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January 5, 2002 / Bob Colling

CM Punk vs. Ace Steel In IWA-MS 2002

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Match: CM Punk vs. Ace Steel
Promotion: IWA Mid South
Show: Resolution
Date: 1/5/2002
From: Charlestown, Indiana
Post Author: Bob Colling

So, this match was released by Smart Mark Video and I have to say seeing the video is over thirty minutes long made me groan. The match is for the IWA-MS World Championship which was held by CM Punk at the time. Colt Cabana is on commentary.

Steel spits at Punk, who threatens the referee to not allow that to happen again. Steel kicks the middle rope as Punk taunted the fans and stalls on the floor briefly. They work a fast pace countering each others moves and not going with the usual route of a standoff but instead just continuing the action. Punk locks in a leg lock but doesn’t get a submission from Steel. Steel gets out of the move and works over Punk’s left arm. Punk gets a near fall following a hurricanrana. They trade forearm shots until Steel sends Punk to the floor after a couple of arm drags. Punk crawls to the bathroom, which looks rather disgusting.

Punk taunts the fans and confronts a heckler before returning to the ring. Punk takes Steel down to the canvas with a test of strength but Steel powers back up and head butts Punk but doesn’t get a lot of momentum. They begin trade pin falls and then arm drags for near falls. They both attempt dropkicks but miss and they have a standoff so the fans can appreciate their efforts. Punk drops Steel across his knee back first and appears to get the first real momentum of the match and we are thirteen minutes into the match.

Punk drives Steel down to the canvas with the delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Punk puts Steel on the top rope and delivers a few right hands. Steel counters a vertical suplex but they both fall off the middle rope and Steel gets a near fall. Ace gets a two count following a springboard clothesline. Punk nails Ace with a forearm to the lower back to drop the challenger. Steel decks Punk to the floor through the middle rope. Steel goes to the floor and chases Punk along with Dave Prazak. Dave attempts to slam Steel in the ring but that’s not going to happen. Steel drops Punk throat first across the top rope and botches a springboard attempt.

Steel avoids a split legged moonsault attempt and Ace drives Punk chest first across the apron. Ace gets a near fall following a slingshot splash back into the ring from the apron. Punk hits a double under hook back breaker but can’t followup on the advantage. Punk rolls Steel over but only gets a near fall. Steel drops Punk with a side suplex but both men are down. Steel hits a tiger bomb but doesn’t get a three count. Punk misses a clothesline and hits the referee in the corner. Steel goes to the top rope but Punk cuts him off and connects with a middle rope tombstone piledriver!

Road Dogg enters the ring and drops Punk with a pump handle slam! Steel gets an arm over Punk but the referee is still down. So a new referee comes out and Steel only manages to get a near fall. Punk sends Steel into the second referee in the corner. Ian Rotten comes out and plants Punk with a double arm DDT. Ace is put on top again but Punk still manages to get his shoulder up. The referee goes down again thanks to Punk low blowing him. Steel hits a top rope hurricanrana as a third referee enters the ring. Punk is waving for something in the back as Steel gets another near fall.

Ace heads to the top rope and hits a splash but Punk pulled the referee in the way and Ace hits the referee! Todd Morton comes out and hits a brain buster on Steel. Punk has the cover but Steel kicks out at two. Punk decks the referee again and Steel decks Punk. Mitch Ryder comes in and hits a spine buster on Steel. Punk has the cover but again only gets a near fall. Punk rolls Steel up and they completely mess up a double count by the referees. That was a HORRIBLE ending that was poorly executed on so many levels. So, this one ends in a draw.

Match Rating: **

This was an example of a ridiculous amount of referee bumps and interference to avoid having to have a clean finish. The finish is one of the worst executed finishes I’ve seen in a long time because one of the referees wasn’t paying attention to where the other referee was. Prior to all the interference the match was alright but that took me out of it and the awful finish made this a less than memorable match.

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