There are two ways to write this little piece here: as a wrestling fan marking out for one his favorite performers or as a genuine lover of the art of cinema. By god, I’m going to try and write it both ways.
Wrestling Fan Review
This is the most honest to god documentaries the WWE has ever produced. They do avoid a few things here to save face and to avoid mentioning TNA, but they do not shy away from vilifying themselves when need be. The company went all out to get footage from IWA Mid-South to Ring of Honour. I have watched most of the documentaries WWE has produced ranging from The Monday Night Wars to The Rise and Fall of ECW to Paul Heyman’s documentary but none of those match the sheer raw emotion and heart this film possesses.
The documentary has some deep cuts. Watching non-WWE names such as Colt Cabana or CM Punk’s ex Natalie Slater on the documentary gives the film the authentic feeling it deserves. Even though the film is made with a lot of polish, it never comes off as heavy handed or as a film towing the company line. There is an inherent scrappiness to it all and watching CM Punk’s journey from being a self-trained backyard wrestler to one of the marquee names on the WWE roster is one of the most inspiring stories I could recommend to all of you. It is the dream a lot of my fellow wrestling fans share, we want to be the hard-hitting promo cutters and the show-stopping wrestlers like our personal wrestling heroes. This film lets us live that dream vicariously and I love it for that.
If you are a fan of Pro-Wrestling like me, you know CM Punk. You know what he meant to you in the summer of 2011 (and also before and after that). You know why he is so special and you know why this documentary rules.
Movie Buff Review
CM Punk: Best in The World is an exceptionally well-told story. The narrative at play has all the makings of your best rags to riches movies. The only difference this time is that the story is all too real. The struggles a man has to endure to achieve his dreams while not compromising on his morals is one almost anyone can relate to.
The WWE editing team is the gold standard when it comes to making hype videos and Hall of Fame packages and this film is an amalgamation of both. The slick editing combined with a riveting story make for a film that is genuinely enthralling. The various stages and phases of CM Punk’s career and his gradual evolution as a person are spellbinding to watch. Even though he has a cold exterior, the film nimbly shows off his inner workings. The tattoos which have a deeper meaning than just being body art, his loyalty to his friends, his reverence to his mentors, the love of his craft, all that and more make for a well rounded and ultimately respectable character.
The punk rock fuelled soundtrack is a character in itself as it reinforces the characteristics of this man we are closely observing for the better part of two hours.
I have been a fan of Pro-Wrestling for over 13 years. I have seen great athletes come and not so great ones leave but I have never seen an athlete who captured my imagination like CM Punk. Could I be putting this movie on my Great Movies list because of a personal bias? Maybe. But that is the beauty of it. I, as a fan, was so invested in this man’s journey that I can’t help but be in awe of it when it is presented in such a fantastic way.
I remember CM Punk winning the Money in The Bank Ladder match, I remember CM Punk winning his first world title, I remember CM Punk scattering Paul Bearer’s ashes on The Undertaker, I remember CM Punk’s pipebomb promo, I remember CM Punk wrestling a 5 star match against John Cena, I remember CM Punk matching up against Jeff Hardy, I remember The Straight Edge Society and most of all I will never forget the pulse-pounding CM Punk chants from that crowd in Chicago on Money in The Bank 2011.
To quote the novel Fight Club, “You work your whole life for that one moment of perfection and one moment is as long as perfection lasts.” The moment CM Punk’s music hit on that fateful night and the crowd went into raptures, the culmination of over a decade of hard work, was a moment of perfection. It is burned into my retinas and etched into my mind and because this movie recaptures that lightning in a bottle in the most excellent way possible, it is one of the greatest films ever made.
P.S – I know what happened a couple of years after this documentary came out and it’s okay, CM Punk is still one of my personal heroes.
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