WATCH: Some Of The Glorious Moments From The Career Of CM Punk Outside WWE

Published 01/11/2021, 6:30 AM EST
CM PUNK – 25.09.2009 – WWE Smackdown et ECW Live Tour – Palais Nikaia de Nice, (Photo : Icon Sport via Getty Images)


Before CM Punk became the best in the world in WWE, he was paving his way to greatness from the bottom. Wrestling in his friends’ backyards in Chicago, Illinois, Punk signed with Ring of Honor after being scouted at an indy event. In ROH, Punk created a legacy that forced WWE to take notice of his talents. This is CM Punk’s ROH career, from his best matches to his best moments.

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CM Punk wins his first championship in ROH

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Alongside his former best friend and current AEW Superstar Colt Cabana, Punk won his first championship in ROH. He and Colt knocked off the Briscoes to win the ROH Tag Team Championships. Mark and Jay Briscoe are currently one of the most dominant teams in America.

Colt and Punk were called the Second City Saints. Both men hailed from Chicago, and they formed the iconic faction which also included Ace Steel. Punk used a double under-hook face-buster as his finisher which he called the Pepsi Plunge. It was a more outstanding version of Triple H’s pedigree since he hit it from the top rope.

Punk vs Raven

Former WWE superstar Raven has wrestled in most North American promotions but never faced an opponent like Punk. The two maniacs wrestled in some of the bloodiest matches in wrestling history which bordered on deathmatch levels of violence.

Raven brought out the ugliest side of Punk. The future WWE Champion was popular as a technical wizard, but the rivalry with Raven moulded him into a more vicious version of himself, a side that will do anything to win a match.

Raven and Punk clashed in some of the whackiest matches in wrestling history. Their most famous clash was a dog-collar match that would’ve put Cody vs Brodie Lee to shame. At one point, Punk strapped Raven to the straight edge ‘X’.

Summer of Punk

Nope, we aren’t referring to the 2011 run but the 2005 one. Punk signed a developmental contract with the WWE which meant he was leaving ROH for good. However, he beat Austin Aries for the ROH World Championship at Death before Dishonour III.

Punk paraded around ROH with the title and even signed his WWE contract on top of it. Fans really hated Punk for signing with WWE, and him teasing the fans and ROH locker room that he would leave with the title was also not appreciated.

Punk’s hopes of absconding with the title came to a close when he lost the title in a fatal four-way elimination match involving Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and eventual winner James Gibson. It was this storyline that inspired WWE’s version of the Summer of Punk which garnered a lot more attention.

ROH says goodbye to CM Punk

After dropping the belt to James Gibson, Punk was surely on his way to WWE. Fortunately for Punk, the fans were once again on his side before he left. Seeing their best talent leave for greener pastures was quite an emotional sight for the ROH fans and the locker room.

In his final match, Punk faced his best friend Colt Cabana in a two-out-of-three falls match. The PPV was appropriately named Punk: The Final Chapter. However, that would not be his final chapter in an ROH ring.

Punk would return in 2006 to team with Bryan Danielson to take on Adam Pearce and Jimmy Rave.

The best CM Punk matches

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Punk put on classics against nearly every guy he stepped into the ring with. His most famous match was against Samoa Joe at Joe vs Punk II. Dave Meltzer gave this match the full five stars, the highest honour a match could receive. It was the second match in their iconic trilogy.

Punk put on a barnburner of a match against Austin Aries at Death before Dishonour III. It was in this match that Punk won the ROH Championship and pulled off the most amazing heel turn. Punk kicked out of everything the champion threw at him and finished the job with a devastating Pepsi Plunge.

One of Punk’s most surprising opponents was none other than Roderick Strong. Prior to becoming Undisputed, Strong was one of the best wrestlers on the independent scene. He and Punk orchestrated a technical classic for the ROH World Championship which became one of Punk’s best title defences during his iconic reign.

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We may not remember CM Punk for his moments and matches in ROH, but it is important to note that he was a much happier man then. His WWE run was a success, although the situation revolving around his exit is quite controversial. In ROH, CM Punk was discovered, and he became the wrestler we know, love and sometimes even chant for mindlessly.

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Nathan Fulgado

1204 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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