While the wrestling and fighting world is hotly anticipating the impending UFC debut of CM Punk, I think it’s the perfect time to revisit another debut for Punk.
It’s November 13, 2004 and at FIP’s Fallout Night 2, the main event is a Falls Count Anywhere match for the FIP Heavyweight Championship. The champion, Homicide, defends his gold against CM Punk.
The challenger makes his entrance first and grabs the announcer’s microphone, declaring to Homicide that he’s going to take the match to the streets. When Homicide gets in the ring the two men rush at each other and begin exchanging punches. Homicide takes control of things early. Things aren’t going Punk’s way until his underling, Azrieal, rushes the ring and hits Homicide with a lariat. Punk and Azrieal use a shirt to choke Homicide and then put him on the defensive as this match morphs into a handicap match.
Things turn in Homicide’s favor when Rainman comes to his assistance, pulling Azrieal out of the ring. This allows Homicide to take down Punk with an inverted atomic drop. As the battle between Punk and Homicide spills into the crowd, the other two men fight their way to the back. For the record, Azrieal is still pretty active, working for JAPW, CZW, and others. Rainman is also active, now going by the name Kory Chavis. He’s a regular in the southern indie scene.
The first nearfall of the match comes when CM Punk pins Homicide on a pool table. It’s at this point that I notice this match is officiated by a young, mustachioed Todd Sinclair. It looks like they’re going to fight in the backstage area, but Punk just stepped back there to grab a garbage can, which ends up getting rocketed into his head by Homicide.
The two men work their way outside of the venue and Punk gets his head driven into the ring truck. Homicide also utilizes a large PVC pipe and a traffic cone against his opponent. The two men battle on top of the ring truck and poor Todd Sinclair has to follow them up there to count any pins. Punk takes the advantage with a DDT on the truck for a two count. Then it turns into a walk and brawl where they punch and walk for a while until they get to another door. “You like strip clubs?” Punk asks Homicide. They slowly make their way towards a place called Lil Tootsie’s, which describes itself as an “After Hours Party Zone” on the side of the building.
Punk sits Homicide on a bench and hammers away with punches. Homicide fights back with a chop and an attempted piledriver in the parking lot, but Punk turns it into a backdrop for a two count. They make their way inside the club and it appears that they don’t pay the cover charge.
Punk and Homicide fight their way to the stage, on which two girls are dancing. There’s also a wheel of some sort with various colors and options on it. Strip clubs are pretty gross, so I don’t really want to think about what’s on that wheel. Chances are that none of the options include a FIP Championship match. Punk spins the wheel and then uses the stripper pole to swing around on it and kick Homicide in the head. As the stripper looks on Punk goes for the cover and gets a count of 2. Punk attempts a piledriver on the stage, but Homicide gets out of it and takes Punk down with a Russian leg sweep. Homicide goes for a pin as the stripper blocks the camera view (she would clearly need Triple H’s help at Full Sail). Sinclair politely asks the stripper to move out of his way so he can make a count while a second stripper enters the fray. Stripper 1 begins ascending the pole as Punk looks on confused (or maybe in awe, it’s hard to tell). They fight their way off the stage and into… the “Boom-Boom Room.” Luckily there’s no boom-boom happening when they walk in. Punk chokes Homicide before getting hiptossed on a couch. I bet that couch smells disgusting.
They fight out of the Boom-Boom Room and back into the main area of the club, knocking down many of the tables and chairs in this fine establishment. The two men fight their way back towards the stage, where the two strippers have begun having a match of their own. It looks very technically sound, they must be fans of World of Sport. Homicide gets distracted by the ladies and gets a kick in the head as punishment. Punk bends down and yells directly at the women, “YOU’RE A WHORE!” While I don’t care for Punk’s use of this language here, I do think it fits his “straight edge means I’m better than you” character. Sometimes heels are want to say overly mean things and Punk was one to say them often.
Punk and Homicide fight off the stage and with a quick cut, they’re back in the parking lot. Homicide plants Punk into the asphalt with a piledriver and picks up the win. After his victory, Homicide goes inside the club to celebrate with the ladies.
This is one of those matches that you can’t really say is great, but it sure is memorable. Some might watch this and think it’s the greatest thing ever. I sure did back when I first saw it when I was 14. I want to say that this is a match of its time, but it’s honestly pretty timeless. You can stick a match like this in any point in the past 30 or so years and it fits. Punk and Homicide keep it simple and they keep it fun in this one. There’s nothing amazing in this, it’s just a solid brawl.
Now the real question is, will Punk find more success in the octagon than he found in the strip club?
Both are very unpredictable environments for sure. This time around Punk won’t have to worry about any piledrivers on concrete or women climbing poles. I’m sure Punk’s UFC opponent can hold his own, but personally I’d be more afraid of Homicide for a multitude of reasons.
Maybe, just maybe, the strip club was a more dangerous place.