As many of you may know from the Because Wrestling podcast, myself and the rest of the crew on the show are big fans and proponents of CM Punk. While many of you may have first gotten your exposure to CM Punk courtesy of the WWE or more specifically, last year’s “Summer of Punk”, many of us also had been watching glimpses of Punk from the indy scene or even following him through his rise to fame with his matches against Colt Cabana or Chris Hero. But for all of us who are fans of CM Punk, the latest DVD release “Best in the World” provides a great insight into the past, present, and future of CM Punk as well as provides one of the best profiles of the WWE Champion you’ll ever find.
For the sake of this review, I used the DVD version of “Best in the World”, so unfortunately I did miss out on a few of the “extras” that Blu-ray customers will be able to see. However, the key items – the documentary and match collection – are still prominent and make a great addition to anyone’s wrestling DVD collection. For starters, the documentary on Punk profiles his difficult childhood, the founding of a backyard indy fed that exceeded expectations, the falling out with his brother, his rise through the indy ranks, run through Ring of Honor, and his challenges in OVW and WWE ultimately resulting in the infamous promo and Money in the Bank title win which rocketed Punk to stadom.
The documentary speaks with his family and friends including familiar faces like Lita, Paul Heyman, John Cena, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, and more, as they share their experiences with Punk and how they shared in his achievements and motivated him in the difficult times. The best part of the documentary is the genuine style that is associated with it. Clearly Punk was not willing to participate in anything less than an honest retelling of his past, his career, and how his own motivation got him where he is today. A lot of the stories of the things he said to McMahon, the way he interacted with the writers, and the way he feels about himself and his personality is absolutely, 100% CM Punk. By the end of the documentary, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the WWE superstar and maybe even learn a thing or two about how he got where he is today.
Beyond the core DVD itself, the “Best in the World” set is loaded with extras. Like many other profiles, the set comes with a collection of some of Punk’s most famous and infamous matches. Many of them are well known, such as his WWE Championship victory at Money in the Bank as well as his SummerSlam TLC match with Jeff Hardy, but you’ll also find a handful of matches you may have never seen, including the OVW World Title tournament finals match against Brent Albright and his WWE debut versus Justin Credible in ECW. It’s too bad that some of the really prolific matches such as his indy matches against Chris Hero or Colt Cabana couldn’t make the cut, nor any Ring of Honor matches, but it’s still a nice collection.
In addition, a small dose of extra footage is a nice touch that really helps flesh out the story of CM Punk. This includes a bit of story about his tattoos, his name, his struggles in ECW and OVW, and just a bit of fun here and there. While I do wish I could’ve watched the Bluray extras – and I would recommend it to anyone who can – the extras are still a lot of fun and a great bit of bonus to CM Punk fans. All in all, the set is a great purchase for any wrestling fan and especially for Punk fans. It’s inspiring to see just how hard Punk had to fight for respect as he approached his first WWE Championship reign and finally became the superstar he should have been. Hands down, this is one of WWE’s finest DVD releases and well worth your dollar.