Calling oneself the best in the world at anything is always a bold claim, usually driven by ego rather than by fact. But in the case of WWE Champion CM Punk, the most recent breakout professional wrestling superstar, the proof is in the pudding, and in the new Blu-Ray/DVD CM Punk: Best In The World.
CM Punk is the wrestling star who wasn’t supposed to succeed. He was too small, too angry and too opinionated to make it in the big leagues, Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. Even when he was given the championship title, what was once the accolade that truly signifies that a wrestler had “made it”, CM Punk wasn’t given the respect and placement that others were getting. A champion in the middle of the card? Not main eventing a monthly pay-per-view? All signs of disrespect.
The perception of CM Punk would change in the summer of 2011 when, with his contract soon to expire, Punk was given a live mic on Monday Night Raw to express his grievances. As history and lore now dictates, the mic was Punk’s pipe bomb, and when it went off, the wrestling industry was changed dramatically.
This change is where CM Punk: Best In The World essentially comes to its conclusion. What the Blu-Ray documentary does focus on is the amazing story of Punk, an athlete that the higher ups admittedly never knew what to do with. Punk was an indie wrestler who was signed based on buzz more than the vision of a creative team that struggled to know what to make of a tattooed, Straight Edge living wrestler. Luckily, Punk had supporters, most notably in wrestling visionary Paul Heyman, who would promote the potential of Punk to whoever would listen to him.
Watching CM Punk: Best In The World, we’re given insight into a man who has clearly worked for every opportunity the wrestling business has given him. Nothing was ever handed to CM Punk. Like Stone Cold Steve Austin, the character and man Punk most closely resembles, he clearly trusts few people. But the ones he does, such as close, non-industry friends and people like former WWE Diva Lita or indie sensation Colt Cabanna, speak of the man as a loyal friend.
CM Punk was hands on in working to ensure this first Blu-Ray celebrating his career tells a compelling story. And while not the groundbreaking documentary that WWE’s The Rise And Fall of ECW was, CM Punk: Best In The World is the most honest depiction of a wrestler the company has put out, a look inside the life of a talent that makes no bones about who he is and what he wants to do.
CM Punk: Best In The World is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.