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The Historical Significance Of CM Punk’s & MJF’s Upcoming Dog Collar Match

As we all saw last night on Dynamite, CM Punk made his choice on what type of match he wanted in his rematch with MJF, and in perfect CM Punk fashion, his promo was full of references to the past—particularly one Roddy Piper. After all, as CM Punk stated before—many times before—MJF did say he was bigger than Piper in Portland, didn’t he?

Of course he did, and CM Punk being the pro wrestling historian that he is, knew just the match to unleash onto the younger star. MJF has beaten CM Punk twice by cheating, but hey, this is pro wrestling, and now Punk intends to make him pay for it in quite the brutal way.

The match is set for AEW Revolution on March 6th, and it will be a Dog Collar Match.

via AEW /YouTube

Anatomy of the Dog Collar Match

Perhaps the best person to go to here is Arn Anderson himself…one of the OGs still around to tell of the old days. He puts the match into perspective quite nicely in a recent AEW post. He said:

“For those who don’t know, a “dog collar match” has been very rarely done in the business. I think, probably, the reason for that is the possibility and the danger involved. In essence, you take a dog collar with either end is of 10-12 inches…

One man puts a collar around his neck; another man puts a collar around his neck. They are free to use that chain in any way they choose…They understood the dangers of going in, and both of those guys turned it into a bloodbath. It set the standard. It will always be revered as the standard for dog collar matches.”

via Arn Anderson – AEW /essentiallysports.com (Transcription)

Some former matches include: Of course Junkyard Dog vs. Don Muraco, Dusty Rhodes and Junkyard Dog vs. Ted DiBiase and Kamala, Chris Jericho vs. Perry Saturn, Shotzi vs. Dust; we can’t leave out Cody Rhodes vs. Brodie Lee of course, and so many more.

Both CM Punk and MJF have had Dog Collar matches in the past

Interestingly enough, both these men had such a match in the early portion of their careers. CM Punk faced none other than the legendary Raven in ROH in a Dog Collar Match at Death Before Dishonor in 2003, and MJF faced Ethan Page in an Extreme Dog Collar Match for Alpha-1 Wrestling…

via ROH /YouTube

But perhaps the most famous or rather infamous Dog Collar match (or rather series of matches) was wrestled by Greg Valentine and a man whose name has been getting a lot of play on AEW TV lately…the late, great Roddy Piper.

He and Valentine faced each other in what is probably considered some of the greatest Dog Collar Matches of all time. According to a piece at prowrestlingstories.com, Piper and Valentine had a four year long feud…one that ultimately gave the audience at that time quite the series of matches.

via Rasslin’ History 101 on Twitter

It was at NWA Starrcade 1983 that the two would face off in what was considered the most dangerous match of their respective careers. Piper had loads to say on what went down. Here are some of his comments:

“Starrcade at that time was the ending of the ‘Civil War’ between the North and the South. Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko had gone into Shea Stadium and drawn $500,000. Starrcade was Jimmy Crockett’s answer to that…

It dawned on us that all the important people in our business were looking at us. It was a pride issue. We had a responsibility to make them proud and make history if we could…

They wanted Greg and me to have a match that was so brutal that people would keep coming back to see it. That sounded good- in principle. And one time? Sure. But to do it every night? Never crossed this dumb wrestler’s head…

I went and got a 12-foot logging chain and leather collars with spikes. It really hadn’t hit me what I had got myself into until that moment for some reason. At that point, I took the dog collars back and got sheep’s wool, thinking that it would be a little easier on the neck…

Greg and I did this match about 40 times. He had me by the hair, and he had his fist wrapped inside the chain, and he was wailing on my ear. He was mad at me, not because I was beating him with a chain, but because by the 29th match, we both had a rash around our necks from the sheep’s wool that looked like herpes…

I was putting baby powder on my neck, and Greg started wearing a turtleneck. That chain was so heavy…

It got taut and very tight from the beginning. There was a moment when I’m looking Greg in the eye, and he’s looking me in the eye, and we’re wondering what we’re going to do next…”

via Roddy Piper, postandcourier.com

So from the mouth of the late, great legend himself…it would seem that CM Punk and MJF are in for it, and so is the AEW audience.

Where this can go…

via Alpha 1 Wrestling /YouTube

I assume this might be the end of the feud—CM Punk’s first lengthy feud since joining up with AEW in the later portion of 2021, and what a fitting end it is. The Piper references, the references to their own histories and rise amongst the pro wrestling ranks…it’s the perfect stage to end what has been a very intriguing and entertaining feud.

I kind of see CM Punk going over in this one, and perhaps he can set his sights on a little wee bit of Gold in AEW, which for a legend like him would be apropos, of course. But time will tell. All we can be sure to expect is brutality and quite the match overall. Be sure to clear your schedule for March 6th. I know I will…I always do anyways. Till the next one, dear readers.

NEXT: Jay White Responds To Criticism Of The Current Bullet Club—Miro Lists Major Differences Between AEW & WWE

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