The Only Review of CM Punk: Best In The World DVD That You’ll Ever Need
The documentary is great. There’s a ton of screen time for Punk, being interviewed in plenty of different locations, from his living room, to a tattoo shop, and a comic book convention. Obviously we get his whole life story, and with Punk being a damn fine story-teller, it’s very easy to feel his frustration about certain things, as well as his love, passion, and loyalty for his job, friends & family. Easily one of the E’s best documentaries, and one I know I’ll revisit a few more times down the road.
Besides the documentary, there’s about a half n hour of extras. All of which are just stories that were cut out of the documentary. My favorite is Punk’s story about cracking his skull during a match, and his sophisticated Triscuit/Gatorade/Half Baked rehab.
Now, for the bread & butter of the release
CM Punk vs. Brent Albright – Finals for the OVW World Heavyweight Championship – OVW, March 1st, 2006
Punk controls the first half of the match, just about as well as you’d imagine, with everything from Eddie’s in-to-the-ring plancha, to washing his boots on Albright’s face. Eventually Brent turns it around by catching Punk on the outside after a huricanrana attempt and slams him into the guardrail. I love that spot. Another great one where Albright is hanging from the Tree of Woe and Punk comes off the top rope, knee first into Albright’s face. Later, Punk pulls a JT Smith pretty big when he goes for his ‘off-the-top-rope’ clothesline and slips, crashing to the ground knee first. He ends up getting strapped to a stretcher, and is fantastic at the way he keeps shoving the trainer and yelling at him every time he accidentally touches his knee. He’s being wheeled to the back, but Albright comes and throws him down, whipping him with a strap. Yeah, you can tell Heyman is the booker, because this is really awesome. Punk looks ballsy as hell, and it really shows how bad he wants the strap. Albright of course looks like the classic heel, as he’s salivating at the thought of taking advantage. Dammit, now I want to see the rematch.
Albright puts Punk in the STF for the submission at 19:56 | ****1/4
Justin Credible vs. CM Punk – ECW, August 1st, 2006
This match is taking place at the same building where the One Night Stand PPVs were held (the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City – Dancin’ Stevie Ferrari). Punk gets a massive reaction from the crowd, it’s damn near on the level that RVD had during the Cena match. It’s not a lengthy debut, but it more than does a great job of getting Punk across as someone to watch. From his unique kicks, high-flying moves and submissions, to powering out of one of Credible’s own submission holds. A great debut for anyone, really.
Punk forces Credible to tap to the Anaconda Vice at 4:17 | **3/4
Promo video of Punk losing his shot at the ECW title at SummerSlam 2007, then winning a 4-way dance for a number one spot. Punk beat-out Big Daddy V, The Boogidyman, and Miz to earn this shot.
CM Punk vs. John Morrison [C] – Last Chance For The ECW Championship – ECW, September 4th, 2007
Man, Morrison has an incredible body [yes homo]. Interesting moment where they go to commercial, but continue showing what happened. It’s about time they started doing that. Of course the footage isn’t much more than a sleeper, still. This is one of those matches that really get you into the contender, because every time Punk is about to get some real momentum on his side, Morrison will do something to stop it short. It’s great. The false finishes near the end are fantastic, and really bump this match up for me. They had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands this whole match, and the place exploded when Punk won. Hell, if I was backstage and saw that response, I’d make sure it’d take almost 5 more years to put Punk on top.
John Morrison eats a GTS as Punk nabs the pin at 13:54 | ****
John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. CM Punk vs. Ken Anderson vs. MVP vs. Jericho – Wrestlemania 24, March 30th, 2008
It’s a damn shame that Shelton never came up with a gimmick that worked. Ideally you’d put JBL’s charisma and mic skills onto Shelton Benjamin. The first ‘holy shit’ spot of the night is Shelton on a ladder and dumped outside via a front flip through a ladder that’s placed between the barrier and ring. Then it switches to funny, when after a series of brutal spots, such as CM Punk giving Mr. Kennedy a Diamond Cutter off the ladder, and Carlito following suit on Jericho, only with a Backstabber, MVP stands up in the ring, and looks like Steve Buscemi at the end of Reservoir Dogs. There’s really no such thing as a bad MiTB, and this is no exception. I actually prefer the one Punk wins at WM25, but this is a more than fine addition.
