Moments Ago: Farewell Colt Cabana
One of the curses of being an independent wrestling fan is knowing that at any moment one of your favorite wrestlers could leave for greener pastures at any moment. This is nothing to the fans of Ring of Honor. Eddie Guerrero was arguably the first to leave for the greener pastures, and by greener I mean in the wallet and not necessarily in the treatment. Paul London was the next getting a huge sendoff at the very first Death Before Dishonor. Spanky, James Gibson, and most notably CM Punk have also left the most loyal fans in the wrestling world to finally get the paycheck they deserve for all of their hard work and sacrifice. No one questions that it is the right move for the people involved, and now “ClassicÃ¢â‚¬Â Colt Cabana joins their ranks.
I have made no secret about how big a fan I am of the man from Maxwell Street. He has been one of the most consistently charismatic and entertaining members of the Ring of Honor roster and has delivered in matches and feuds of all types. This week’s edition of Moments Ago is going to be a tribute and retrospective on the Ring of Honor career of one of the brightest stars this company has seen.
Colt’s tenure in Ring of Honor began continuing the feud that put him on the map in independent wrestling, his classic feud with CM Punk. The two came in as enemies and had some great matches. Eventually they put their differences behind them and teamed up. Colt became a valuable ally in Punk’s feud against Raven, but more on that later.
My first time seeing Colt Cabana was also my first Ring of Honor show, the original Do or Die in May of 2003. Colt teamed with CM Punk in a tag team scramble against Special K, the Briscoes, and the Carnage Crew. The Second City Saints were of course victorious. I remember hearing the classic tones of “Copa CabanaÃ¢â‚¬Â and seeing a fun loving guy make his entrance with the extremely intense CM Punk, this mismatched pair immediately sparked my interest and their work in the match won me over as a fan.
It was the promo afterward that made me realize just how much potential these two men had. Punk cut an intense promo starting his Straight Edge Revolution and continuing the feud with Raven. Colt in a brilliant moment of comic timing asked Lucy, aka Daffney, aka Shannon Ward, to be his girlfriend. It diffused the intensity without making Punk or Lucy look foolish. It also created a memorable moment that was not at the expense of anyone. This type of comic timing is almost never found on the independent circuit and is even rare in the world of sitcoms and movies, but Colt demonstrated it here and many times over.
Colt was Punk’s sidekick in many ways and helped to make sure his friend and running buddy would succeed at any cost. He even put a figure four leglock on wrestling legend Terry Funk to help in Punk’s battle with Raven. Their greatest success however would come as a tag team and members of the Second City Saints.
Colt and Punk’s career as a tag team would reach new heights as they defeated the Briscoes for the tag team titles a year later. Their victory celebration was amazing, once again it had Punk being his normal intense self and Colt bringing the comedy. They would have one of the most successful tag team title runs in Ring of Honor history having classics with the Briscoes and Dan Maff and BJ Whitmer. These three teams competed in the third and at this point last Round Robin Challenge that saw the tag team titles change hands three times with the Saints leaving the night as two time champions. They eventually lost the belts to the Havana Pitbulls and decided to focus on singles careers.
Colt was showing his skills as a comedian and was given his own talk show called “Good Times, Great Memories.Ã¢â‚¬Â Colt had many memorable guests like Julius Smokes, Bobby Heenan, and Skippy the Water Skiing Squirrel. Many of these events were comedy gold and truly let Colt’s comedic personality shine. Many were worried that Colt did not have any other dimension to his personality besides his gift for comedy. Events in the coming months would prove otherwise.
For once, CM Punk would come to the aid of Cabana in one of his battles. Colt’s first major singles feud in Ring of Honor was against Nigel McGuinness. The two men were both experts in the European style of grappling and their matches started out as friendly competition, but some questionable tactics by Nigel soon turned the feud into an issue of respect and honor. Cabana enlisted Punk to help him in a tag match against McGuinness and Chad Collyer. Punk was backstage with his friend and showed for once that he could be the intense and serious one. Colt’s character was showing more depth and evolution.
