The documentary is great. There’s a ton of screen time for Punk, being interviewed in plenty of different locations, from his living room, to a tattoo shop, and a comic book convention. Obviously we get his whole life story, and with Punk being a damn fine story-teller, it’s very easy to feel his frustration about certain things, as well as his love, passion, and loyalty for his job, friends & family. Easily one of the E’s best documentaries, and one I know I’ll revisit a few more times down the road.
Besides the documentary, there’s about a half n hour of extras. All of which are just stories that were cut out of the documentary. My favorite is Punk’s story about cracking his skull during a match, and his sophisticated Triscuit/Gatorade/Half Baked rehab.
Now, for the bread & butter of the release
CM Punk vs. Brent Albright
– Finals for the OVW World Heavyweight Championship – OVW, March 1st, 2006
Punk controls the first half of the match, just
about as well as you’d imagine, with everything from Eddie’s in-to-the-ring plancha,
to washing his boots on Albright’s face. Eventually
Brent turns it around by catching Punk on the outside after a huricanrana
attempt and slams him into the guardrail. I love that spot. Another great one
where Albright is hanging from the Tree of Woe and Punk comes off the
top rope, knee first into Albright’s face. Later, Punk pulls a JT Smith pretty
big when he goes for his ‘off-the-top-rope’ clothesline and slips,
crashing to the ground knee first. He ends up getting strapped to a stretcher,
and is fantastic at the way he keeps shoving the trainer and yelling at him
every time he accidentally touches his knee. He’s being wheeled to the back,
but Albright comes and throws him down, whipping him with a strap. Yeah, you
can tell Heyman is the booker, because this is really awesome. Punk looks ballsy
as hell, and it really shows how bad he wants the strap. Albright of course
looks like the classic heel, as he’s salivating at the thought of taking
advantage. Dammit, now I want to see the rematch.
Albright puts Punk in the STF for the submission
at 19:56 | ****1/4
Justin Credible vs. CM Punk – ECW, August 1st, 2006
This match is taking place at the same building
where the One Night Stand PPVs were held (the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York
City – Dancin’ Stevie Ferrari). Punk gets a massive reaction from the crowd,
it’s damn near on the level that RVD had during the Cena match. It’s not
a lengthy debut, but it more than does a great job of getting Punk across as
someone to watch. From his unique kicks, high-flying moves and
submissions, to powering out of one of Credible’s own submission holds. A great
debut for anyone, really.
Punk forces Credible to tap to the Anaconda Vice
at 4:17 | **3/4
Promo video of Punk losing his shot at the ECW
title at SummerSlam 2007, then winning a 4-way dance for a number one spot.
Punk beat-out Big Daddy V, The Boogidyman, and Miz to earn this shot.
CM Punk vs. John Morrison [C] – Last Chance For
The ECW Championship – ECW, September 4th, 2007
Man, Morrison has an incredible body [yes homo].
Interesting moment where they go to commercial, but continue showing what
happened. It’s about time they started doing that. Of course the footage
isn’t much more than a sleeper, still. This is one of those matches that really
get you into the contender, because every time Punk is about to get some
real momentum on his side, Morrison will do something to stop it short. It’s
great. The false finishes near the end are fantastic, and really bump this
match up for me. They had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands this
whole match, and the place exploded when Punk won. Hell, if I was backstage and
saw that response, I’d make sure it’d take almost 5 more years to put Punk on
John Morrison eats a GTS as Punk nabs the pin at
13:54 | ****
John Morrison vs. Carlito vs. Shelton Benjamin vs.
CM Punk vs. Ken Anderson vs. MVP vs. Jericho – Wrestlemania 24, March 30th, 2008
It’s a damn shame that Shelton never came up with
a gimmick that worked. Ideally you’d put JBL’s charisma and mic skills onto
Shelton Benjamin. The first ‘holy s---’ spot of the night is Shelton on
a ladder and dumped outside via a front flip through a ladder that’s placed
between the barrier and ring. Then it switches to funny, when after a
series of brutal spots, such as CM Punk giving Mr. Kennedy a Diamond Cutter off
the ladder, and Carlito following suit on Jericho, only with a Backstabber,
MVP stands up in the ring, and looks like Steve Buscemi at the end of Reservoir
Dogs. There’s really no such thing as a bad MiTB, and this is no exception. I
actually prefer the one Punk wins at WM25, but this is a more than fine
Punk grabs the briefcase to win his first MiTB at
17:55 | ****
CM Punk and Kofi Kingston vs. Priceless [C] – WWE
Tag-Team Championships – Raw, October 27th, 2008
Really great start with Punk and DiBiase.
