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Wrestling Retrospective: Raven & CM Punk Dog Collar (ROH Death Before Dishonor ’03)

April 5, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Raven CM Punk ROH Death Before Dishonor 2003 Image Credit: ROH


Hello, and welcome to my first article on 411Mania, where I will be doing retrospectives of pro wrestling matches! I’ve been part of 411 for about a decade in some capacity. Larry Csonka first accepted me into the 411 family when I sent a WCW Nitro review in an attempt to have my reviews published on the site. Larry’s work ethic and consistency in doing show reviews were something I admired and respected a great deal. Every morning after a show happened, I found myself searching for his reviews and seeing what he thought of it even if I didn’t follow the product. It meant a lot that he liked my reviews and was accepted into 411.

Here is a bit more background about my fan hood. My first memory of professional Wrestling is when I looked through a WWF Magazine and saw Jim Duggan bloodied and stretchered out by Yokozuna. I had yet to learn who Yokozuna was nor knew who Duggan was. I remember the bloody mouth of Duggan, and at the age of three, I knew that Yokozuna was not somebody to mess with. I routinely watched WWF Livewire when I stumbled upon it on a Saturday morning and kept up with WWF that way. I didn’t ever watch RAW until many years later.

As for WCW, my first memory was seeing Bunkhouse Buck beating the tar out of Dustin Rhodes on a syndication show. I can’t remember if it was a video package or it was happening live, but similar to the WWF experience, Buck was a badass to me, and it connected with me. WCW was the company I followed live the most. WCW Saturday Night was my appointment television, and I have two memories of the show. First, I missed a match between Jeff Jarrett and Dean Malenko that I wanted to watch because I mistimed returning home. Secondly, in 1999, a match between Duggan and La Parka was so bizarre that I wished to watch it. But I was at a sleepover, and it was a replay at midnight, and thus I couldn’t see it.

ECW is a promotion I watched well after the company folded. Though I do recall watching a Taz promo in early 1999 promoting a match with Shane Douglas on MSG that made me a fan of Taz, and upon his WWF debut, I thought he’d be unstoppable. I was wrong about that one. TNA I followed from day one but fell out of love with the promotion shortly after Hogan and Biscoff arrived. ROH was the first independent promotion I followed, and I was quickly impressed by their action in the first several years.

I’ve been publishing reviews and articles on my Wrestling Recaps website. It’s been a passion of mine for the past decade, and I enjoy documenting as much Wrestling as possible. So check it out for many shows people don’t tend to cover on the internet.

In these retrospectives, I aim to relive classics or personal favorites and shed light on forgotten gems or matches that only a few people may have realized happened. For example, I’ve come across people who have had zero knowledge that Sting actively competed in TNA after WCW’s demise. So, if any readers of 411 have suggestions or, by chance, a wrestling promoter thinks highly of a match they’ve had and wants to reach a few more people potentially, feel free to reach out. I’ve set up an email exclusively for this article and can be reached at [email protected] for any requests or suggestions!

The first match I will relive was on July 19th, 2003, at ROH Death Before Dishonor in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It’s the dog collar match between Raven and CM Punk.


In early 2003, WWE released Raven, and he quickly found his footing in TNA as a main-event player. Feuding Jeff Jarrett would be one of the most compelling angles in TNA’s first year of existence. So naturally, Raven became a hot commodity on the independents due to his run in WWE and the nostalgia attached to his ECW run years prior. Ring of Honor quickly became a promotion Raven regularly appeared at in 2003.

Meanwhile, CM Punk was mainly successful for IWA-MS, run by Ian Rotten. Punk arrived in ROH in late 2002, and it didn’t take long for Punk to earn a regular and prominent role in ROH. Punk did not hide his straight-edge lifestyle, and considering Raven was the polar opposite of that, it led to a natural rivalry between the two.

Raven’s first appearance occurred on March 15th, 2003, wrestling Punk in a singles match. There was a stipulation that Raven agreed to only wrestle Punk for ten minutes, but if that time elapsed, the match became Raven’s Rules contest. So, of course, the time elapsed, but Punk snuck out a major upset victory following a low blow and forcing Raven to submit with the Devil Lock. They’d meet again on March 22nd at ROH Night Of Champions, where Raven teamed with Colt Cabana to defeat CM Punk & Ace Steel, but Raven didn’t get revenge on Punk despite winning the tag match. After the bout, Cabana turned on Raven.

Raven wouldn’t return to ROH until June 14th, teaming with BJ Whitmer to take on Punk and Cabana at ROH Night of Grudges. Whitmer was a partner Raven could trust since Punk had previously put Whitmer through a table with a German suplex. However, Punk and Cabana won the no-disqualification match, and Punk put Raven through a table for added insult. Raven teamed with Christopher Daniels at WrestleRave on June 28th, 2003, and Punk prevailed again by choking Raven out with a chain to continue his dominance over his hated foe.