Punk grabs the briefcase to win his first MiTB at 17:55 | ****
CM Punk and Kofi Kingston vs. Priceless [C] – WWE Tag-Team Championships – Raw, October 27th, 2008
Really great start with Punk and DiBiase. Eventually it spills outside, where it goes to commercial and again we see the footage. I really hope this is a mainstay for future releases. This time it’s more than a sleeper. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a true sign of the times of how bad current commentary is when I’m thoroughly enjoying the match without Cole and King. Priceless is really an underrated, old-school style tag-team. It’s too bad they don’t do more. They’ve kept the ring cut in half perfectly every time they get the momentum. Later, Kofi starts the reverse of that momentum by doing a kip-up, but wraps his feet around Cody’s head and sends him flying the other way. A damn fine tag-team match, and I’m not one for tag team wrestling.
DiBiase goes to sleep, giving Punk the pin at 13:11 | ***1/2
CM Punk vs. William Regal [C] – No DQ for the Intercontinental Championship – Raw, January 19th, 2009
This match takes place during a time when they sold those inflated John Cena hands, except they made the mistake of not connecting the fingers, so you’re always seeing middle fingers and such. Oh man, FINALLY, it FINALLY happened! Punk has Regal in an arm bar, but Regal reaches the ropes. The ref tells Punk to break it and Punk screams “I don’t have to break it! I’m gonna break his arm!” So many times I see in No-DQ matches where that same thing happens, and the guy lets go. Also, this match is in full, no commercial breaks. We get an awesome heel spot where Regal has his shin over Punk’s throat as he holds the ropes and takes his other foot and constantly wipes it on Punk’s head. I’d also like to mention that Layla is smoking hot here. This was a damn fine match, especially because when you think No-DQ, you think weapons. But they didn’t do anything like that. Instead, they used the No-DQ to work in brutality with non-stop submissions and elbows galore. Great match.
Punk hits the GTS and nabs the pin, despite Regal hitting him with 11 elbows while on his shoulders, at 9:56 | ***3/4
CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy [C] – TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – August 23rd, 2009
A little after the match gets started, there’s a brutal spot where Jeff does Air Hardy, only for Punk to catch him and then drop him back first on top of the chair. You could do serious damage if that went wrong. Hardy soon bounces back with an awesome spot in which he whips Punk into the stairs, Punk jumps to the top of ’em, turns around and leaps at Jeff, only to be met by Jeff swinging a chair like a baseball bat. Later, they both get it in a completely sick superplex in which CM Punk’s spine lands half on the ladder, half not. Near the end, we get an incredible Swanton Bomb from Jeff as he leaps off a 20 foot ladder. What a spot, almost equaled by him refusing medical attention because he wants to stop CM Punk that badly. Punk holds up his end as the look he gets on his face when Hardy gets back into the ring is awesome. Also, the moment where the lights go out, and Undertaker replaces Hardy, that’s easily my favorite Taker moment ever. It was brilliant. Thankfully Punk was soon jobbed out because he wouldn’t wear a suit.
CM Punk grabs the WHC at 21:34 | ****1/2
Promo video for the Punk v Mysterio feud. After seeing it, I’m really glad I wasn’t watching attentively during this time. Punk’s SES, and his whole ‘Jesus Punk’ deal was BRILLIANT and it would have pissed me off so much that he wasn’t the lead heel. Brilliant moment where we see Gallows and Mercury place Mysterio on Punk’s shoulders for the GTS. He should really bring this whole thing back.
CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio – Punk’s Hair vs Rey Joining The SES – Over The Limit, May 23rd, 2010
Shortly after it gets started there’s a great spot where Punk slides Rey from the ring, face first into the barber’s chair that’s placed outside of the ring. Earlier, Punk was thrown head-first into the barrier, splitting him open. Of course, the ref has to try and stop this. You can clearly see how annoyed Punk is with the ref trying to stop the blood. The crowd echoes his feelings as they boo like crazy. Once done, Punk is like a man on absolute fire as he tries to get his back, as well as get the match flowing again. Maybe he really is the best in the world. It’s no surprise that once the match gets started again, it never stops. Some of the best wrestling I’ve ever seen. Punk is hilarious and fantastic here as the disgraced heel once Mysterio starts shaving, especially his reaction to a mirror.
Rey puts Punk in a crucifix pin for the win at 14:19 | ****
CM Punk vs. John Cena [C] – WWE Championship – Money In The Bank, July 17th, 2011
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the full monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half not delivering so much. Afterwards though, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There are quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior one, in my opinion. Then their NOC match trumped that. If we include the angle, then this is a 5 star event. But on match merit alone, I can’t do it.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54 | ****1/4
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk [C] – WWE Championship – WrestleMania, April 1st, 2012
Love the stipulation where if Punk gets DQ’ed he loses the title. Allowing Jericho to once again prove that he’s the GOAT by screaming “Hey, Punk, HOW’S YOUR FATHER?!” He of course follows it up with “How’s your sister?!” and then readies himself to be nailed with a chair as he screams “Your sister’s a drug addict! Your father’s a drunk!” Brilliant stuff. Jericho hits a suplex, taking Punk from the ring to the outside. I mention it because it’s so rare that spot is ever done, and it would hurt like crazy. Awesome that they both reverse each other’s bulldog spots. Great moment where Punk goes for a huricanrana and Jericho turns it into The Walls. No joke, from when Punk leaps off the rope and Jericho hits the Codebreaker, until the end of the match is easily some of the greatest wrestling I’ve ever seen. Absolutely brilliant. When I watched this live, I wanted Jericho to win so badly, I was hanging on every move near the end, praying Jericho wouldn’t tap. In the original PPV broadcast, after the match they showed Jericho scratching his head in a ‘way to go’ sort of moment, which I really dug, but here they cut it out. Understandable. People may say I over-rate this, but seriously, the last quarter of that match is f’n brilliant.
Jericho taps out to the Anaconda Vice at 22:21 | ****1/2
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk [C] – WWE Championship Match – Over The Limit, May 20th, 2010
While they’re doing the introductions, there’s a guy holding up a sign that says ‘Yes’ on one side, and ‘Pipe Bomb’ on the other. The second he notices he’s on camera, he drops the sign so he can do Hogan poses. Man, wrestling fans are weird as hell sometimes, aren’t they? The match starts off with Punk working Bryan’s knee, and no surprise that Bryan does a Bret Hart-level job of selling it. Soon, Bryan gets Punk in one of the sickest submissions I’ve ever seen, having Punk in a surf-board, then lets go of his arms, grabbed Punk’s chin and pulled him downward until they were face to face, then followed that up by putting him in a guillotine choke. Awesome stuff. Dragon Screw Leg Whip! Watch out Mrs. Dusty! Another great moment where they’re both down, and as they get up together, they start working their way to their feet by trading blows. Going from head-butts, to forearms, and finally to kicks. Great stuff. I know the finish isn’t what people were hoping for, but I dug it. It left things open for another bout. Needless to say, really, but it’s an incredible match, one that you’d never think possible five years ago.
CM Punk reveres the YES! Lock into a pin at 23:56 | ****3/4
Showcase Showdown: I think it goes without saying that this is one of the WWE’s greatest releases ever. The documentary is fantastic, and the two discs that follow are packed with classic after classic. Honestly, if there’s someone who’s not that big on Punk, they need only see this DVD set. Myself, I thought Punk was cool and all, but this set really put me over the top. You see he’s extremely passionate about his work, taking great pride in it as he delivers some of the best matches & angles that the ‘E has seen in years.
Up Next: Kevin Nash & DDP vs The Rock & Roll Express? Oh, you bet cha’. All that and more when I review AWE’s Night of Legends PPV.
Before I get to my absolutely shameless self promotion, much respect to Steve Ferrari for being my editor. In return, he gets to be the first to read my reviews, and thus he’s the coolest kid on the block.