Because their promos suck: "Man Up, drinking, mumble, mumble, fight tonight, repeat"
I actually LOVE their promos. It's an amusing gimmick to me that differenciates them from a lot of guys on the mainstream. I still love 'em as a team too, as long as they don't crowd brawl. Can't stand that.
Samoa Joe © vs. CM Punk (ROH World Title; Joe vs. Punk II)
Punk cuts a promo before the show in the ring. Joe couldn’t beat him and now they’re in Chicago, Punk’s hometown, and that’s gonna be the difference. You see, Punk’s taken many beatings before, particularly in this city when he was younger. Some kids came to his house once when he was eating dinner, and he scraped and clawed, and he didn’t look pretty after it was over, but he won…he won because they CAME TO HIS HOUSE, just like Joe’s doing tonight. Mick Foley and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat are going to be in attendance (Foley in particular called this the greatest match he’s ever seen live). Punk DARES Joe to ring his doorbell tonight. He says there’s no way he’s gonna be beat in Chicago. A fucking masterpiece of a promo that I completely forgot ever existed.
Punk has “Home” written on his wrist tape. For what it’s worth, this is Dave Meltzer’s 1st “***** match” in 7 years. The original main event of this show was Samoa Joe vs. Steve Corino, but Corino had a prioir commitment he had to fufill in Japan. Punk is the overwhelming crowd favorite here, but Joe still has his supporters.
Handshake to start, which is something that Joe tried to have in the first match before Punk blew him off a bit. This shows that Joe earned Punk’s respect by lasting an hour in Dayton 4 months prior. Joe shoves Punk down on a lockup. He knows he’s in Punk’s backyard, and that was his way of marking his turf. They may be in Chicago, but this ring is where Joe is King. He shoves Punk again, and even tries a third time, but Punk crisply counters into a sleek pinfall attempt. “Almost had ya Joe.” Announcers do a great job in here I should say. They say that Punk’s tag partner and best friend, Colt Cabana beat Joe with a similar rollup type maneuver. They also say that Joe beat Cabana not that long a go IN CHICAGO, so Joe is not intimidated by the home town guy. They mat wrestle, but this time unlike their first match, Punk gets the upper hand with a take down. Things are clearly going his way tonight, and that frustrates Joe who doesn’t give a clean break moments later. More mat stuff, but this time Punk gets Joe into the corner…and gives him a clean break unlike Joe did for him. Punk is all about the head games tonight.
Punk knows that the headlock worked to near perfection in their previous match, so he smartly goes back to it here. Joe is able to counter out of it quicker than he did in the last match. He knows that Punk’s strategy is to wear him down, but this time Joe is prepared for it. Punk is too quick so he’s able to grad the headlocks right after there’s an opening in Joe’s defense. I should really note how crisp everything looks here. That’s not normally something that Punk is great at. I’ve called him “The least crisp great wrestler ever,” but on this night he is making me eat my words. Joe is getting super frustrated that this match is going the way the last one went, which is in Punk’s favor, so he plays heel by not breaking in the ropes again. He even tries to give Punk a taste of his own medicine via chin lock, but Punk reverses it to another front headlock. Punk is wrestling Joe perfectly, and that’s the only way to end Joe’s title run. Joe refuses to break in the corner again, but Punk’s quickness gives him the advantage to ground Joe once more. Punk has changed up his style from the first match great here. He used the rope-a-dope style there, and even though it wore down Joe, it still took a lot out of Punk, which lead to him not being able to capitalize on the offense so much towards the end of the match. Punk is not using the rope-a-dope here, but he’s staying with what he thinks will win him the title tonight, the headlock. Joe will be worn down and Punk will still be fresh towards the end. All Punk wants is 45 minutes of Hell, then he has 15 minutes left to win the title against a tired monster.
