It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Yes, it’s Voices of Wrestling Secret Santa time again, everyone. The brainchild of JR Goldberg (@wrestlingbubble), VOW Secret Santa sees all participating website contributors give their fellow contributors, the greatest gift of all: wrestling matches!

VOW Secret Santa Archives:

The Sandman vs CM Punk & Julio DiNero
January 14, 2004

Reviewed by Kevin Hare (@stan__hansen)

Gifted by Abraham Delgado (@adr012)

Early TNA Is somewhat of a blind spot for me. I’ve seen the big matches but not a lot of the lesser-known stuff. I can’t lie, the idea of the Sandman in a handicap match isn’t the most intriguing, but I will give this a shot. Side note: 94-95ish Sandman is a bit underrated. He’s completely a mess and sloppy as hell, but he also does a ton of insane dives and is way more athletic than you think.

Revisit it sometime.

Seeing straight edge track jacket wearing CM Punk paired with the Sinister Minister is a bit funny. He completely contrast’s against the “dark” vibe Father James Mitchell gives off. 

First of all, Punk and Sandman each have all-time great wrestling entrances, so seeing both with only generic TNA themes is bizarre and underwhelming. Luckily, Sandman was busted open by his own beer cans before he even got into the ring. Then, for some reason, Raven got his own entrance even though he’s not in the match, but is nowhere to be found. This is a singapore cane on a pole match, so canes were located in multiple corners.

Sandman immediately attacked his opponents with a beer can and then fell down while shooting Punk into the corner. He was on fire, jumping off a chair on the outside onto both opponents and hitting a hurricane Ana off the top rope. Punk and DiNero finally took control and proceeded to systematically destroy Sandman. From there, it was pretty one sided. Punk and Dinero each grabbed canes and smashed Sandman in the head with them. However, Sandman grabbed a cane away, decimated both, got distracted by Mitchell, and got hit by double superkicks. The Gathering ripped his shirt off and beat him mercilessly with canes, with Raven still not appearing.

Overall, this was a decent enough squash handicap match. It’s funny to see Punk, one of the most popular and important wrestlers of the 2010s, in an undercard feud against the Sandman. Not a match with enough meat on it to give any rating, but I can’t hate anything involving the Sandman.