be a WrestleMania main event that grants Phillip Brooks his wish of, "the best good guy versus the best bad guy at the best show of the year."
Reasons that the two have yet to collide at 'Mania are largely circumstantial: Punk has only been over as a genuine headliner since the middle of 2011, and Cena was booked in a program with the Rock a year in advance of their WrestleMania 28 showdown.
However, with WrestleMania 30 being something of a milestone, it would appear, at this point, that the main event at 2014's event will not be the rivalry and contest that we have seen on many occasions before, as part-time wrestlers such as the Rock, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and perhaps even "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will all be contenders for the final match of the evening, should they physically be able to perform at the show.
A large problem that stands in the way of a Cena/Punk main event is that they'd have to avoid each other for a large portion of the year in the lead up to their bout, in order to make it feel fresh and avoid the complaints of those who bemoan rematches. With the shallow depth of full-time performers truly over as main-event caliber superstars, Cena and Punk will likely be on a collision course sooner rather than later, which would make a 'Mania main event match highly unlikely.
Nonetheless, it would seem that somehow, someway, Cena and Punk are destined to headline the "Grandest Show of Them All" down the line. Whether people like to admit it or not, Cena/Punk is rapidly becoming the Rock/Austin of the current era.
Personally, I could see a pseudo-retirement match a couple of years down the line, which would allow one of the two to take a well deserved extended break from WWE's grueling traveling schedule. The added stipulation of the loser leaving WWE would arguably be enough to silence those who demand something brand new every time 'Mania roles around.
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