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Those are feuds which very much defined their generations. They are that special combination of opponents which come along every once in a while, where magic occurs every time they step in the ring together. I don't know if others would necessarily point to Rock vs. Austin as the rivalry of the Attitude Era for them, but it was for me. I remember becoming engrossed when Rock and Austin were in the ring together more so than at any other time. I remember, particularly, being so excited to watch Austin and Rock wrestle at WrestleMania X-Seven, and being in awe the entire match.
But, as was Flair and Steamboat, Rock vs. Austin was more than that one special night and one special match. It was a series of classic matches which spanned from WrestleMania 15 to WrestleMania 19, where Austin retired. Rock vs. Austin made wrestling fun for me growing up.
Feuds like that are hard to come by. And I hadn't found that feud in today's wrestling. Or at least, I thought I hadn't. But then John Cena and CM Punk stepped into the ring last night on Raw, and did what they do every single time they're in the ring together: created something magical. As I watched the match unfold, and remembered how these two seem to always produce classic bouts, I realised that modern wrestling has found it's match.
Like Flair and Steamboat and Rock and Austin, CM Punk vs. John Cena defines the modern era. And now, I can say that I was there for two of these era-defining rivalries. That feels very special to me.
Though I try, I can't put my finger on specifically what it is which makes Cena vs. Punk work as well as it does. I couldn't for Rock vs. Austin, either. It'd be unfair to pin the praise solely on either man. They are natural foils, and of course possess that thing called chemistry. I don't know what “it” is, but whatever it is, CM Punk vs. John Cena has it.
They are that special combination of opponents, they are that classic series of matches, and they are the reward to the wrestling fan who stuck around.