Saturday, August 24, 2013

CM Punk - Best in the World

Distributor: WWE Home Video
Released: 10/12

Featured Talent
Daniel Bryan, Colt Cabana, Cassie (“sister”), John Cena, Chez (best friend), Chez’s Mom,
Chaleen (“sister”), Lars Frederiksen (friend / Rancid), Curt Hawkins, Michael Hayes, Chris Hero, Paul Heyman, Kofi Kingston, Lita, The Miz, Joey (Matthews) Mercury, CM Punk, Justin Roberts, Jim Ross, Zack Ryder, Natalie Slater (former girlfriend), Ace Steel, Triple H

The Good
This documentary came out with great anticipation as rumors of it being very different had people talking.  For all intents and purposes, it delivered.  CM Punk, a completely unique sort of underdog, had a great story to tell and, like with much of his material, he wanted to dictate how it was told.  While this doc did have some WWE formula to it, the inclusion of many people not associated with the company, the amount of footage from IWA Mid-South and Ring of Honor and some of the harsh criticisms of the WWE really shocked some people.  Those elements really set this apart and made it excellent.  Perhaps when they tell the Daniel Bryan story, they will take that to another level, but this is true breakthrough.  The discussion of the Punk-Hero matches on a WWE DVD were kind of mind-blowing as I remember watching them through tape trades.  Hearing Dave Prazak on a WWE production seemed so bizarre.  Realistically, the story of CM Punk is so different and the WWE has reached a point where people are no reflecting on their time in WCW, their runs with ECW or any of that, they are coming from the independents.  This, like most WWE documentaries, featured chapters about dimensions of his personality - punk and hardcore music, the straight edge subculture, comic books and tattoos.  This seems like an above average WWE doc and one that I would recommend anyone to see.  CM Punk’s story is one of perseverance and self-reliance that could inspire many.

The Bad
What bad can you say about a documentary that basically delivers what you expect?  I think this was better than most WWE docs, but it still had that formulaic feel to it.  It was different in that it included music by Rancid and interviews with Colt Cabana and Ace Steel, but it was distinctly a WWE production.  Obviously, contractual obligations and bad blood would prevent this, but I think the absence of Samoa Joe, Raven and Gabe Sapolsky jumped out in the context of things.  I was also kind of hopefully for some really shocking inclusion like Ian Rotten or Chuck E Smooth.  The other issue was the constant reference to CM Punk’s detractors, but they were never given a voice.  Michael Hayes played the role of explaining those views while saying that he never agreed with them.  Vince McMahon was definitely a notable absence, but it seems like some of those who took issue with Punk never really shared their thoughts here.

The Rating: ****1/2