Around this time, Punk and Raven allied in TNA as part of The Gathering. So, on TNA weekly PPVs, they were fighting side by side, but on the independents, they were having bloody brawls against each other.

With Raven unable to get any momentum on Punk in ROH, and Punk using a chain to beat Raven down, a dog collar match occurred at Death Before Dishonor.


Punk hesitates to put the dog collar around but accepts his fate. Punk tries to leave but is pulled back into the ring, and Raven decks Punk with the chain several times. Raven clotheslines Punk with the chain and then whips Punk over the back several times. They go to the floor, where Raven sends Punk into the ring post face first to maintain the advantage, and the New Jersey crowd is behind Raven heavily. Raven sends Punk into the railing with a side Russian leg sweep. Punk has already been busted open from the forehead. Raven decks Punk with the ring bell to lay Punk out on the floor. Raven isn’t done with Punk using the chain to choke Punk before sliding a table into the ring. Raven sends Punk hard into the guard railing shoulder first.

Back in the ring, Raven pummels Punk with right hands on the mat. Raven sets the table up in the corner as a bloodied Punk tries to regain his composure. Punk stops Raven with a low blow, but Raven fights back with a knee lift to maintain control. Punk stops Raven’s momentum by sending Raven through the table in the corner. Punk drives Raven down with a backbreaker and wraps the chain around his knee to deliver a knee drop to Raven’s head. Punk drops Raven with a right hand on the floor and chokes Raven with the chain. Raven has also been bloodied at this point.

Raven pulls Punk into the railing gut first after Punk sends Raven into the crowd. They brawl in the crowd, where Punk hip tosses Raven onto a few chairs before choking Raven with a chair. Raven responds with a chair shot to the head. Raven nails Punk with a clothesline and pulls Punk back over the railing to the ringside area. They return to the crowd, where Raven clotheslines Punk out of a chair. Raven has a fan hold a chair and rams Punk into the chair face first a couple of times. Raven plays to the crowd on the bleachers but is yanked down by Punk. Punk pummels Raven with several stomps on the floor.

Punk has a trash can as Raven stumbles back to the ringside area. Punk rolls Raven back into the ring and nails Raven with a back elbow. Punk has grabbed a microphone and whips Raven with the chain before hitting a suplex. Punk nails Raven with a shining wizard and taunts Raven afterward. Punk grabs the microphone and uses the chain to low-blow Raven. Punk goes to the top rope, but Raven pulls Punk off. Punk mentions Raven’s previous character, Scotty Flamingo, and Raven responds with strikes and a discus clothesline. Raven nails Punk with several clotheslines and delivers a knee lift for a two-count.

Raven has a chair, looks for the trademark drop-toe hold spot, and drives Punk face-first into the chair for a near fall. Raven stands over Punk and spits on his rival. Raven misses a chair shot and whacks the referee over the head. Punk tries for a bulldog, but Raven yanks Punk down with the chain and hits the Raven Effect, but there’s no referee. Colt Cabana slides in and low blows Raven. Cabana connects with a DDT onto the chair. However, Danny Doring (?!) comes out of the crowd and attacks Cabana. Doring clotheslines Cabana to the floor and taunts Punk. They brawl to the floor, and Punk crawls over and covers Raven to win the match.

After the match, Punk tapes Raven to the ropes and pours beer on Raven, a recovering addict. That doesn’t last long because Tommy Dreamer comes out and saves Raven and tapes Punk to the ropes. Eventually, Raven pours beer on Punk, signaling that the feud must continue. Punk absolutely freaks out.


The feud continued to the September 6th ROH Beating The Odds show, where they squared off in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, but due to the match needing to be better received by going a half-hour, only about twelve minutes of the match was released on DVD. Raven earned his first victory over Punk by hitting a DDT through a table. Oh, and Punk controversially crucified Raven on a red X in the middle of the ring.

With the first cage match failing to deliver, they would meet again inside a cage at the November 28th, 2003 ROH The Conclusion. Punk won the feud by managing to escape the cage. Raven only beat Punk once in a singles match in ROH, and the match was heavily edited. Nevertheless, the feud with Raven catapulted Punk into a significant indie name for several years.

By the end of 2003, Punk turned on Raven in TNA, but Punk soon left TNA due to the issues between ROH/TNA regarding the RF controversy.

What are your memories of the Raven and Punk feud in ROH? Did you watch their matches in other companies, such as MLW?

Remember, feel free to send suggestions for matches to be covered to [email protected] and to check out Wrestling Recaps!