Caprice Coleman Recalls His Experience Wrestling CM Punk In The Early Days Of TNA

Caprice Coleman recalls working with CM Punk during CM Punk’s brief time in NWA-TNA.

Caprice Coleman was trained by The Hardy Boys in North Carolina in 1997. A background like that is guaranteed to open many doors in professional wrestling and in the early 2000s, there was a race to see who could try to fill the void left by both WCW and ECW following their closure and subsequent purchase by WWE.

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One of the main promotions that would service would be NWA-TNA, a promotion started by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry that would eventually house names that would go on to be the top in WWE such as AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Bobby Roode.

Early on in their existence, TNA also played host to a young CM Punk. Caprice Coleman would have the opportunity to wrestle CM Punk on one of the Wednesday night pay-per-view events being put on by TNA and now, he is looking back on this experience in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp.

“I started wrestling in ’97. I started in North Carolina. I was trained by Matt and Jeff. They had, by that time, got signed with WWE and I was with a company mostly in Georgia called NWA: Wildside. TNA came around, they were Total Nonstop Action, they were kind of brand new on the scene. It was something Jeff Jarrett had in mind and somebody else were trying to find a way to make NWA big again. So at the time nobody really knew what was going to happen. It was just the new thing on the scene.”

Continuing on, Caprice Coleman would also say that he met Roderick Strong for the first time in TNA. Ultimately, that is what Caprice looks back fondly on now, remembering meeting these names at that stage in their career and looking back and seeing how far names like CM Punk and Roderick Strong would go in the wrestling industry.

"We’re in Tennessee and I got booked for them, and it was a tag team match. It was actually the first time I met Roderick Strong was there in that building. They said we’d be tagging. Okay, cool. I remember the conversation I had with Roddy. He introduced himself to me and I said, ‘What do you do?’ He said, ‘I’m the Messiah of the Backbreaker. I have all these backbreakers.’ I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’ He asked me, I said, ‘I’m really innovative and energetic.’ He said, ‘Whatever you do, I’ll match it.’ ‘Alright, cool.’

“We knew who we were going to wrestle, but they were doing multiple TV tapings on the same day. So CM Punk and Julio had two huge matches. One huge match, like a main event for a show they were trying to get ready for and it was taking a really long time to get ready for. Then ten / fifteen minutes before our match, ‘Alright guys, here we go.’ It was really fast, ‘Alright, y’all are up,’ type of thing. Then we had our match. That’s how that came about. It’s kind of a lost gem because every once in a while I get to pull it up and see it, look at it now and I look at who’s who now. To be a part of that, I thought, was really cool.”

Today, CM Punk is on AEW while Caprice Coleman is in Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor is slated to go on hiatus in the first quarter of 2022. You can check out CM Punk's comment on that hiatus at this link.

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