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WWE: CM Punk Best in the World(2012)
The life of WWE Superstar CM Punk.
For more about WWE: CM Punk Best in the World and the WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray release, see WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 18, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: CM Punk, Triple H, Paul Heyman, John Cena
Director: Kevin Dunn
» See full cast & crew
WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray Review
A straightedge Blu-ray
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 18, 2012
This is real life.
This is a true rags-to-riches tale, but CM Punk still prefers his rags even in riches. Best in the World is a straightedge story of a straightedge kind of guy who shuns drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and champions individualism and nonconformity, both in his life and in his wrestling style and status in the WWE. Punk's attitude and appearance might scare some off, but his sure-headed ways and adherence to self and a strict personal code have made him a success at every level and a champion at the top. When others brush him off he seizes the opportunity to prove them wrong and himself right. He's a role model for those who can see beyond the tattoos and other nontraditional parts of a man who at his core may be the most respectable individual to ever step into the wrestling ring, a man who proudly -- and literally -- wears his heart on his sleeve and refuses to hide who he is, what drives him, what makes him a champion. He's gone from shunned son to video game cover boy, from "no you can't" to "yes I can, and I'm going to walk all over you on the way to the top, too, just to make sure you know that I'm the best in the world." CM Punk's story is one of the most captivating in the history of the WWE, and he lays it all out in one of the WWE's finest home video programs.
This is the story of a man who "shouldn't have made it to the WWE." He's made it past roadblocks and he's ascended to the top, but he wants more, namely to make the WWE a better place for himself and the people to follow him in the square ring. Phillip Jack Brooks, known to most as CM Punk, is a Chicago native who loves his Cubbies and dedicates himself to his craft to a level that excels beyond even the most determined pro wrestler. The Documentary begins with Punk sharing the difficult true story of his youth, a youth in which he was second fiddle to his brother and largely ignored by his parents. He recalls moving out of his family's home and moving in with his best friend Chez. He discusses a turning point moment with his father in which he began to embrace the "straightedge" culture of shunning tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. He found it difficult to fit in with others; he was a comic book nerd, loved old monster movies, embraced alternative music, and enjoyed professional wrestling. Punk remembers finding a role model in the WWE -- a rebel in Roddy Piper -- after whom he modeled himself and subsequently made his decision to make a career out of wrestling, beginning on the lowest rung and climbing all the way to the top on his own strength and determination.
Punk became the key cog in a backyard wrestling league of his own making that attracted a large following in little time. His story includes his ascendancy to smaller wrestling circuits and the reputation he gained along the way as a hard worker and, perhaps, someday something more. As his popularity increased on the smaller circuits, so too did his opportunities, leading to his eventual signing with Ring of Honor wrestling and, ultimately, the WWE. However, Punk's initial foray into the ranks of the WWE wasn't all that successful, but not because of his own lack of skill or aggression. He was held back, sent to the ECW, and struggled to gain the respect he deserved and the shot he demanded. Punk's return to the WWE, back-to-back Money in the Bank victories, and rising popularity still did not convince the skeptics, and his stock fell so low that at one point he had a title stripped without the chance to defend it. Punk remained persistent, however, and an open mic rant against the system elevated his stardom to unfathomable heights, leading him to the summit of professional wrestling and a title literally in the refrigerator.
Love him, hate him, or misunderstand him, after watching this Documentary one cannot help but respect him. CM Punk: Best in the World assembles a gripping narrative of a young man determined to succeed, and to succeed not by the world's standards but through is own code, with his own voice, in his own style, and obeying his own rules. Punk presents himself as one of the most genuine individuals one will ever come across. He shuns the notions of conformity and champions individualism, values, and family, and not necessarily blood family but also close friends and the people who understand who he is both on the surface and below the tattoos and rebel appearance. He comes across as a highly intelligent individual, well spoken both in candid interviews and, obviously, in the WWE ring. The film is as linear as they come but the story is absorbing nonetheless. Punk's rise to the top should serve as a lesson for anyone in search of a dream. It's difficult to walk away from the film uninspired and impossible to leave not a CM Punk fan. Content wise, the film is excellent, right up there with the Stone Cold Steve Austin Documentary as one of the finest products the WWE has ever released. This will no doubt be a gem in many wrestling Blu-ray collections for years to come.
WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray, Video Quality
It may be a tired refrain but it absolutely holds true. CM Punk: Best in the World takes on the typical WWE Blu-ray qualities, and fans familiar with any of the recently released documentaries know exactly what to expect. The image features solid and strongly detailed high definition video footage. There's a crispness and sturdiness to it that's highly impressive. Fine details are fantastic, whether clothes, sink textures, odds and ends around the tour bus, and of course recent wrestling footage. Colors are steady and accurate, never garish and never dull. There is some scattered blocking and light banding, but the image is otherwise very well presented. Appearing throughout the Documentary is some low-grade standard definition footage from Punk's earlier days, as well as a few wrestling clips shot on film rather than video. The filmed segments are a little soft and the SD material is obviously problematic but rightly not counted against the quality of the remainder of the presentation. In short, this is Documentary movie HD video done right.
WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray, Audio Quality
CM Punk: Best in the World features the WWE-standard Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The presentation doesn't make much use of its multichannel audio. This is a dialogue-heavy presentation that supports the spoken word very well. It plays clearly through the center speaker. Crowd applause and other in-ring or stage-side ambience does spread a little more evenly around the soundstage, for example as heard during Punk's open mic rant late in the film. Music is largely fine and enjoys a modest surround support element. Otherwise, this one's fairly generic. It's as sonically effective as it needs to be. The track won't dazzle any listeners, but it suits the material just fine.
WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
CM Punk: Best in the World contains tons of extra footage and plenty of matches from CM Punk's past. All special features are presented in high definition.
Disc One Extra Footage:
Disc One Matches:
Disc Two Matches (2:55:27 total runtime):
Disc Two Extra Footage:
Blu-ray Exclusive Match:
WWE: CM Punk Best in the World Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
CM Punk: Best in the World is an absorbing Documentary about, perhaps, the WWE's most interesting and respectable performer. Punk's story is admirable and his ideas of dedication to self and his own ways a notion worth embracing. This Documentary is amongst the finest the WWE has released. A captivating subject, plenty of bonus matches, and loads of deleted scenes make this one of the year's must-own WWE Blu-rays. The set also offers high quality video and the standard WWE soundtrack. Highly recommended.
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