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Migs

[2000-11-22-MAW] CM Punk vs Adam Pearce

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It appears that in a different promotion we've flipped roles for Punk and Pearce, with Punk now being the heel. Instead of comedy to open, Punk cuts an intense promo (hard to hear, though), and they go straight to a brawl. Pearce leads the crowd in a "Pepsi sucks!" chant. They work a totally different style than their last match, with the focus here on work outside the ring and some big spots - a pile driver on a table by Pearce, for example. Pearce even busts out a top rope pedigree (which I believe is what would become Punk's Pepsi Plunge). The crowd eats it up. It's a good indication of how these guys are improving that they can work two totally different matches within days of each other, both tuned to the crowd they're in front of. Not something I'd call must see on its own, but a good companion to their other match.

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Punk and Prazak get big heat before the match and I loved the attack on Pearce when he was coming out. This was my favorite Adam performance of the year pretty easily and felt like a grassroots version of the type of embattled personal match Punk would perfect for years to come. We get some good use of the ringside tables including Pearce piledriving Punk on one. Pearce in the closing stages even gives a Pepsi Plunge. A distraction from Prazak allows Punk to regain the advantage with a ref bump and pin Pearce after some head chair shots. Pearce gives a heartfelt promo afterwards saying his goodbyes. Probably the best Punk match of the year overall. ***1/4 (6.7)

 

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Dave Prazak informs us that the loser of the match must leave Mid-American Wrestling and never return.  Audio isn’t the clearest here but it sounds like Pearce played a role in training Punk and Prazak and that will end up being the biggest mistake he ever made.  Punk jumps Pearce on the floor as he is slapping hands with the fans and then throws him into the wall, this has already got a completely different vibe to it than the ACW match.  Pearce blocks an attempted sunset flip, scoots round and mounts Punk, unloading a flurry of punches.  “Pepsi sucks” chant.  Prazak interferes from the floor, grabbing Pearce’s ankle, however, as Punk comes rushing in, he backdrops him over the top rope and out onto Prazak.  Suicide dive.  The crowd are baying for tables so Pearce slams Punk’s head into one.  As they return to the ring Punk gets the jump and yells at the fans “let’s hear Pepsi sucks now”.  Of course that sets them off again and Punk says that he didn’t mean it, putting his hands over his ears to muffle the sound.  Pearce ducks a clothesline and lands a big spinebuster before taking off after Prazak.  He’s unable to catch him though so gives up, preferring to flatten Punk instead.  Figure Four.  ‘Scrap Iron’ looked to be, slowly, having success with that, so it’s a bit strange when he gives it up to drop a headbutt to Punk’s groin.  Prazak again grabs Pearce, this time the interference pays off as he turns his back on Punk who clubs him from behind, sending him sprawling through the ropes to the floor.  Pescado.  Punk jumps off a chair but gets caught and kind of hotshotted onto a table.  Pearce tells the fans to scatter and then whips Punk hard into a row of, now empty, chairs.  Piledriver on the concrete!  A fan holds a chair up which Pearce rams Punk’s head into.  Bloody hell, a piledriver onto an unbreakable table!!!  Inside, Punk escapes the attempted powerbomb, however as he goes to clothesline ‘Scrap Iron’, Pearce ducks and he takes out the referee.  German suplex, Pearce getting the visual pin as there is no-one to count the fall.  He’s holding him in position for what easily seems a like a twenty count.  A second ref is out to replace the original, but as he slaps the mat for the second time Punk kicks out.  That was a suspiciously slow count so I hope we’re not going to have any bullshit with heel referees.  Punk slows the pace with a rear chinlock while Prazak is getting into it with a fan at ringside.  MAW security and staff have to be on their toes with these two.  Spinning heel kick by Pearce.  ‘That’s Incredible’ tombstone piledriver, the ref counting normally, although it looks like Prazak drags him from the ring to stop the count (missed by the camera).  After a ‘Pepsi Plunge’, Prazak again saves his man, climbing up onto the apron this time. Pearce has had enough and not caring for the referee’s efforts to admonish Prazak gives the pair a noggin knocker.  Punk grabs a chair which he blast Pearce over the head with three times and after playing it straight previously, the ref is back fast counting Pearce’s shoulders to the mat as he is forced to leave Mid-American Wrestling “forever”.  A nice, heartfelt, post-match speech where he says his goodbyes and thanks everyone for the memories, even bringing up something involving himself and WCW, although not going into detail, which I had not heard about before.

Easily Punk’s best match of the year and while it’s been a long time since I watched Pearce’s match with Dino Bambino, which I enjoyed, at worst his second best match of the year.  The brawling sections were awesome and as I said in my commentary, a completely different match to the one they had in ACW less than a week previous.  Without the ref bump and a cleaner finish I would’ve gone higher than I did.  I also think the order I watched the matches played some part in my rating.  Had I watched this prior to the Ian/Dino match, which featured two ref bumps, the one here wouldn’t have been as much of an issue, and every chance I would’ve ranked this above that one, but I’ve seen so many matches featuring them recently that it downgrades this.  Absolutely worth watching though, especially for anyone who is a fan of Punk and has not seen any of his early Indy work.  You also see some clear development of the Straight Edge character in his pre-match promo.

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