This match is on the Best of 2002 DVD, which is available for purchase at Smart Mark Video. For a more informed opinion, make sure you read Kevin Ford’s review of this match. Also, you should check out JD Dunn’s review of this match.
Recap from TJ Hawke (written 10/19/2012):
Yes, CM Punk and Colt Cabana wrestled in CHIKARA before they ever stepped into a Ring of Honor ring. This is the main event of the first ever CHIKARA show. Punk, Cabana, and Hero drove in from the mid-west for the show. As I understand it, the rest of the show was filled out by Wrestle Factory students.
Quack and Hero started the match. Hero was wearing cargo pants. Youth and Colt then faced off. Colt was much skinnier here, but his natural screen presence was pretty much as sharp as it is now. Youth eventually got the advantage. Don Montoya and Punk tagged in. Montoya is a big boy. Punk has got red hair and basketball shorts here. I wonder if Punk will ever bring back the basketball shorts. Montoya used his size to overpower Punk. Punk tried to irritate Montoya, but he couldn’t get any real offense it. Gold Bond Mafia were clearly the rudos here. Hero and Quack tagged back in. Quack managed to send Hero to the floor, and Quack then hit a double jump Spaceman Plancha. Punk and Montoya tagged in. Punk used some rudo tactics to get the advantage. Montoya came back with chops. The tecnicos caused the Mafia to accidentally cause damage to themselves. The Mafia managed to isolate Montoya, and they then got the heat on him. Montoya eventually pantsed Punk and hit a DDT. Punk managed to hold onto Montoya so that Cabana could cut him off again. They did a six person submission spot. Montoya managed to escape, and he took everyone down with a lariat. Reckless took Colt down with a Lionsault. Punk and Montoya traded a couple of pinning combinations. Montoya and Punk took each other down with a double lariat fell to the outside. The match broke down without Montoya ever getting a tag, which seems really sloppy for these guys. Colt hit Reckless with the Colt 45: 1…2…NO! Reckless hit Colt with a tornado DDT to the floor. Montoya and Punk ended up alone in the ring. Punk got a nearfall with a diving cross-body. Montoya hit the Doctor Bomb for a nearfall. Hero hit The Nifty Snake Eyes. Hero hit a piledriver variation: 1…2…NO! Montoya wiped out Hero and Punk with a tope suicida. Quack hit Colt with a reverse hurricanrana, and Reckless then hit Colt with the 2K1 Bomb: 1…2…3!
Reckless Youth put over the Gold Bond Mafia. He said they are much like the Black T-Shirt Squad in their dedication and willingness to travel for little to no pay. Then all six of the wrestlers posed for the photograph you see at the top of the post.
The first word that comes to my mind when I try to describe this match is “cool.” I’m sure slight variations of this matchup (or even this exact matchup) happened during this era of independent wrestling, but something about this match just feels unique and special. The fact that CM Punk and Colt Cabana competed in the very first CHIKARA main event is just bizarre to think about. It may seem natural in 2012 to think of Colt Cabana as a “CHIKARA guy,” but this would be Cabana’s last Chikara match until September 2009 (Punk meanwhile wrestled for CHIKARA once more in 2003. In interviews since that time, Punk has had a penchant for referring to the people who run Chikara as “dorks”). It’s also awesome to see Hero and Quack go at it so early when you realize how important their CHIKARA feud would end up being. As for the match itself, it was far from perfect. I was never bored, so the match length (30 minutes and change) was not an issue. Just from a structure standpoint, it was really weird that the rudos did an extended heat segment on Montoya, only for there to never be a hot tag, I would never want to imply that all wrestling should be the same, but the lack of natural payoff to that beatdown seemed to take me and the crowd slightly out of the action. Regardless, I absolutely consider this to be an historical professional wrestling match, and I would say it’s mandatory viewing for all wrestling fans (especially for the hardcore CHIKARA or independent wrestling fans).
Match Rating: ***1/4