Elliott Serrano, for Redeye
9:03 PM CDT, October 8, 2012
“This is real life” is a phrase that CM Punk uses at the beginning of his new autobiographical movie “CM Punk: Best in the World.” He says that to make sure the viewer knows that when he talks about his own life, it’s not part of the fiction that comes with being a “superstar” in the WWE. The film does cover some very personal aspects of his life, and I must admit that for being such a private person, I was surprised with how intimate a look Punk gave his fans of his world “beyond the mat.”
“CM Punk: Best in the World” chronicles the life of the current WWE Champ , starting with his humble (and admittedly dysfunctional) beginnings – concluding with his ultimate actualization into one of the top pro wrestlers in the business. We see how he began his career in the sport by creating a backyard wrestling federation and becoming a neighborhood legend. Ambition to be even better would see him attending wrestling school and making a name for himself on the independent “Ring of Honor” (ROH) circuit.
(Another thing I found surprising? The amount of ROH match footage that was used in a WWE feature. Don’t they shy away from giving indies that kinda publicity?)
That same ambition would have him signing a deal with the WWE and spending a frustrating period in the company’s developmental league. When he makes it to the relative “big leagues” as part of the ECW brand the frustrations continue, even though Punk has the likes of Paul Heyman – the original founder of ECW – championing his cause.
The reasons why Punk encounters so many challenges are addressed in interviews with WWE “booker” Michael Hayes and WWE Exec Paul Michael Levesque AKA “Triple H.” The commentary they offer is refreshingly candid, detailing their own perspectives on how they viewed the development of CM Punk’s “character” in the promotion. (At this point the film, the chronology of Punk’s career would get to the time where I first discovered him, as an ECW star being brought into the WWE mainstream brands of RAW and Smackdown.) His star would finally rise when he would make his famous “pipe bomb” speech during the closing minutes of the WWE’s RAW program. It would be the moment when years of hard work, frustration and ambition would finally pay off.
Getting a behind the scenes look at the process of creating the ongoing narrative of a pro wresting promotion is fascinating. Getting a look at how it affected CM Punk, gave me a greater appreciation of what a talent he is. As he says “This is real life”, and I think it‘s something that even non-wrestling fans will enjoy.
The documentary is part of the “CM Punk: Best in the World” 3 disc DVD set, on sale October 9th from WWE Home Video.
“CM Punk: Best in the World” gets a Geek Factor Rating of 4 pipe bombs (out of 4).
Get your copy at your local seller or on Amazon!
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