CM Punk and Samoa Joe – The Rivalry of Honor

CM Punk and Samoa Joe. For these two men, their careers have seen success wherever it seems that they’ve been.

However, one of the places where both men rose to prominence at the same time was Ring of Honor. Whether they have faced each other in New Japan Pro Wrestling, IWA Mid-South, Full Impact Pro, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, and most recently in All Elite Wrestling

But it was in Ring of Honor that these two faced each other in some of the most memorable and meaningful matches of their careers.

While they have worked together in the ring a little more than a dozen times, whether that’s as opponents, or teammates, their rivalry was consistently over Ring of Honor’s most prized possession.

The Ring of Honor World Championship was often the centerpiece of their feud.

At a time when often telling a story for more than 10 minutes had typically been abandoned, CM Punk and Samoa Joe would hit each other in classics not unlike those of Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat and compete in the coveted ‘hour broadway’ match.

However, it didn’t begin this way. Their first encounter was on August 16th, 2008, for Ring of Honor’s Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies event. The two men faced each other in a modest ten-minute plus match.

A few months later in a four corners survival match, Joe and Punk would battle each other along with Christopher Daniels and Steve Corino. It saw Punk and Corino victorious.

But this was the tip of the iceberg of what was still to come between the art these two would create for the rabid Ring of Honor fanbase.

CM Punk and Samoa Joe
[Photo: Pro Wrestling Record]

CM Punk and Samoa Joe – I – ‘5 More Minutes’

On June 6th, 2004 after achieving success in Ring of Honor it was time for another threat for the Ring of Honor World Championship to come forward.

What was surprising was that the threat for the title was someone that even he himself wasn’t sure why he was moved in a position to challenge for the ROH Title.

CM Punk in 2004 had a mix of wins and losses so he wasn’t exactly sure why this opportunity came about. However, going into the match, he was one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions as the Second City Saints with Colt Cabana.

From his own mouth, Punk would describe how the decision for how this first match would all come about in facing Samoa Joe.

So basically, Joe is running out of opponents and steamrolling through everybody and we were sitting there and talking and it didn’t seem like it was going anywhere.

And I didn’t have the best win-loss record in Ring of Honor so it seemed like kind of nowhere that I’d get a title shot.

So we’re sitting there and trying to figure out why I had the title shot and why we were even wrestling and if it was just thrown together and Joe, to his credit, ‘I can’t just beat you’.

I’ve got nobody left. So Joe says and we were drunk, ‘we should do a draw’. The true part about Joe’s story is as soon as he said draw (immediately reaches for his phone to call Gabe Sapolsky).

Gabe is ‘are you sure, Joe wants this?’. Yeah, yeah he just said hour draw. Hour draw in Dayton (Ohio). It’ll mean more.

It’ll make me strong and it’ll make the belt look even better. That’s all I was concerned about was to put the belt over more.

– CM Punk’s version on how the decision for how their first one-hour draw all came

As Punk came to the ring, the ROH faithful full supported his arrival and place in this match. It came after beating the likes of John Walters and having engrossed in a massive feud with Raven the year before.

In a retelling of the match, Joe came into the match after a year long reign. With both men in the ring prepared for battle, Punk is announced as the leader of the Second City Saints and one-half of the ROH Tag Team Champions.

It was at this time when Les Thatcher is introduced and welcomed to the ring. Les has with him set to make a presentation. He also celebrates Joe’s accomplishments and presents the new ROH World Championship.

The two men then proceed to come to the middle of the ring and demonstrate the code of honor. It was then when the pleasantries between them would end.

The match begins simply enough with a pair of lockups. Joe throws a pair of kicks to the thigh of Punk but its just enough to remind Punk of what lies ahead.

The two then grapple on the mat following this much to the delight of those in attendance. Early on Joe attempts to get into the head of CM Punk. This was evident when getting him down on the mat and when he could strike him mercilessly, he slaps him on the back.

Which way would this match go and who would have the advantage throughout? These appeared to be questions the ROH commentators posed early on.

Joe would use strikes in the match to attempt to get the advantage while Punk would wank to take Joe down and make him work from that point.

The pace of the match then begins to pick up. As soon as Punk manages to sucker Joe and drive a punch, we then see he and Joe attempt pinning combinations greater movement between them.

Joe then proceeds to slap Punk time and time again dropping slaps, punches and kicks to Punk. A series of headbutts add to Joe’s attack on Punk. Punk then tries to recuperate outside the ring. But as soon as he comes in Joe regains control.

Punk eventually forces Joe to leave the ring with an attack not unlike that of Joe’s. He too would use strikes to the fallen champion.

As the match began to move forward he would begin to fight his match. To an extent it reflected what worked best for Punk. That could only last so long as Joe would eventually recover and systematically beat down on Punk.

As commentary had mentioned to this point, Joe’s match would have ended by or would be closing in on ending but not here.

Punk would take Joe’s strikes all for the opportunity to lock in a headlock and wear him out. Joe would hit a back suplex and Punk would hold onto a side headlock at this time.

The entire mindset at this point was for Punk to have Joe exhaust himself. Allow him to expend energy and then use something as simple as a rear chinlock to have him tire himself out.

Joe would recover and administer a vertical suplex where fans would count to twenty as he would release it and attempt a pin. Samoa Joe is hitting strikes but commentary notes that Joe isn’t moving as quickly earlier on.

Once again, Punk resumed having a side headlock on Joe that forced him to expend more energy. Joe recovers and takes the fight to Punk to the floor.

But as both men battle on the floor anything was game as both men would strike each other trying to wear the other one out.

Once again the pace between the two men picks up. Joe takes the fight to the floor and hits Punk with a tope suicida on the floor. The two men battle as much outside the ring now as they did inside the ring.

Joe is soundly in charge of the match with Punk trying to regain his senses on the outside. Punk recovers comes into the ring and has a burst of energy but Joe catches him with a uranagi. Joe at this point is relentless in his attack of Punk.

He systematically beats on his face, neck and shoulders. Punk hits a crossbody on Joe but his ribs appears to be battered as he’s unable to make a pin. CM Punk eventually locks in a cross-legged submission where he is applying pressure on Joe’s right knee.

It’s unchartered territory for Joe as the match is past the 25-minute mark nearing 30 minutes at this point. Joe is moving slowly but he is still relentless in everything he hits Punk with.

Fatigue is evident as the match continues with both men. A roaring forearm that appeared to knock out Joe at one point only got a count of two for Punk. He then applies a sleeper hold on Joe that brings the champion down to one knee.

It appears that Punk has the match won at this point. However, Joe recovers momentarily just to have Punk lock in the hold once again.

Joe manages to break free and hits an enziguiri that appeared to be more of a Pele kick knocking down Punk. The champion has a Boston Crab where he is sitting on the spin of Punk but the challenger gets to the ropes.

With the two men battle on the top rope the match hits later moments in the contest. As Punk hits a belly to back side suplex off the second rope it takes both men out.

Punk isn’t able to make the pin as he’s just too exhausted. Joe and Punk are both stirring and get to their feet.  We then hear of past 60-minute matches that this match reminds some of.

A submission attempt by Joe leads to a rope break by Punk. Joe then holds Punk’s head and kicks him repeatedly. Joe then hits a powerbomb and transitions it into a Boston Crab and then a STF on CM Punk.

Punk then gets to the rope to cause the break. The fans are as much behind Punk as they are Joe as the match progresses. Each time it appears as neither man has nothing left they manage to come back with something else.

As we are at the 50-minute mark, Punk manages to hit a combination of moves like a mule kick and trapped clothesline on Joe. Punk then attempts a clothesline but he and Joe get caught in a pinning predicament but neither man can score the win.

Joe attempts a reversal into the ropes but Punk reverses it into a shinning wizard. He attempts a pinfall but again only for a count of two.

Punk hits a desperation lowblow but it isn’t enough to slow Joe down. He once again traps Punk into a half crab who later reaches for the ropes.

As the match is nearing the 55-minute mark, Punk avoids a superplex and hits a Pepsi plunge on Joe from the top rope! Punk ends up on the floor while Joe is laying nearly out in the middle of the ring.

The fans couldn’t be anymore into this match then they are right now. Both men are on their feet and knock each other out with a clothesline. Punk follows up with a Shining Wizard and then attempts a suplex but gets caught with a Dragon Screw leg whip.

The match is reaching its last remaining moments. Joe then hits a three quarter nelson on Punk and drop him on his back.

From their knees both men exchange a series of slaps. However, Punk collapse before he gets a pin. He then attempts a pin and Joe kicks out as the time expires.

Fans chant ‘5 more minutes’ as both men lay absolutely exhausted. The battered challenger and champion finally recover as fans celebrate their collective efforts.

‘5 More Minutes’ was ushered in as these two men had just set a bar in Ring of Honor. Samoa Joe kneeled in the ring holding both the old and new titles.

It was at this time, Homicide would attack Joe from behind and leave with the new ROH World Title.

Both Joe and Punk would eventually make their way to their feet after the match as fans were chanting ‘thank you’. Punk would get on the microphone and say to Joe;

‘Homicide, I’ve done this before you. But what you’ve never done before is just pissed me off. What I here is the most important belt in North America.’

Fans were then chanting ROH as both Joe and Punk stood in the ring.

‘And its because of you’.

CM Punk then hands Joe the title, shakes his hand and the two embrace.

‘F**k anybody who tries to stop us’.

In Punk and Joe’s retelling of the match, Joe would share his take on how the match initially came about. Not much different from Punk’s recount but still a memorable exchange between the two Ring of Honor stars and promoter at the time, Gabe Sapolsky.

Punk was out in California where I lived and I had a few drinks that afternoon Punk is sitting next to me and we know we have this match and date coming up next to us and Punk bates me and says, “What do you think about this match and date, coming up?

We should do something pretty cool. We haven’t really done anything cool yet.” You know what would be funny?

If maybe we did one of those stupid one hour draws, like you and Chris Hero do.

And I said really you think so? And I said and I swear to God no more than five minutes later this a**hole is on the phone and says Gabe (Sapolsky) , yeah yeah Joe said we should do an hour draw, why not it would be a great idea.

For one hour draw, the W didn’t even get out of my mouth before he was on the phone with Gabe again. ‘Hey Gabe, we’re going to do the draw and its going to be great, fantastic’.

Samoa Joe’s version on how the decision for their first one-hour draw all came about.

[Photo: YouTube]

CM Punk and Samoa Joe – II

On October 16th, 2004, at ROH Punk/Joe II at the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, Illinois the two men that went to a one-hour draw would face each other again. A little over four months after their previous encounter the ROH World Title was on the line once again.

Punk would come to the ring screaming to those in attendance ‘what time is it?’ to which he would answer it’s clobbering time. This time the scene was different. For CM Punk he was…home. Fans were clearly behind the challenger upon his arrival.

After Punk came to the ring, the all too familiar call of ‘the champ is here’ rang through the overhead speakers as Samoa Joe came to the ring holding the ROH title comfortably overhead.

Almost immediately after both men were announced, fans were already chanting ‘f**k him up Punk, f**k him up’. There was no mincing of words as both men were prepared to battle one another. There was no grey area.

As soon as the bell rang, the flow of the match was different. Punk was prepared to wrestle Joe’s game. Rather than using a rope a dope type scenario in their previous match up, Punk was prepared to go right at Joe.

The two men lock up with armbars and reversals in the middle of the ring. Eventually, it leads to Joe being thrown off of Punk.

After a momentary break, the two men once again lock up and then are separated once in the corner. Once again both men would counter each other’s hammerlocks. Joe maintains control but only momentarily as Punk manages to reverse it himself.

Fans were quite vocal throughout the early part of the match. Joe eventually gets Punk down and has a camel clutch on Punk. But even that manages to get reversed leading to a side headlock on the mat by CM Punk.

The manner in which Punk approached this match was different. He was wrestling Joe, in fact going counter for counter again the champion.

Punk doesn’t stray to far from using a side headlock on the mat on Joe in order to wear him down. Joe does recover and rather than breaking free against the ropes, Joe drives his shoulder into the mid section of Punk.

But Punk still manages to regain control and even locks in a cravate and transitions that into a headlock. Joe doesn’t break cleanly again and Punk won’t allow himself to follow suit and slows the pace right down once again using a side headlock.

It didn’t matter what Joe did including a belly to back backdrop, Punk wouldn’t release his side headlock.

Both men would ask the other to hit the ropes with the intention of taking down the other man. Punk attempted to fake Joe out only to get caught with a fake and hes taken down. It ultimately leads to the champion outside on the floor.

Despite administering open hand slaps, Joe couldn’t get the advantage on Punk. The champion would circle the ring and regain composure returning back into the ring.

Punk takes Joe off his feet and ties him up around the waist. He then transitions to a front facelock. Both competitors then attempt to tie-up but it ultimately leads to Joe asked to break before attempting to strike Punk from behind.

The two men then are back on their feet and get caught in a test of strength with one another.

It leads to a furry of open hands strikes but Punk recovers with a series of the same strikes himself. Joe recovers and strikes Punk with a kick taking him out and to the floor.

This forced Punk to the floor to recover himself. Once he returns to the ring, the two men are jocking for position. Punk was trying to avoid Joe’s strikes perfering to lock up. Joe obliges and once again gains the advantage.

Joe maintains a Greco roman knuckle lock on Punk. He is using leverage to gain the advantage on the challenger. This leads to the fans getting behind Punk and forcing him to regain control. Punk hits a dropkick to the back of Joe delaying his recovery.

During commentary, we hear them share how Punk is much more aggressive in this matchup between the two men. Punk maintains armbars, hammerlocks and is content on working over Joe’s arm in the process.

He then proceeds to climbs the ropes and walks the ropes proceeding to drop a leg on Joe after walking the ropes. Punk once again resumes working on a rear chin lock on Joe in the process.

Joe however, attempts to break free only to get caught once again in another arm drag. CM Punk is relentless in his working over of the champion.

Each time it appears as though Joe has Punk shaken off of him Punk is able to maintain control working over the left arm and elbow of the champion.

Joe attempts to fight off the challenger again with forearms to shake off Punk eventually achieving so. Samoa Joe then hits snap mare on Punk but after taking a kick to the back Punk once again regains control with a side headlock.

With both men on their feet, Punk maintains the side headlock even as both men end up on the floor. That was until Joe hits a belly to back side suplex on Punk on the floor!

Punk appears completely out as the champion stands over him taking in the reaction from the ROH faithful.

Joe rolls in the lifeless body of Punk and proceeds to pin him. But he can only get a count of two. Joe hits another snapmare, kick and chop but all with his right arm and right leg.

He is really selling the work done to his left arm and elbow earlier in the match. Joe then continues to brush over Punk with kicks to his face. Punk recovers and then proceeds to do to Joe what was being done to him.

CM Punk then hits his running kick strike to the sitting Joe. Punk then goes for a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two.

With a wounded Joe standing, Punk drops a knee across the back and shoulders of Joe causing him to fall face first into the mat. As he goes for a pinfall attempt he only gets a count of two.

Punk then attempts to use his feet to take down Joe but he is caught and Joe locks up CM Punk and has an inverted dragon sleeper on the challenger. It’s a shock he didn’t tap as he was completely contorted at this point.

Punk recovers attempting a crossbody only for Joe to walk completely out of the way of the incoming challenger. Joe then proceeds to approach Punk and lifts him up by the head. Samoa Joe then hits a back breaker on CM Punk.

Punk is battered and beaten at this point as the champion once again picks him up. Joe hits vertical suplex and lands a delayed/stalled suplex in the process. After a pinfall attempt, Joe only gets a count of one.

Punk recovers though and begins to hit a series of chops on Joe and avoids a leg sweep. It results in a dropkick on Joe. Joe pushes off an armbar attempt and dropkicks the feet of the challenger.

Samoa Joe then attempts to put Punk in a Boston crab and eventually does. As Punk screams in agony atop the ROH logo in the center of the ring, the hometown crowd appears to be behind him. Joe then adjusts it to sit on Punk’s back.

The challenger eventually gets to the ropes. While backed in the corner, Joe hits Punk with a series of punches and then whips into the opposite corner leading him to collapse face first after hitting the turnbuckle.

Joe hits Punk with a series of kicks that fires him up! It leads to him standing up and hitting Joe with a barrage of his own strikes in the process.

He almost seems to have tired himself out as Joe then goes for a pin, but only for a count of two.

Once again Joe whips Punk to the opposite turnbuckle so hard he drops face first from the ferocious nature of the attack. Joe then begins to drive his foot into the face of Punk.

After brushing his foot across his face, Punk attempts to climb back to his feet with the help of the ropes. He fires in a kick on Joe but there is nothing behind his strikes.

Joe is completely in control and knocks him down with a strike. He then covers him and attempts to get a pinfall but only for a count of two.

Both men are then back to their feet as Joe once again hits Punk with strike after strike. However, after another whip to the corner turnbuckle Punk counters with a hurricanranna and then a tope suicidea to the floor on Joe.

With both men now on the floor, CM Punk appears to have a second wind. He then proceeds to charge from one side of the ring floor into the face of Joe foot first.

Punk then places Joe on another side of the ring and attempts to do it again. He drives his foot into the face of Joe who looks completely out at this point.

Punk then climbs onto the ring apron and attempts a hurricanrana only to get caught! Joe then whips Punk head first into the guardrail. The champion begins to fire kicks at Punk.

But both men begin to exchange blows on the floor. Chops and kicks, forearms and boots are fast and furious at this point. CM Punk is seemingly lifeless once again as he is rolled into the ring.

Joe then follows up and begins to throw fist after fist on Punk who seems to have regained his senses. It was at this point when Punk attempted to come after Joe. This was until Joe caught him with an uranagi.

Punk is then hip tossed over the top rope on the ring apron but is stopped. Joe then takes him down with a tope suicida of his own to the floor. Joe and Punk attempt to regain their senses on the floor.

Both men battle on the ring apron. Joe attempts a suplex but Punk blocks it and Joe turns it into a modified DDT on the ring apron on Punk.

The champion then rolls back into the ring and then attempts to suplex Punk into the ring. Punk then counters it and gets caught with a spear by Joe. The champion then attempts a pinfall attempt, but only for a count of two.

Both men then battle on their knees. They exchange strike after strike. Joe then gets caught with a series of leg strikes by CM Punk, who continues to work over the champion.

But Joe then hits a snap power slam and transitions into an arm bar on the challenger. Punk then manages to get to the bottom rope.

Joe attempts a powerbomb, but Punk turns it into a hurricanrana and then follows up with a straight boot to the face of Samoa joe. Punk then proceeds to hit a hangman’s neckbreaker on Joe from the top turnbuckle.

CM Punk then climbs the top rope and hits a tornado DDT on the champion. He then locks in another side headlock on Joe in the middle of the ring. Joe eventually breaks free of the side headlock by Punk.

Punk then attempts a suplex but Joe reverses it and hits the challenger with a strike knocking him to the mat.  Joe then hits Punk with a straight kick to the face. He continues to work over the challenger but still cannot get a three count.

Then Punk counters and hits a trapped DDT on Joe. Punk attempts a trapped clothesline, but Punk counters into an STF! Joe continues to wrench back on the back and neck on Punk. He then turns it into a cross-face, but Punk gets to the ropes.

Joe is frustrated, suggesting that it is over now! He picks up Punk who breaks free of a full nelson and then dropkicks Joe’s leg. He then hits a shinning wizard knocking down the champion.

Punk attempts a pinfall attempt but only for a count of two. Punk then picks up Joe and then hits a trapped clothesline on Joe and follows up with a moonsault.

He then makes a pinfall attempt but only gets a count of two. Both men are completely exhausted at this point in the match.

They make their way to their feet and engage in series of exchanges between them. Punk has a rear chinlock on Joe that turns into a sleeper. The champion is fading. He does manage to get to his feet and hits a sambo suplex on Punk.

Punk no sells it and the two men charge at one another hitting simultaneous clothesline on one another. The two men then battle on the top rope. Punk then attempts to hit a Pepsi plunge from the top rope!

However, Joe blocks it and the two men battle with forearms and strikes back and forth. Punk recovers and tries again to hit the PP. Joe blocks it and proceeds to hit a suplex on Punk.

Joe then proceeds to follow Punk and place him atop another turnbuckle. He then attempts a Muscle Buster, but Punk blocks it. Punk then attempts the Pepsi Plunge again but Joe again hits a superplex on Punk. But the time has expired.

Once again, the two men have battled to another 60-minute time limit draw. Fans once again chant, ‘5 more minutes’. Punk proceeds to take the ROH Title and stare at it.

He then hands it to Joe and offers his hand, and a code of honor is evident. The champion holds the title high above as the challenger sits in the corner, thinking of what could have been.

(The match begins at the 1:46:30 mark)

Rasslin' History 101 on X: "CM Punk vs ROH World Champion Samoa Joe in the third match of their classic trilogy of matches in Ring of Honor,back on December 4,2004 in Elizabeth,NJ.the
[Photo: Rasslin’ History 101/X]

CM Punk and Samoa Joe – III

On December 4th, 2004 at the ROH All-Star Extravaganza II from the Rex Plex in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After two epic battles where both men fought to hour-long draws it would be this match that would bring everything to a close.

First out would be the challenger, CM Punk. As Punk made his way to the ring, the ROH faithful knew what was at stake. It felt as though if there was any time for him to become champion it would b e on this night.

He would later be followed by the ROH Champion, Samoa Joe. Joe would once again walk in to the celebratory tones of ‘the champ is here’ as fans would stomp their feet and strike their hands against the barricade showing their adulation for the champion.

As both men met in the center of the ring they shook hands showing the mutual respect for one another. Comparisons to feuds in the past, such as Flair/Steamboat and Brisco/Funk, were made with this rivalry.

This time around, there is no easy lockup. But an intial side headlock by the challenger is shaken off by the champion.

Punk attempts another headlock on the mat but Joe is once again able to shrug it off and lays in a chop himself. The commentary team shared that this would be the final championship opportunity that Punk would receive.

Joe has a head scissors on Punk, avoiding the side headlock again. Punk’s strategy isn’t working early on in this match. The two men come to center of the ring and Punk begins to address the champion.

With Joe standing in the center of the ring, he challenges Punk to chop him. Punk obliges him and hits a faint chop, almost mocking him by striking him so passively.

CM Punk then begs for Joe to strike him as soon as Joe attempts the chop, Punk ducks and avoids the chop. He then locks in a side headlock on Joe, having him on the mat.

The challenger wrenches in the side headlock even with both men getting back to their feet. Once back down on the mat, Punk hits a dropkick to the back of Joe’s head and once again resumes using the side headlock and then transitions into the front facelock.

He then hits a series of dropkicks to a seated Samoa Joe. Punk hits a snapmare and then begins to stomp on the face, neck and head of the champion.

CM Punk leads Joe into the corner turnbuckle. But after receiving a chop, Joe reveres it and his on the attack. However, Punk counters with a kick and then hits a dropkick to the back of the head of Joe from the top rope.

The challenger maintains the attack on the champion with another side headlock in the center of the ring. Punk continues to wrench on the side headlock until Joe counters it and makes a pinning attempt. However, Punk counters it and maintains control.

After being backed into the corner, Joe hits rapid fire strikes on Punk. But Punk recovers and then strikes Joe, taking him down to the mat.

It isn’t enough to stop Joe, though, who recovers and once again comes at Punk with all the furry that the champion is synonymous with. Joe then kicks Punk so hard it blasts him out of the ring to the floor.

Samoa Joe is then recovering in the corner, trying to regain his senses. When Punk re-emerges, he comes out bloodied. Punk comes in the ring, Joe continues to blast the challenger with kicks and works over the cut across the top of the head of the challenger.

Samoa Joe then hits a snapmare and drops a knee across the chest of Punk. He then continues to rip at the head and face of Punk.

Joe then throws a clothesline/strikes the head of the seated Punk. Samoa Joe then locks in an armbar on Punk and transitions it into a cross-face. Punk then reaches for and gets to the ropes, forcing a break.

Joe then takes Punk and tosses him into the corner and then hits him with a headbutt. This forces Punk to the floor, trying to recover.

As Punk comes into the ring, Joe slowly follows the challenger and catches him with an uranagi and then makes a pinfall attempt. Joe only gets a count of two.

With Punk back in the corner, Joe works over the challenger. He hits a running boot/face wash to the seated Punk. We then see Joe make another pinfall attempt, but again, only for a count of two.

Joe then locks in a side headlock but Punk fights out of it. Punk begins to throw kicks to the head and neck of Joe. But he telegraphs a move and gets kicked to the face and then knocked to the floor. Joe then follows up with a top suicida to the floor.

CM Punk is a bloodied and battered mess. He is then seated at one end of the guardrail and Joe charges at him from another end driving his foot into the face of Punk.

Joe sets Punk up again, and he attempts to charge from another side of the ring, but Punk stops it and hits a dropkick from the ring apron to the floor on Joe.

The two battle on the floor, with Punk then working on the back of their neck of Joe. He then hits a leaping knee strike from the middle rope to the back of Joe’s neck onto the floor.

Punk then hits a crossbody on Punk in the middle of the ring followed by a DDT. CM Punk then is then signalling for a shining wizard but Joe hits a snap powerslam.

Joe then hits a powerbomb and then transitions into an STF on Punk. Joe pulls on the hair of Punk, trying to stretch him in the process. The Champion was attempting a dragon suplex but Punk reverses it into a DDT and then an anaconda vice.

Joe is able to break free. Punk then hits the Pepsi twist and follows that with a moonsault from the top rope. He went for a pin but only got a count of two.

Fans appeared to be behind Punk at this point. Joe catches Punk on the top rope. But Punk stops him and then attempts a powerbomb but is caught with hurricanrana by Joe!

Joe then makes a pinfall attempt but only gets a count of two. The fans are rabid here in support of this match. Punk then hits a mule kick and goes for a shinning wizard. CM Punk goes for a pinfall attempt, but only for a count of two.

Punk then attempts another Pepsi Twist but Joe reverses it into a sleeper on the challenger. Joe has Punk in the middle of the ring as he is fading. Both men are down in the middle of the ring.

Referee Todd Sinclair attempts a third hand drop and it does. But as he goes to ask for the bell, Ricky Steamboat refuses to let the bell sound as he can see Punk stirring.

The challenger makes his way back to this feet and drops hoping to have his chin force him to break the hold. But after two attempts, Joe refuses to release the hold!

Punk counters into a pinning attempt, but Joe counters it. He hits a series of counts but Joe has a counter for each of them.

Both men continue to battle in the ring. Fans are chanting JOE! Punk is making his way to one corner and the two men meet in the middle of the ring continue to battle. The challenger fires back with all he has.

Joe attempts a shortcut pin by using the ropes. Punk then attempts a reverse Pepsi plunge, but Joe reverses it. Joe missed a dive off the top rope but he hit Punk in the head on the way down, unintentionally.

Punk attempts a pinfall attempt but Joe reveres it again into a choke and then turns it into a dragon suplex and once again synches the choke on Punk. Sinclair calls for the bell as Punk is unconscious.

Punk layed face first in the middle of the ring as the champ tries to get to his feet. As the champion celebrates with his title, Punk is being assisted in the ring by his trainees. Ricky Steamboat then comes into the ring and goes over to CM Punk.

He then goes over to Samoa Joe and congratulates him. Joe goes on the microphone and acknowledges the value of the ROH title. He then gives Punk is props for all he’s done and all he’s worked to achieve through their battles.

A dejected Punk sits on the apron and then proceeds to leave as the champion addresses future other potential challengers.