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I'm a big WWE fan, and CM Punk in particular. I watched it for years back when I was 13/14 but stopped when I went to Uni, mainly because I had no SKY tv to watch it on, but got back it into it about 6 months thanks to author and my WWE BFF Lindsey Kelk. Anyway, I soon became a CM Punk, and when I found out WWE were releasing a DVD all about him, I decided to spend some of my first wage packet on the DVD and treat myself. As a 3 disk boxset, it's taken me a while to get through it since I can only watch a few hours a night, but it's been excellent to watch, and a must-own for any WWE and CM Punk fans out there, and here's why.
CM Punk, or Phillip Brooks, is a WWE Superstar, currently the WWE champion (335 days and counting) and one of the best technical wrestlers the WWE has ever seen. He's the only Straight Edge WWE superstar too (doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs), a fact he displays with pride with his 'Straight Edge' tattoo across his stomach and 'drug free' on this knuckles. In fact, his tattoos are what visually set him apart from the other wrestlers, Punk has 2 full sleeve tattoos and across his chest too. This DVD goes back not only through Punk's career but his early life, his troubled family relationships, and his early wrestling career creating his own wrestling ring and wrestling with friends, and finally breaking through into Ring of Honor, ECW and finally to the big leagues at WWE. I'm not going to claim to be an expert on anything about Punk or in this DVD but I'm just going to talk about what I enjoyed, what's on the DVD and why you should buy it!
The first of the three DVDs is the documentary about CM Punk, and also included quite a few extras that are well worth a watch too. The documentary itself is nearly 2 hours long, but it flew by as I was watching because I was riveted by what I was seeing. I thought I might watch the chatty bits and fast forward any matches just to get it watched first time, but it didn't happen like that. It is a documentary that does what it says - it features sit down conversations with Punk, his friends, family and other wrestling experts, and intersperses this with clips from Ring of Honour matches and promos, Punk backstage at various WWE events, and also the only long performance clip in this documentary, Punk's now infamous promo on Raw in July 2011 berating WWE, Vince McMahon and all the company stands for.
As I said, I didn't know a huge amount about Punk's early career at the point of watching this, I was just a current WWE Punk fan so it was really interesting for me to get a grasp on what made Punk so determined to reach the top at WWE, and why he's never quite been given the main event rankings that he truly deserves, something that's perhaps more relevant than ever now he's been the WWE Champion for nearly a year and has only main-evented a few times at Pay-Per-View. Anyway, Punk is brutally honest throughout the segments, much as his fans expect of him, and he's candid about his early family life too, and how he chose to live with his "adopted family" at a young age as his relationship with his parents and brother were at breaking point. I do love how he refers to the family as his mum and sisters, it's touching and proves that blood doesn't necessarily mean everything.
As the DVD moves on to recap CM Punk's career at Ring of Honor, it shows us some clips from matches there, a few promos and photos of Punk at that time. This was fun to watch, and to see how he started off, but you can see he was always a talent both in the ring and the microphone, it's surprising it took WWE so long to sit and take notice of this pro-wrestler. We get then a bit of information about Punk breaking into WWE, first being shipping to OVW, WWE's training facility for wrestlers, and how he then broke into WWE and started hitting the big time, being the first superstar to win back-to-back Money in the Back matches, and then winning the World Heavyweight Championship. I loved how when Punk is speaking about this, he's honest in saying he felt he didn't get the opportunities he deserved as champion, a storyline Punk is now pushing on WWE shows and goes to show how the company really underuse him. There's a bit about his heel faction The Nexus, again from a time I didn't watch WWE so I wish they'd covered a bit more of this as it seemed to be a really good part of Punk's career.
I enjoyed that it also looked at Punk as a person as well as a wrestler, from his diet and love of health and fitness, through to a segment about his tattoos too, and why they're so important to him. The extras on here too are really interesting, ranging from bits about Punk's high school sports, to his skull fracture and even the title in the fridge moment (WWE fans will know all about that infamous picture!). However, it's Punk honesty throughout the documentary which makes it so watchable - he isn't afraid to talk about the WWE from how he sees it, even though it could get him into trouble. He's not afraid to admit he's been underused and very under-valued at WWE, and the fact he is so candid makes you respect him even more. The way the other personalities who feature on the DVD talk about him, including Colt Cabana, Paul Heyman, Lita, The Miz, Chris Hero and more, you can tell they also feel the same way as Punk and rightfully so.
The other 2 discs in the set are crammed full of CM Punk's best matches. For me, I hadn't seen most of them so it was great to see them in their entirety on this DVD set. Disk 2 is matches from earlier in Punk's career. My favourites include CM Punk vs. William Regal for the InterContinental Championship on Raw in 2009, a fantastic and exciting match that was worthy of PPV; CM Punk vs John Morrison, Last Chance For the ECW Championship match, what an exciting match and a technically superb performance from Punk, and both men really give it their all; and the Money in the Bank Ladder Match from WrestleMania XXIV in 2008, the one where I feel WWE finally gave Punk the chance he deserved and let him win in a thrilling and exciting match. Disk 3 is crammed with 5 amazing matches, all of which are brilliant but the highlight has to be Punk vs John Cena in a match for the WWE Championship in July 2011. This is, and remains to be, one of my favourite ever WWE matches, the two men work with other perfectly, and create a 40 minute+ amazing match, made all the better by the fact it takes place in Punk's home town of Chicago and the crowd are electric. It's a stunning match, and whether you're a Punk or Cena fan, you have to appreciate this match. Other favourites include Punk vs Rey Mysterio, a match from Punk's Nexus days, and Punk's Tables, Ladders and Chairs match against Jeff Hardy for the World Heavyweight title from Summerslam in 2009, I wish they'd continued this feud longer! The most recent match features is CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan from Over the Limit in May 2012, and is a technically amazing match.
This DVD is over 7 hours of fantastic CM Punk entertainment, and is definitely the best WWE DVD I've ever purchased. It's entertaining from start to finish, informative and showcases some of Punk's best ever wrestling career moments. I was really pleased to see how much attention was paid to Punk's early career, especially that at Ring of Honor, and the video clips used for this really set it up for those of us who didn't have the pleasure of watching it first time around. The DVD extras on the first disk are great, you can see why they didn't make it into the documentary as they wouldn't have fit around what featured there, but Punk fans are going to want to see them anyway! My favourite extra has to be about the skull fracture, it really highlights how Straight Edge CM Punk is, and is a testament to his strength. What I loved about this DVD is how it isn't a WWE gush-fest - Punk isn't afraid to call out what is wrong with WWE, and how he's worked damn hard to get where he is today, and you'll respect him all the more for the struggles he's got through it. The DVD presentation is excellent too, a colourful case with fold out panels with pictures and quotes from Punk himself on, and overall it looks a very attractive DVD package. The menus also feature Punk's current WWE entrance song, 'Cult of Personality', I quite liked leaving them there to listen to it for a while before selecting 'Play'! A must-buy WWE all about the best superstar the WWE has had for a long, long time.
The DVD is available at Amazon.co.uk and at SilverVision.co.uk for £17.99 for the DVD, and £23.00 for the blu-ray which comes with a few additional extras.
Thank you for reading.