Joe is a smart monster though, so he challenges Punk to a shoulder block clash in the middle of the ring. This will wear down Punk a little and give Joe the offensive opening that he needs. Plus, there’s no way that Punk won’t bite at a chance to one up Joe in front of his friends and family. Punk tries to trick Joe like he did in their first match where he faked running off the ropes and got another headlock, but this time Joe has it scouted and gets his first burst of offensive fury on Punk. Punk is unstoppable tonight though, and he gets the best of Joe AGAIN before Joe can string together more offense. Joe goes to the floor out of frustration just like in their first match. Maybe Joe can’t beat Punk? Maybe pure strength and impressive agility won’t get him by so easily tonight? Joe shows more frustration than he ever has before as he kicks the guardrail at a fan. Chicago is getting to him. In Dayton, he just mocked a Punk fan, but here it’s…different. He isn’t king of this environment, and that scares the behemoth. Joe is super hesitant to lock up with Punk again. He’s not himself and Punk knows it. Punk, sending a message to prove that he’s in control, actually gets a lifting takedown on Joe from behind him. It took a little out of Punk to do that, but getting in Joe’s head is the main key here. Whether it’s because Punk used a little energy there or not, Joe is able to finally counter Punk’s counters and ends up on top of Punk. Instead of hitting him, he gets up and slaps Punk on the back. Joe is saying he’s back in control with that. Punk is smart, so he bangs on the turnbuckle pad to try and get the crowd back into it. He knows that the crowd is getting to Joe, so he’s gonna try to turn the tide back in his favor. Joe is un-phased and gets another burst of offense. Punks tries to answer that but Joe simply kicks him in the face. Punk tried to change his strategy and it cost him a bruise there. Joe gets his first control segment of the match, but Punk knows that Joe being in control in a death sentence, so he smartly targets Joe’s arm. They get into a striking battle, which PUNK WINS. Punk knows how rare that is so he quickly goes back to working the arm. He even hits the rope-walk legdrop to the arm, which the announcer notes that he hasn’t done in 2 years. This match is just perfect, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.
You just knew that Joe was gonna connect with a huge strike sooner or later and he finally does here. He goes for his patented offense, but again Punk has that scouted. It’s like he read the “How to Beat Samoa Joe” handbook. Now when Joe tries to escape the headlock, Punk just holds on to the lion’s injured paw and stays in control. Joe knows he’s in trouble, so in probably the smartest move of his career, he falls through the ropes to the outside. Punk still has the headlock even after that, but all Joe wanted was an opening as he KILLS Punk with a backdrop suplex on the foor. This is officially the turning point of the match.
Punk’s quickness has been taken away. His back is now shot. Punk realizes that he has to go for broke now. He needs to get back into Joe’s head, so after he counters the facewash, he gets one of his own. He’s lost a step though so Joe counters his offense with some of his own. Punk is desperate so he goes for a springboard cross body, but he hit that in their first match and Joe remembers it and moves with ease. He even gets the stalling suplex he got in the first match, but unlike in Dayton, he is more conditioned and it doesn’t take much out of him, while it just destroys Punk’s back. To show how much he’s in control, he connects with the leg sweep even after Punk had just countered it seconds before hand. All the counters in Punk’s arsenal aren’t going to save him now. Joe works over the back some more. Literally everything they’re doing makes sense here. Joe just kills Punk now. Just a massacre. Joe knows he can’t be beaten…ever. He emphasizes his dominance with an insulting cover on Punk. It’s all but over. But wait! Desperation Hurricanrana! Punk knows it’s now or never and connects with a Suicide Dive. The crowd is back in his corner. He even connects with Joe’s Ole Kick. Blasphemy! Joe is gonna murder bitches now. First attempt at the Ole Kick is blocked, but Joe eventually gets it. The match then goes into full nonstop badass-ness. The announcers are marking out so even they have to leave to booth to go into the crowd to watch. The crowd is full in to it too. They’re banging Punk’s entrance music on the guardrail. They can feel a title change.
It’s really hard to describe how great it gets so I won’t even try. Punk getting the Anaconda Vice on Joe’s hurt arm forcing Joe to go the ropes for like the first time ever is pretty fabulous. As is the look on Punk’s face when he gets the Devil’s Lock DDT and thinks it’s over. One of my favorite nearfalls happens as well when Punk hits the Shining Wizard out of no where and Joe drapes his hand across the rope to save the title. Punk tries everything to get the win, but Joe can’t be beat with just anything. Punk is running out of offense and time. It has to be now. Pepsi…Plunge. Joe’s weakness. The confrontation on the tope turnbuckle is the stuff legends are made of. The crowd is begging for Punk to connect with the Plunge. It doesn’t happen. Time Limit Draw. FUCK.
Crowd wants more time, but alas it was not to be. Punk gives the title to Joe and shakes his hand. Joe walks away still the champion, still unbeatable in title matches. Punk walks out to a standing ovation. A hometown hero.
Punk claims neither man can beat the other in 60 minutes. He knows for a fact that the Pepsi Plunge can beat Joe, but he’s not sure the Muscle Buster can beat him. He wants Joe with no time limit. Joe says that Punk’s 2nd chance was his last. He did his job and Punk didn’t do his. No more opportunities.
What can I say that I haven’t already? This is one of the greatest matches I’ve ever seen. Everything came together and everything made sense. The drama was off the charts, it had an epic atmosphere and it had every intangible that you could think of. If that isn’t a five star rating, I don’t know what is.