March 28, 2010
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Val Venis vs. CM Punk (Sunday Night Heat, Wilkes-Barre PA, aired 5/15/05)
This was CM Punkís final tryout match that earned him a WWE contract. Todd Grisham and Coach are on commentary, so donít expect anything intelligent to come from those two. Grisham makes a terrible Punky Brewster joke. Back and forth feeling-out sequence to start. Venis applauds Punk and then turns his back on him, which leaves himself wide open for a chopblock. Punk is here to WIN! Punk hooks on a legbar, but Venis chops back. Punk knows heís in trouble, so he slides out and posts Valís leg to regain control. He stomps on the leg and mocks Val a little bit. Venis kicks Punk away and mounts a comeback with clotheslines and a backdrop. Val connects with ten-count short-arm clotheslines in the corner and follows up with a neckbreaker for 1-2-NO! Blue Thunder Driver gets 1-2-NO! Val attempts the fisherman suplex, but his knee gives out. PSYCHOLOGY~! Punk yanks back on the leg and then applies a half crab. VAL WILL NOT DIE! He makes the ropes. Venis ducks a clothesline and delivers a half-nelson slam to set up the MONEY SHOT! He sells the knee! Cover, 1-2-3. (6:40) Great for a Heat match. Maybe Iím just a little bias towards old school psychology, but I liked it alot. **ĺ

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