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Ricky Starks cheats to beat CM Punk and win the 2023 men’s Owen Hart tournament

The final match of the 2023 men’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament main evented tonight’s (July 15) episode of AEW Collision, with CM Punk going one-on-one against Ricky Starks.

Punk advanced to this match after previous tournament wins against Satoshi Kojima and Samoa Joe, whereas Starks made it here with wins over Juice Robinson and Powerhouse Hobbs.

Punk received a loud mixed reaction from the crowd in Calgary for his entrance, with one person even holding up a “Crying Manchild Phil” sign. There were dueling chants of “CM Punk” and “Let’s go Ricky!” early on during the match. The boos for Punk seemed to steadily increase as the match went on.

Punk planted Starks with a piledriver late in the match, but it wasn’t enough for the three count. Punk went for the kill with the GTS, but Starks slipped out of his grip and smashed Punk with a spear. Punk countered a second spear with a submission hold, but Starks broke the hold by getting his foot on the ropes.

The two men exchanged quick roll-up variations for near falls from there, until Ricky pulled a move out of Owen Hart’s playbook by grabbing the ropes on the next pin attempt; that was enough to keep Punk down for the three count.

Just like that, Punk takes his first pin fall on AEW Collision, and Ricky Starks wins the Owen Hart Cup.

Afterwards, Starks disrespectfully grabbed the trophy out of Jushin Thunder Liger’s hands and left, indicating this may be the start of a heel turn.

Are you surprised that CM Punk was pinned by Ricky Starks? Let us know in the comments below, Cagesiders.

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