What can be said about CM Punk that hasn’t been said already by the man himself? A champion pretty much wherever he has chosen to ply his craft, Punk is the guy who should never have been a main-eventer in WWE, never mind a multiple-time WWE and World Heavyweight Champion.
From his humble “backyard” beginnings to the pinnacle of his career at Money in the Bank 2011 and beyond, this DVD profile looks at the journey CM Punk has made from his small-time wrestling career in Chicago to the largest wrestling company on the planet where he currently reigns supreme.
CM Punk declares that he is the best in the world at what he does… and on this evidence, it’s hard to argue against that.
Running Time: 427mins (7hrs 7mins)
Disc 1 – Chapters
- A New Day
- Backyard Fame
- Taking to the Road
- Launching Pad
- Constantly Learning
- Dark Cloud
- Not the Prototype
- Outcast Champion
- Having Fun
- A Challenge
- Saving Society
- Frustrated Beyond Belief
- Hometown High-Pressured Situation
- The MAN
- High School Sports
- CM Punk – the Name
- Skull Fracture
- OVW v Albright
- From Extra to Champion
- December to Dismember
- 1st Impressions
- In-Ring Style
- It’s Clobbering Time
- The Hat
- “The Most Insulting Thing You Could Say To Me”
- A Conversation with Lars
- Title in the Fridge
- Natalie’s T-Shirt
- “Teenage Anarchist”
Disc 2 – Chapters
- Finals Match in the OVW World Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Brent Albright v CM Punk – Ohio Valley Wrestling (1st March, 2006)
- CM Punk v Justin Credible – ECW 1st August, 2006
- ECW Championship Last Chance Match: CM Punk v John Morrison – ECW (4th September, 2007)
- Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Chris Jericho v Shelton Benjamin v John Morrison v Carlito v CM Punk v MVP v Mr. Kennedy – WrestleMania XXIV (30th March, 2008)
- World Tag Team Championship Match: CM Punk & Kofi Kingston v Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase – RAW (27th October, 2008)
- No Disqualification Match for the Intercontinental Championship: CM Punk v William Regal – RAW (19th January, 2009)
Disc 3 – Chapters
- Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Hardy v CM Punk – SummerSlam (23rd August, 2009)
- Rey Mysterio Joins the SES v CM Punk’s Hair: Rey Mysterio v CM Punk – Over the Limit (23rd May, 2010)
- WWE Championship Match: John Cena v CM Punk – Money in the Bank (17th July, 2011)
- WWE Championship Match: CM Punk v Chris Jericho – WrestleMania XXVIII (1st April, 2012)
- WWE Championship Match: CM Punk v Daniel Bryan – Over the Limit (20th May, 2012)
The set runs to the now-standard formula whereby we have a documentary of the subject on the first disc and a series of selected matches for the remainder of the set and as with Edge’s You Think You Know Me, the documentary / talking heads that make up the first disc is an amazing piece of work… although this eclipses even that release in quality.
The first thing that makes you feel this is no ordinary WWE release is the way the documentary opens as Punk gives an insight into the mindset he has in relation to his career and the words are scrawled onto the screen as if someone is writing on a blackboard.
From there, we’re whisked through the career of CM Punk from his backyard beginnings where he freely admits he had no formal training through his friendship with Colt Cabana, his run in the IWA, the sterling work in Ring of Honor and the eventual signing with WWE… and trip to OVW for a few years to “learn how to work” (if you listen to some people).
The documentary is fantastic and it was quite an amazing thing to see Ring of Honor footage on a WWE release, especially as some of the focus is on Samoa Joe (who is a champion for their main rival promotion in the US) and some of the rest is on Colt Cabana, a guy they completely misused in what is still a sore point for me personally.
The candidness of everyone involved in the talking-head sections is refreshing, although John Cena still comes across at times as an automaton who has been programmed with what to say, and the choices are obviously influenced by Punk as they are not the usual bunch of people you normally see in these roles (even though I do miss Steve Lombardi’s input).
It’s a testament to any release that when it ends you are genuinely sad that it’s over and wish that the subject in question could be covered for another two hours, which is the case here.
What’s also nice is that not everything being said about Punk is positive; there are times when he himself admits he can be an asshole, while others talk about him being stand-off-ish if he doesn’t know you. These stories are balanced out however with the (up to now) untold stories of generosity, particularly the tale relayed to us by Joey Mercury.
The extras (not including the matches on discs 2 and 3) are all entertaining segments, with the comments on Natalie’s t-shirt (she’s an ex-girlfriend), the original plans for December to Dismember (which would’ve been so much better than the crap WWE dished up in its place) and “The Most Insulting Thing You Could Say To Me” being the pick of the bunch.
An absolute master-class in how to put together a profile DVD is the perfect way to describe this set. From the people used to help tell Punk’s story, especially guys like Lars Frederiksen (from Rancid), Ace Steel and Colt Cabana who have no affiliation with WWE, to the honesty on show, this is a breath of fresh air.
CM Punk has his fingerprints all over this and it’s easy to tell from the footage and segments that are included. Trips to Ring of Honor along with footage of his wars with Samoa Joe, some promos and the signing of his WWE contract on the RoH Championship (which he legitimately did) were a nice surprise as WWE don’t own the video rights to that promotion, while the acknowledgement of where the GTS came from AND a brief explanation of who KENTA is and why CM Punk took the move as his own is a departure from WWE admitting there is a bubble outside of their own Universe.
The matches are all good-to-great, although the Jericho match from WrestleMania can be considered disappointing, with the top three being -:
v Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam 2009
v John Cena at Money in the Bank 2012
v Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit 2012
With this release, WWE have excelled themselves and if this is how good a DVD can be when the subject is allowed to control the content and the people involved, then we can only hope WWE continue to follow the formula.
CM Punk claims to be the best in the world at what he does. This DVD release is the best in the world at what it does.
Blu-Ray owners get the following extras -:
- No Plan B
- Easter Greeting
- Chicken Wings and Apple Pie
- Most Recognizable Tattoo
- Fish Tattoo
- Traveling with Ace
- No Microphone
- ECW Arena Match
- Hanging with Eddie Guerrero
- Driving Away With the Title
- Wrestling Camp
- “They’re Gonna Hate Me”
- Six People, One Room
- I’m a Paul Heyman Guy
- The Marathon
- The Bus Tour
- Kofi’s Challenge
- WrestleMania Day
- A Day at the Ball Field
- True Respect
- Finals Match in the Intercontinental Championship Tournament: Rey Mysterio v CM Punk – Armageddon (14th December, 2008)