On July 19th, 2003, at the Ring of Honor event, Death Before Dishonor, CM Punk, and Raven would battle one another. Their match would take place at the Rex Plex in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This match would be the most publicized match on the card as it showcased a bloody battle between a former ECW legend and an emerging ROH star in a matchup made famous by men that came before them.
While It wasn’t this bout that brought an end to their longstanding feud in Ring of Honor, it was among its most notable. Their feud would conclude in Ring of Honor nearly four months later, but this match helped further their story in the most gruesome and intense manner possible.
CM Punk and Raven – Their Brutal Dog Collar Battle
Before the match even began, CM Punk shared with the audience how it felt being in a building that didn’t sell alcohol. To put that into context, Punk’s mantra of being straight edge is that he doesn’t drink or use drugs. However, his holier-than-thou attitude didn’t sit well with those in attendance. As the feud between Raven and CM Punk emerged, it was Punk that would often compare Raven to his ‘alcoholic father.’
The animosity was deeply rooted. Raven’s personal demons and Punk’s personal anguish. He would often tell fans in attendance how they were led down the wrong path. His preachy nature was met with a chorus of ‘shut the f up’ chants by those in attendance. But, Punk was quick to share that they would, in fact, be the ones that would grow tired far before he would.
‘I’m not mad at you; I just feel sorry for you’ – CM Punk.
Not unlike that of a parent disappointed at their child, Punk shares his values and passes judgment on them in the process. He says that Raven led the fans down the path to ruin. To which fans in attendance would chant alcohol. Punk says that Danny Doring, who used to be in ECW along with Raven, was also led down the path to ruin. CM Punk then encourages him to come to the ring, but he’s restrained by security.
Punk then tells Doring he’s better than him because the alcohol he (Doring) drinks has never and will never touch his (Punk’s) lips. Punk begins to get more upset as the moments pass at the fans in attendance. Finally, he says that he ends all the misery and all the suffering in New Jersey against Raven.
The match then flashes forward to Raven in the ring with the dog collar around his neck, already in the ring waiting for Punk. Punk gets on the microphone and says that there is no need for a Dog Collar attempting to back out of this match. He then climbs into the ring with a microphone in hand. Punk picks up the Dog Collar and attempts to reason with Raven not for them to not have this type of match.
Commentary shares Raven’s background and how he recovered from his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Next, Raven begins to beat on Punk with the chain. He whips him with the chain repeatedly and then chokes him with it. CM Punk is trying to get away from Raven as both men make their way to the outside. Raven has the Dog Collar wrapped around the crotch of Punk. He then repeatedly hits an Irish whip against the barricade on Punk.
CM Punk is busted open, and Raven continues the assault with a ring bell and chain against his neck and throat of CM Punk. Raven screams at Punk, calling him a son of a b****. He then gets a steel chair and strikes Punk’s already bloody head with it. Raven continues to batter the chain across the head of Punk. He then sets up the table. As Raven returns, Punk hits a low blow on Raven.
CM Punk and Raven – Their Blood Flowed Like A River
But Raven recovers and continues to work over Punk. As Raven attempts to whip Punk into the table, Punk reverses it, and Raven goes through the table. This gave CM Punk the advantage he needed. Punk then wraps the chair around his knee and drives it to the face of Raven.
Raven then goes to the floor, but CM Punk follows him out. Punk then takes the steel chair and wraps it around the neck of the former ECW Champion. He then takes Raven and drives him into the steel barricade. CM Punk is relentless whipping Raven into the barricade at ringside. Raven is then thrown over the barricade, allowing Punk a chance to breathe. But Raven pulls on the chain forcing Punk into the guardrail.
The two are then battling in the crowd. Punk then uses a chair and wraps that around the head of Raven, trying to choke him there as well. But Raven, the savvy veteran, lures Punk in and regains control with the steel chain. They then work their way to the other side of the ring in the crowd. Raven, at this point, is in control of using the chain. In fact, Raven has a fan hold a chair as he drives Punk’s head into it. Then, Raven does it again and drives him into another chair set up in the crowd.
Punk picks up the microphone addressing Raven. He then hits a vertical suplex on Raven and then hits a step in enziguri. Punk picks up the microphone again and taunts Raven. CM Punk stands atop of the turnbuckle, and Raven pulls him down. He then calls him by Raven by some of his past incarnations, which infuriates him, leading to Raven to hit a series of clotheslines. Raven then whips Punk into the corner and hits a knee lift.
Raven stands in the ring and places a chair in the middle in the ring. He then hits a drop toehold on Punk onto the chair. We then see Raven spit in the face of Punk. But as he attempts to hit him with the chair, he moves and hits the referee. This gives Punk the advantage or does it. Raven then hits the Raven effect DDT, but there is no referee. But Colt Cabana comes in the ring and hits a DDT on Raven.
But Danny Doring comes out of the crowd and whips out Colt Cabana. Doring and Cabana battle outside the ring. But as the referee comes two, Punk covers Raven for the three count and the win. This leads to Punk tying Raven to the ropes with tape. With his arms outstretched, CM Punk proceeds to then take a bag out from under the ring.
“It’s time I send you back where you belong, on a downward spiral off the wagon. But before you go there, it’s another trip to rehab”.
Punk then takes out a can of beer and proceeds to pour it down the throat of Raven.
This brings out Tommy Dreamer from out of the crowd, who cracks CM Punk over the head with a chair. Fans begin to chant Dreamer as Tommy awaits Punk to stand back up. Dreamer then hits a DDT on Punk. He then ties CM Punk up on the top rope using tape as well. Next, he goes over to his long-time nemesis Raven and then unties him from the opposite side. The two lock eyes, and Raven makes his way into the ring.
Fans in attendance are firmly behind these two as they embrace as chants of ECW begin to break out. Raven then picks up a microphone and walks over to Punk with a can of beer. Punk screams to him don’t you dare as Raven proceeds to pour a can of beer over his adversary’s head, face, and mouth.
Despite losing the match, Raven walked out with a modicum of satisfaction. This wouldn’t be the end of their feud, but it would be one chapter in it. The rivalry between CM Punk and Raven would conclude a little more than four months later, in Fall 2003.