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Wwe: Cm Punk Best In The World Documentary, Wwe: Cm Punk: Best In The World

One of the most highly anticipated WWE Home Video releases in recent years, CM Punk: Best in the World comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 9 in the U.S. and October 29 in the U.K. 

This is the first WWE release devoted to Punk, who assured fans that he had creative control over the project and that it would not be your typical WWE documentary.

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The Documentary:

Running 109 minutes, this is easily one of the best WWE documentaries ever, if not the best. Off the top of my head, only The Rise and Fall of ECW and Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart (which is more of a sit-down interview than a traditional documentary) are up there in terms of how engaging and honest they are.

In general, it”s just completely different from most WWE documentaries. Punk”s backyard and independent wrestling days are covered extensively with footage from IWA Mid-South and Ring of Honor. 

The graphics, music (Punk made sure that artists he likes such as The Bouncing Souls would be featured instead of “crappy bands like Switchfoot”), and editing are much different from what WWE usually comes up with.

One thing that makes this documentary unique that”s not directly related to Punk is that it provides a much more detailed look at WWE”s talent development and creative processes than anything they”ve put out in the past. 

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In one segment that I found especially revealing, SmackDown head writer Michael Hayes gives a legitimately compelling argument for why wrestlers favored by Paul Heyman have historically been stigmatized by the company. 

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Back to Punk…

Other than his interview with GQ Magazine last year, I”ve always felt that fans have never really gotten a good look at the real CM Punk and what makes him tick. This DVD goes a long way in changing that. 

Everything from his family life, to how he defines family, to his loyalty to his friends, to what drives him to succeed, to what IWA Mid-South and Ring of Honor meant to him, all of his difficulties in WWE; it”s all here. In addition, the chronological narrative is broken up by fun human interest interludes about his tour bus, tattoos, his love of comic books, and more) at the end of each chapter.

There are a million little things that make this great, and it would take forever to go over them all. One that stuck out to me was, for whatever reason, how they handled Punk”s infamous “pipe bomb” promo in Las Vegas last year. The whole promo is included uninterrupted, and with WWE choosing to rate the set TV-14, Punk calling John Laurinaitis a “douchebag” is uncensored.

In addition, the audio has been remixed for surround sound, revealing a lot more subtle crowd reactions not audible in the original stereo broadcast. There are lots of previously hard to hear ohs! and oohs!, as well as a surprisingly big pop for Punk”s reference to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

I could go on forever, but the key to what makes it all work is that, while this may sound like a cliche, they”ve truly captured the essence of CM Punk in this documentary.

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The Special Features:

Note: The DVD version was provided for review. The Blu-Ray release also includes CM Punk”s match with Rey Mysterio from Armageddon 2008 and another hour or so of sit-down interviews and deleted scenes along the lines of what”s on the first disc of the DVD set. On the Blu-Ray set, all extras are in HD except for the pre-2008 matches.

In addition to the documentary, the DVD includes 37 minutes of deleted scenes/interviews and two discs of matches.

The deleted scenes are excellent, though I can see how they would”ve disrupted the flow of the documentary. Others feel like major omissions, namely:

The story of Punk”s skull fracture in 2002.The fallout from the December to Dismember pay-per-view in 2006, leading to Paul Heyman being demoted from ECW head writer

As for the matches, I”ll give some quick thoughts on them, but overall, as far as the selection goes, I have no real complaints. Yeah, I”d like to see Punk”s WWE Title win over Alberto Del Rio at Madison Square Garden on here, especially since it hasn”t been released on Blu-Ray. That”s a minor issue, though, and what got released is just about a perfect cross-section of his best and most important matches in WWE.

Disc 2:

 

Disc 3:

 

Final Thoughts:

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If you”re a CM Punk fan, then of course you”re buying this. If you”re a fan of modern WWE in general, then this is highly recommended. If you like finding out what makes wrestlers tick, then you”ll really enjoy this. 

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In addition, home theater enthusiasts will appreciate the Blu-Ray version much more than most WWE Home Video releases. Thanks to WWE going high definition 18 months into Punk”s run, this a rare WWE compilation where almost all of the bonus matches are in HD.

Overall, an excellent release, one of WWE”s very best. Highest recommendation.

David Bixenspan is the Team Leader of Bleacher Report”s pro wrestling section. You can follow him on Twitter at
davidbix. His archive of past podcasts with various pro wrestling personalities, including CM Punk, is available at DavidBix.com.

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