This was a RAVEN’s RULES match.
While this was certainly an overlong brawl (especially for the first match in a planned feud), it was still an extremely effective first chapter in what would be one of the most celebrated feuds in Ring of Honor history.
They brawled with intensity and physicality. Raven worked and fought like he wanted to prove something to himself. Punk worked and fought with a chip on his shoulder.
It was the perfect blend of real life and pro wrestling motivations informing the effort and story in the ring. Punk made Raven tap out after an “accidental” ref bump caused Raven to miss an opportunity to pick up the win. (***1/4)