Eventually it spills outside, where it goes to commercial and again we see the
footage. I really hope this is a mainstay for future releases. This time
it’s more than a sleeper. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a true sign of the
times of how bad current commentary is when I’m thoroughly enjoying the
match without Cole and King. Priceless is really an underrated, old-school
style tag-team. It’s too bad they don’t do more. They’ve kept the ring cut in
half perfectly every time they get the momentum. Later, Kofi starts the
reverse of that momentum by doing a kip-up, but wraps his feet around Cody’s
head and sends him flying the other way. A damn fine tag-team match, and I’m
not one for tag team wrestling.
DiBiase goes to sleep, giving Punk the pin at
13:11 | ***1/2
CM Punk vs. William Regal [C] – No DQ for the
Intercontinental Championship – Raw, January 19th, 2009
This match takes place during a time when they
sold those inflated John Cena hands, except they made the mistake of not
connecting the fingers, so you’re always seeing middle fingers and such.
Oh man, FINALLY, it FINALLY happened! Punk has Regal in an arm bar, but Regal
reaches the ropes. The ref tells Punk to break it and Punk screams “I
don’t have to break it! I’m gonna break his arm!” So many times I see in
No-DQ matches where that same thing happens, and the guy lets go. Also, this
match is in full, no commercial breaks. We get an awesome heel spot
where Regal has his shin over Punk’s throat as he holds the ropes and takes his
other foot and constantly wipes it on Punk’s head. I’d also like to mention that Layla is smoking
hot here. This was a damn fine match, especially because when you think No-DQ,
you think weapons. But they didn’t do anything like that. Instead, they used
the No-DQ to work in brutality with non-stop submissions and elbows galore.
Punk hits the GTS and nabs the pin, despite Regal
hitting him with 11 elbows while on his shoulders, at 9:56 | ***3/4
CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy [C] – TLC Match for the
World Heavyweight Championship – August 23rd, 2009
A little after the match gets started, there’s a
brutal spot where Jeff does Air Hardy, only for Punk to catch him and then drop
him back first on top of the chair. You could do serious damage if that
went wrong. Hardy soon bounces back with an awesome spot in which he whips Punk
into the stairs, Punk jumps to the top of ’em, turns around and leaps at
Jeff, only to be met by Jeff swinging a chair like a baseball bat. Later, they
both get it in a completely sick superplex in which CM Punk’s spine
lands half on the ladder, half not. Near the end, we get an incredible Swanton
Bomb from Jeff as he leaps off a 20 foot ladder. What a spot, almost
equaled by him refusing medical attention because he wants to stop CM Punk that
badly. Punk holds up his end as the look he gets on his face when Hardy gets
back into the ring is awesome. Also, the moment where the lights go out, and
Undertaker replaces Hardy, that’s easily my favorite Taker moment ever. It was
brilliant. Thankfully Punk
was soon jobbed out because he wouldn’t wear a suit.
CM Punk grabs the WHC at 21:34 | ****1/2
Promo video for the Punk v Mysterio feud. After
seeing it, I’m really glad I wasn’t watching attentively during this time. Punk’s
SES, and his whole ‘Jesus Punk’ deal was BRILLIANT and it would have pissed me
off so much that he wasn’t the lead heel. Brilliant moment where we see Gallows
and Mercury place Mysterio on Punk’s shoulders for the GTS. He should
really bring this whole thing back.
CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio – Punk’s Hair vs Rey
Joining The SES – Over The Limit, May 23rd, 2010
Shortly after it gets started there’s a great spot
where Punk slides Rey from the ring, face first into the barber’s chair that’s
placed outside of the ring. Earlier, Punk was thrown head-first into the
barrier, splitting him open. Of course, the ref has to try and stop this. You
can clearly see how annoyed Punk is with the ref trying to stop the
blood. The crowd echoes his feelings as they boo like crazy. Once done, Punk is
like a man on absolute fire as he tries to get his back, as well as get
the match flowing again. Maybe he really is the best in the world. It’s no
surprise that once the match gets started again, it never stops. Some of the
best wrestling I’ve ever seen. Punk is hilarious and fantastic here as the
disgraced heel once Mysterio starts shaving, especially his reaction to a
Rey puts Punk in a crucifix pin for the win at
14:19 | ****
CM Punk vs. John Cena [C] – WWE Championship –
Money In The Bank, July 17th, 2011
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve
ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the full monty, because I think
it just ran way too long, with the first half not delivering so much.
