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[2012-09-16-WWE-Night of Champions] CM Punk vs John Cena

Superstar Sleeze

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WWE Champion CM Punk vs John Cena - WWE Night of Champions 2012

I chose Motley Crue/KISS over this on the same night in Boston and I dont regret that decision one bit. Paul Stanley is fucking hilarious live. That was definitely a Top 5 concert for me. 

Never have seen this match before, this is one of the last big time WWE matches I have never seen before. I am pretty sure it goes to draw and I am 100% positive Punk retains so we will see. I love the chemistry these two have together and I think this feud is better positioned to succeed with Punk as the heel. Punk turned heel at RAW 1000 to set up Punk vs Rock at Rumble. Punk is wearing Yankees Pinstripe trunks in Boston, fucking love it...*****.

 I love their NWA Championship style openings to their matches with the headlocks. The defined face vs heel lines help immediately. We see Cena win early opening tests of strength with a Fisherman Suplex. On the next exchange, Punk hits him with a hard back elbow that rocks Cena. That is a great subtle heel move. He did not wrestle his way out of trouble. He chose to the easy, dick way out of trouble. If you ever watch Bret, he always made use of the hard back elbow or something similar when he was playing the subtle heel. Cena is never one for a long shine. We go to heat. Punk is great at using elbows in this match. I loved his use of knees in matches prior, but the elbows look great here. There is a great dropteohold by Punk that he rolls seamlessly into a MutaLock and I love that Cena actually uses his strength to power out. That was an awesome sequence. Punk does the suicide dive so much better than Rollins and way better than Ambrose (who has the dirt worst) because the trick is you need to land over your opponent to make it look like you are going through him, the kids nowadays are stopping short and it comes off lame. Punk jaws with Cena's Dad, which they dont bring up on commentary which is weird. Cena hits a baseball slide and gets a modicum of revenge through sending Punk over the barricade into his family. The transition back to Punk is lame just a kick to the arm. I think it was supposed to be higher to the head. The match kicks into gear when Punk goes for the G2S and this lights a fire under Cena's ass. 

Here comes the Shouldertackles. Nice weight shift on the Protobomb. Punk has Cena scouted. Cena has Punk's complicated neckbreaker scouted. Cena hits a MACK TRUCK LARIAT on that counter. GODDAMN! Punk punts Cena on the Five Knuckle Shuffle attempt. suicide dive at one point that was fucking insane! Both Punk and Cena end up getting their trademarks in the neckbreaker and the Protobomb. But when he goes for the  5 Knuckle Shuffle Punk reverses into the Anaconda Vice by pulling him into it. This is awesome. Reminds me a lot of their badass 2013 RAW match. The countering and how Cena has to earn each part of his comeback is so good and has to bust out all sort of crazy spots like the Suicide Dive to keep Punk off balance is great. This goes into the STF and then a Crossface. This is a general weakness in WWE is these transitions into the next submission move are way too easy. 

Cena powers out and they do their usual yay/boo stroke exchange. I will say these two are probably the best at it because it comes off organic and like they are actually trying to win the exchange. Punk wins with a leg lariat and then his trademark knee in the corner. Short-Arm Clothesline...Macho Man Elbow...Theres some wrangling into a Cena STF...Punk hits a Flash G2S once he is in the ropes...I check the time they got a long way to go it looks like. Up until this point, the match was near immaculate and just great counterwrestling. Then it petered out. Punk hit some stomps and a lukewarm clothesline for a cover attempt. He slaps Cena this wakes him up. Now he hits the Protobomb and the 5 Knuckle Shuffle in short order (No You Cant See Me, he just hits it) and then an F-U for 2! So now they are one for one in kick outs with plenty of time left. Cena misses his top rope legdrop (I like he saves that for after the first F-U so he has something because Punk has nothing). Punk does a head kick and gets two. Punk whiffs on the moonsault, which I kind of like. He was trying something he never does and his accuracy is off. Makes other moonsaults mean more just think he should have done it earlier now they are trying to work to crescendo but they are petering out. Then it is another Go 2 Sleep kickout and Rock Bottom kickout. FU kickout. Then they do a German Suplex from the top where both shoulders are down. I was like...ahhhhhh...I was confused how they would do a time limit draw without a time limit so the finish was still a surprise to me. 

I really liked the beginning of the match with all the great counterwrestling and I think the match-up is better served with Punk as the heel. Each man going through finish sequence was great but then they filled more time and it was not all that great. Felt like a NOAH match just went 5 minutes too long. I hope RAW 2013 is just as good as I remember it because I think it is the body of this match with a better finish. Cena is 0-2-1 against Punk in big matches. ****1/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2012-09-16-WWE-Night of Champions] CM Punk vs John Cena
  • 2 months later...

By the end, this comes off as a total heavyweight main event clash w/ a lot of bombs + nearfalls & both guys having to dig down deep to their arsenals since their usual signature moves weren't doing the deal. It's pretty great, and I also like how we got to that point; from the get go, they go with the narrative of Punk being one step ahead of Cena at every turn. They tell that story wonderfully throughout, as it's usually only when Cena resorts to his raw power that he gets any kind of a flurry going, but it's mostly Punk having a counter to everything he did & being that one step ahead. Then, as implied, the match eventually becomes more even w/ lots of bombs and solid nearfalls. I really liked the fact that both of the guys had to start coming up with different big moves (Punk with the Moonsault, Cena with that top rope German) since the GTS, AA etc weren't getting them the win. Now the match is maybe not as great as I remembered, but it's still great. Tells a great story from start to finish, and as usual with Cena & Punk, the action is very compelling. As far as their PPV matches go, I'd put this ahead of the SummerSlam '11 one. ****1/4

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  • 2 years later...

Watched this for the first time since it happened live and I feel roughly the same way about it as I do for the Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat Spring Stampede match in 94. The attire of both champs dictates what the story will be. Unlike Flair though, Punk has no need to fight past demons and history from repeating itself. He won the title from Cena as the ultimate hometown underdog the year before at Money in the Bank, then won again at the following PPV. The rivalry has been in Punk's favor for a while now, so wearing Yankees-themed trunks in Boston is not only an incredibly heelish move, but one putting their feud into perspective. Punk is the dynasty here and has no problem showboating about it. He can still back it up in the ring though. The guy has Cena scouted like few others, having an answer for practically all of Cena's moves and attempted comebacks. Once Cena does get time to work on top, he's compelled enough to think outside the box, like going for a Tope or ditching the typical theatrics because of how they gave Punk the chance to counter earlier. Much like the aforementioned Flair/Steamboat bout, the finish is a double-pin where the babyface looked like they should've won, except they weren't able to properly capitalize on the opportunity. For Steamboat, it was not being strong enough late in the match to hold a bridge with a Double Chickenwing ala Clash of the Champions 1989, but here it's Cena going out of his wheelhouse again with a German Suplex off the ropes, either forgetting to bridge or not realizing where his shoulders are during the pin. 

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