CM Punk’s career would reach its pinnacle in June of 2006 when he won the Ring of Honor world title from Austin Aries. In a move that shocked the Ring of Honor world, Punk turned his back on Ring of Honor and its fans. Colt Cabana did not know what to think. Punk was eventually dethroned by James Gibson and redeemed in the eyes of his fans. Now there was only one thing left, CM Punk’s final Ring of Honor match. Punk’s only choice was his long time friend and partner Colt Cabana. The two met in a two out of three falls match and Colt came out the victor. His best friend and partner now onto the bigger pond that is the WWE, it was now his time to shine.
Colt’s singles career was now his sole focus. His next opponent would prove to be his toughest of all: The Notorious 187 Homicide. Ã¢â‚¬ËœCide was a guest on Colt’s Classic (pun intended) talk show “Good Times, Great Memories.Ã¢â‚¬Â On this edition Colt called Homicide his “nizzle.Ã¢â‚¬Â The Notorious one took exception to this. The feud spawned from this one little snafu was one of the most violent in Ring of Honor history. Colt Cabana rapped about Homicide’s shortcomings. Homicide responded with Draino. Colt ascended to new intense heights he had never reached in his tenure in Ring of Honor. He cut amazing promos about the lengths this feud had taken him. He eventually exercised these demons by defeating Homicide and earning a title shot.
Colt got his shot on the 100th show. Sadly, his violent feud with Homicide had taken his focus away from pure wrestling and lost the match to champion “American DragonÃ¢â‚¬Â Bryan Danielson. Colt would eventually get his rematch and come within a hair’s breath of winning the title. The event was referred to as Gut Check and Colt wrestled Dragon to a one hour draw. Colt may not have won the world title but he wrestled in one of the top matches of 2006, and also got lucky along the way.
Colt was finally able to use his comedic charm to form a carnal embrace with none other than the Lovely Lacey. Unfortunately Lacey was the object of a young man’s affection. That man was Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs is not one to let someone defile his lady love lightly. Jacobs was first convinced to team with Colt while Lacey flaunted her illicit relationship before the emotional one. Colt was merely along for the ride in more ways than one. Eventually Colt and Lacey’s romance soured and Jacobs went after Colt with a little bit of the old ultra-violence.
Jacobs was also feuding with BJ Whitmer at the time. Colt sided with Whitmer and the two feuded with Jacobs and the hired gun Brent Albright. Lacey and Daizee Haze were also involved in some of the most violent matches Ring of Honor has ever seen. It all culminated during the Fifth Year Festival in Chicago. Jacobs and Cabana battled in a Chicago Street Fight and Colt was victorious.
Issues started between Colt Cabana and Adam Pearce but it seems this feud won’t play out as well as it could. After Colt’s storied career in Ring of Honor he is now on his way to the WWE. Colt will fit in extremely well. He has the size, charisma, and talent to go very far in McMahonland. Colt will be extremely missed in Ring of Honor, but his fans will appreciate all he has done and all he will continue to do in the WWE.
Colt’s final four shows will be excellent and Colt has insisted that they be treated as celebration and a “seeya laterÃ¢â‚¬Â instead of a true goodbye. His final four shows will show every aspect of his career. On April 13 he will take on Delirious in a match that will for sure showcase his comedic side. The next night he will battle Doug Williams in a match that will focus on his strong suit in the ring which is the European style of wrestling. On April 27th he will return to the tag ranks this time teaming with Homicide against Adam Pearce and Brent Albright. This will also be anything goes, and Cabana has had some amazing matches when the rules are relaxed. His final match in Ring of Honor will be against Adam Pearce. While many RoH fans would question why Pearce is his last opponent the two have traveled all over the independent circuit together and both have the utmost respect for one another. I actually think this will be a great match for Pearce to shine and show what so many other wrestlers see in him that the fans don’t. Colt will be the perfect person to bring that out in him.
As Colt Cabana bids farewell I want to direct all of my countless readers to the interview I conducted with Cabana almost exactly one year ago before his big world title match with Brian Danielson. You can read the highlights or listen to the interview here. Colt we will miss all of the Good Times, and you have for sure left us with Great Memories
I’ll see you next time.
Tags: ROH, WWE