Afterwards though, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live
influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There are
quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault
anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam
match was the superior one, in my opinion. Then their NOC match trumped that.
If we include the angle, then this is a 5 star event. But on match merit alone,
I can’t do it.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54 | ****1/4
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk [C] – WWE Championship –
WrestleMania, April 1st, 2012
Love the stipulation where if Punk gets DQ’ed he
loses the title. Allowing Jericho to once again prove that he’s the GOAT by
screaming “Hey, Punk,
HOW’S YOUR FATHER?!” He of course follows it up with “How’s your
sister?!” and then readies himself to be nailed
with a chair as he screams “Your sister’s a drug addict! Your father’s a
drunk!” Brilliant stuff. Jericho hits a suplex, taking Punk from the ring
to the outside. I mention it because it’s so rare that spot is ever done, and
it would hurt like crazy. Awesome that they both reverse each other’s bulldog
spots. Great moment where Punk goes for a huricanrana and Jericho turns it into
The Walls. No joke, from when Punk leaps off the rope and Jericho hits the
Codebreaker, until the end of the match is easily some of the greatest
wrestling I’ve ever seen. Absolutely brilliant. When I watched this live, I
wanted Jericho to win so badly, I was hanging on every move near the end,
praying Jericho wouldn’t tap. In the original PPV broadcast, after the match
they showed Jericho scratching his head in a ‘way to go’ sort of moment, which
I really dug, but here they cut it out. Understandable. People may say I
over-rate this, but seriously, the last quarter of that match is f’n brilliant.
Jericho taps out to the Anaconda Vice at 22:21 |
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk [C] – WWE Championship
Match – Over The Limit, May 20th, 2010
While they’re doing the introductions, there’s a
guy holding up a sign that says ‘Yes’ on one side, and ‘Pipe Bomb’ on the
other. The second he notices he’s on
camera, he drops the sign so he can do Hogan poses. Man, wrestling fans are
weird as hell sometimes, aren’t they? The match starts off with Punk working
Bryan’s knee, and no surprise that
Bryan does a Bret Hart-level job of selling it. Soon, Bryan gets Punk in one of
the sickest submissions I’ve ever seen, having Punk in a surf-board,
then lets go of his arms, grabbed Punk’s chin
and pulled him downward until they were face to face, then followed that up by
putting him in a guillotine choke. Awesome stuff. Dragon Screw Leg Whip! Watch
out Mrs. Dusty! Another great moment where they’re both down, and as they get
up together, they start working their way to their feet by trading
blows. Going from head-butts, to forearms, and finally to kicks. Great stuff. I
know the finish isn’t what people were hoping for, but I dug it. It left things
open for another bout. Needless to say, really,
but it’s an incredible match, one that you’d never think possible five years
CM Punk reveres the YES! Lock into a pin at 23:56
Showcase Showdown: I think it goes without saying that this is one of the WWE’s greatest releases ever. The documentary is fantastic, and the two discs that follow are packed with classic after classic. Honestly, if there’s someone who’s not that big on Punk, they need only see this DVD set. Myself, I thought Punk was cool and all, but this set really put me over the top. You see he’s extremely passionate about his work, taking great pride in it as he delivers some of the best matches & angles that the ‘E has seen in years.
Up Next: Kevin Nash & DDP vs The Rock & Roll Express? Oh, you bet cha’. All that and more when I review AWE’s Night of Legends PPV.
Before I get to my absolutely shameless self promotion, much respect to Steve Ferrari for being my editor. In return, he gets to be the first to read my reviews, and thus he’s the coolest kid on the block.
If you’ve got a hankering for some more of the Caliber man, here’s a few places to find me:
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – Recently updated with a new entry in the Man Movie Encyclopedia series, a classic amongst classics, American Ninja. There’s also Top 4’s, wrestling, horror, and movie reviews. The website’s psychic powers made it a foe when it fought Jason Voorhees many years ago.
WCW In 2000 – Just updated with a brand new Nitro that ended up being the worst one I’ve seen thus far. Shocking this venture isn’t getting better.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1 – Having trouble in the sack with the Mrs? Simply read this a few minutes before you hop on the good foot, and tadow! You’ll want to watch Double Impact instead of doing the deed with the wife. Endorsements from Scott Keith & Maddox, along with constant 5 star reviews on amazon tell you all you need to know. Not to mention some of your fellow BoD’ers own the book, and you don’t want to be left out, do you?
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– Caliber Winfield