Furthermore, John Cena and CM Punk were two men who had incredible chemistry when working with each other, despite the overwhelming differences between both characters. With the realism of their rivalry, the fact that John Cena and CM Punk were the polar opposite is why fans became invested in whatever storyline they were in mid-2011 and years after.
In the summer of 2011, CM Punk slowly morphed into a babyface despite being treated as if he's still a heel. Due to declaring that he'd leave the company with the WWE Championship, CM Punk became best known as the corporate rebel that brought him on the map of becoming a solidified main-event level talent.
CM Punk best expressed his new rebellious persona during the infamous "pipebomb" promo on the June 27, 2011, episode of Monday Night Raw, as it kickstarted his feud with then WWE Champion John Cena. John Cena may have been the top featured babyface on the Raw brand for many years, but CM Punk became an instant sensation overnight due to the money angle of the "pipebomb" promo.
While CM Punk deserves praise for his work during his rivalry with John Cena, it's worth noting John Cena's work leading up to their first encounter on PPV was stellar. His in-ring promos helped fans get more invested, and his ring work was on the same level. For instance, at Money in the Bank 2011, John Cena and CM Punk delivered a classic main-event bout that got universally praised by fans and critics.
Fast forward to 2012, even when CM Punk became the top heel in WWE, it hasn't changed his chemistry with John Cena regarding how good it can be. Though CM Punk was no longer the lovable corporate rebel, his rugged sharped-tongue characteristics remained. In 2012, CM Punk was the reigning WWE Champion as he held the championship for almost a year when turning heel.
When his rivalry with John Cena resumed, CM Punk was more of a credible main-event superstar, considering WWE had booked him in the main-event scene for a while. And because CM Punk got taken more seriously, the series of matches he had with John Cena from late 2012 to early 2013 was off the charts, especially when it came down to the final bout of their rivalry on the February 25, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw.