Posted by James Tee
Hello, and welcome back to Wrestlingnews.net, and the second part of my look at the career and life of CM Punk.
We pick up at the start of Punk’s career in IWA: Mid-South, a stark contrast from where we find his career now. In just nineteen days, Phil Brooks walks out in front of 90,000 people to try and do what countless other men have failed to do over the past twenty two years; end The Undertaker’s streak.
Thirteen years ago, Brooks was about to make his first impact in the professional world.
PART TWO – IWA – Mid South
For the first two years of his career, Punk called the Independent Wrestling Association: Mid-South, at the time based in Charlestown, Indiana. The signing of Punk, and other Steel Dominion trained wrestlers such as Colt Cabana, as well as current NXT star Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), saw a shift to more technical wrestlers for the company.
One of his first appearances was in the inaugural Sweet Science Sixteen tournament. Despite winning his first match against Chuck E. Smooth, he was eliminated in the quarter finals by The Suicide Kid, in a tournament won by Chris Hero.
For months, Punk’s work was solid, and was getting him noticed. On top of his work, he was engaged high quality, high intensity feuds with Hero and Cabana. It would only be a matter of time before he would reach the top of the promotion.
Before an unsuccessful 2001 SSS tournament; he was eliminated by Dino Bambino in the first round, Punk had already won gold in the company. On June 9th, 2001, he won his first IWA title; the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship, defeating Mark Wolf. His reign would last just a shade over one month, but his waist would not be bare for long. A second title run followed in November before he hit the top of the promotion.
On December 5th, 2001, Punk won his first IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship, defeating Chris Hero. His reign would continue through to March, before he lost his belt to Eddie Guerrero, in a triple threat match also involving Rey Mysterio.
After regaining his belt from Guerrero after one day, he lost his belt once again in April, this time to Colt Cabana. Punk would have to wait until October to regain his belt, defeating M-Dogg 20 on the fifth of the month.
Heading into the SSS tournament, now known as Ted Petty invitational, Punk was champion, and favourite. He had arguably, one of the hardest routes to the final in the brief history of the tournament. In successive rounds, he defeated M-Dogg 20, Christopher Daniels and old foe Chris Hero in reaching the final, where he would defend his title against BJ Whitmer in a winner takes all match.
In losing to Whitmer, Punk’s third reign as champion was over, although, as had happened in recent months, his title drought would not last long. On December 14th, 2002, CM Punk defeating Whitmer, and in turn won his fourth IWA title.
It was not long after this, that Punk made the breakthrough, to Ring of Honor, and TNA.
NEXT TIME – TNA AND ROH YEARS
Many thanks for reading
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