The gold standard of WWE DVD releases are The Ultimate Ric Flair collection and The Rise and Fall of ECW. After spending 3 hours with my Blu-ray player, CM Punk: Best in the World can be added to that list and may be the crown jewel of their catalog. I am of the opinion that CM Punk is currently the best worker in the business today. This is coming from someone who is not his biggest fan.
Most DVD’s gloss over a wrestlers life before wrestling and jump into the meat and potatoes of their career under the bright lights. Punk’s DVD took a different approach. Not only was his personal life covered, it was chronicled in great detail. Instead of just a few childhood photos with tidbits about how he was such a cute kid, we were treated to genuine reactions and stories from loved ones and it’s evident how much they treasure him.
“You don’t need to be blood to be family.” CM Punk
Backyard wrestling, training at the Steel Domain, and his various stops on the road to super stardom are covered in painstaking detail. We learn about the impact CM Punk had on various promotions and the impact they had on him. He cut his teeth in IWA Mid-South with some chaotic matches and elevated his game and that of Ring of Honor. While he felt he was better than the developmental contract he signed, he received an invaluable education in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
The call up to the main roster seemed like a road paved in gold until forces beyond his control dismissed him regardless of the fact that he knew he would become a significant player. In between the chronicles of his rise, fall and ascension to superstardom, there are stories of CM Punk’s favorite bands, hobbies, tattoos and personal beliefs. These were put together exceptionally well because you see him win a title or two and then we get a nice reminder that this is a real person we are learning about as opposed to a character.
“I refuse to let my past dictate my future. There isn’t a person on this planet that should let a past nightmare dictate or cloud their future dreams!” CM Punk
There is a sense of honesty that is absent from other wrestler focused video releases but is evident in this one. My wife commented on how egotistical he sounds when talking about his trials and tribulations and boasting about his likes and dislikes. While it is possible CM Punk is just another egomaniac the masses pay to see, I lean towards the notion that this Chicago made star is proud of his accomplishments. He grew up being bullied and defeated what is for many, the worst kind of adversity: people believing you’re simply not good enough. This is the kind of story people will enjoy in spades.