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January 4, 2003 / Reed

CM Punk vs. Acid from RCW 2003

Review by Reed Benson:

Creative heel tactics by Punk at the beginning see Acid fighting one of the Undertaker’s druids while thinking it’s Punk, only for Punk to grab Acid from behind and beat him all around the ring. I’ve no idea who the masked man is. They brawl like they hate each other, which is good given that this seems to be a revenge match. Punk starts working over Acid’s left leg and continues to go back to it with submission holds and knee breakers. Acid valiantly fights back, but his weakened leg betrays him a couple times, including at the end of the match when he misses an Asai moonsault and finds himself in too much pain to beat the 10 count. Too bad the camera missed the landing of the moonsault. Not sure what the operator was thinking.

In case you were wondering, this Acid is neither Trent nor Vansack. He’s just Acid, and I can’t find much about him or this promotion online. He’s solid in the ring, and that’s the best I can say.

Punk is Punk. He plays the smug jerk heel well. I especially liked how he reacted to getting caught in the ropes early on, yelling in terror for someone to get him out of there before Acid dropkicked him. At the end, while Acid was writhing in pain on the floor, Punk did push-ups in the ring, then gave the crowd an evil smile when he was announced as the winner via count out.

There’s an interesting dichotomy to this sort of victory. A countout is a legal and clean way to win, but the perception is that, if you don’t win the match in the ring, you’re not a true fighter. Plus, in this case, Acid delivered the final blow to himself, so even though Punk did the work to screw up Acid’s leg, it comes across as if Acid beat himself and Punk too the credit. Punk, of course, doesn’t care; it makes Acid look weak and ticks off the crowd, so it’s a win-win. I love that character work, and I’d be itching for someone to teach Punk a lesson if I’d been in that crowd.

If you like seeing Punk’s heel work, this is a pretty good match to watch. It’s not as heavy as his Ring of Honor or WWE heel runs, but it’s good on a small scale. The commentary would’ve helped tell the story better, but it’s piped over the loudspeakers rather than mic’d into the video, so it’s hard to understand. And it does suck that the cameraman misses Acid’s landing on the moonsault that ended the match.

– Reed Benson

My match review site is here.

My wrestling commentary site is here.


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