While celebrating the promotion’s Top 5 moments in its history, Ring of Honor (ROH) placed CM Punk’s final match against Colt Cabana (and the events surrounding it) at the ROH event Punk: The Final Chapter as part of that Top 5 list. Punk initially rose to prominence through his career on pro wrestling’s independent circuit, primarily as a member of ROH, where he was the first head trainer of ROH’s wrestling school as well as winning both of their championships.
In June of 2005, Punk accepted a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), after a try-out match with Val Venis on its Sunday Night Heat show. Though he accepted the deal, Punk went on to defeat Austin Aries and win the ROH World Championship on June 18, 2005 at ROH’s Death Before Dishonor III Event. Immediately after the match, Punk turned heel (jargon for “became a bad guy”) and began a storyline where he threatened to bring the ROH World Championship to WWE with him (a common instance in wrestling when a wrestler goes to “Promotion B” with a title from “Promotion A” and throws “Promotion A’s” title in the trash, desecrating it). Week after week, Punk continuously taunted the ROH talent, fans, and the championship he had, going so far to say he’d sign his WWE contract on it. During the storyline, Mick Foley (i.e., Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love) made several guest appearances in ROH, attempting to convince Punk to do the honorable thing and defend the title on his way out of the company. On August 12, 2005 in Dayton, Ohio, Punk lost the ROH World Championship to James Gibson in a four-way elimination match that involved himself, Gibson, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels.
Punk’s final scheduled match in Ring of Honor took place at Punk: The Final Chapter on August 13, 2005 against long-time friend Colt Cabana in a two-out-of-three-falls match, which he lost. Before and after the match, Punk was visibly crying and was showered with streamers when he posed in the middle of the ring. YouTube user infernityzero2011 put it best, posting “wow what a classy guy …he drinks pepsi in a wine glass.”