The storytelling in this DVD was great. The interviews were much better than in “Thy Kingdom Come” or “The History of The WWE” in that they didn’t make the documentary come off like a propaganda piece.
The DVD starts off with a monologue from CM Punk saying he should never have made it to the WWE which is a subtle way for him to let people know how amazing his life is while trying to sound humble about it.
Soon after his brother took off with the money from the LWF backyard promotion, Punk took off on the road. He eventually started working for the Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South where he had a series of matches with the likes of Colt Cabana, Chris Hero and Eddie Guerrero that got him noticed by ROH, with whom he signed.
Supposedly during that period, Punk refused to wrestle for the IWA Mid-South because of the way Ian Rotten, the founder of the promotion, treated his friend, Chris Hero. This never gets mentioned on the DVD. Hero himself said there were other reasons Punk left and that the way Rotten treated him was just an excuse he used to leave the company. It would’ve been great to hear Punk talk about this. Was it an excuse or wasn’t it?
Punk went on to join ROH and later on TNA but this isn’t mentioned on the DVD. The TNA brand has been so badly damaged that when a wrestler stops working there, they would rather not say they worked there to begin with which looks like what Punk didn’t do.
He had a series of matches with Samoe Joe which was highly praised by Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer and that eventually got him signed by WWE.
The interesting thing is when they signed him, they sent him to their developmental territory. There he was in ROH having been a World Champion and having been very popular with the fans coming over to the WWE and being treated like a bottom-rung performer.
Paul Heyman, who was his biggest supporter down in OVW was also instrumental in getting Punk to the main roster. WWE was opening up their brand of ECW and Heyman wanted Punk to be the face of it. The WWE didn’t. They put the title on John Morrison, who Punk says in the DVD wasn’t ready to be the ECW Champion. There was an Elimination Chamber match Heyman had wanted Punk to win but he was the first man eliminated. The WWE put the title on Bobby Lashley instead. He was going to be the next big star so it made sense. Heyman left the company almost immediately.
On an episode of Smackdown, Punk cashed in his MITB briefcase on Edge and became the World Heavyweight Champion. Fast forward to a few months later. He was going to be in a Championship Scramble Match for the title but he was written out of it, losing his title without really losing it. While it’s bizarre to plan the type of segment the WWE did, the truth was he did nothing for that belt. Him holding that belt devalued it from when the likes of Ric Flair and Triple H held it. Punk was clearly a case where WWE tried to use a title to get a wrestler “over” and it didn’t work.
He held the WHC a second time and lost it to The Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell match at Summerslam. At the next PPV, he was in a meaningless dark match which again said management had no faith in him. Why would they? He wasn’t really “over” with the crowd and putting a World title on him just made everything worse.
He went on to form the Straight Edge Society. He got reactions from the crowd he had never gotten before, albeit negative. In the DVD, Punk said an old lady once jumped over the rail, slapped him and told him he’ll be sent straight to hell. His gimmick at the time was of this man with disciples around him and a Mary Magdalene-type character – all very Christian. Now it would be better if Christianity was not used at all – as Raven and Sandman learned in ECW – but the SES did wonders for Punk’s career.
The group had split up and Punk had been toiling in the mid-card for a while. Obviously, at this point he had been overlooked for other guys that the company felt they could do better business with. He said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for him was seeing The Miz main-event Wrestlemania 27 and not him. That was a tad unprofessional, especially because The Miz was on the DVD praising him in interviews. If this was Punk’s project like he said it was, maybe he should have left Miz off. He complained that The Miz had just “had it all given to him” as if to say The Miz didn’t face obstacles of his own when he got the WWE – he had been a reality TV personality. Bradshaw supposedly bullied him backstage for some time and did some of the most unspeakable things to him. Miz had a lot to prove and for Punk to say “he had it all given to him” is an insult. It’s an insult and it lacks perspective since Miz’s path to the WWE was a lot different from Punk’s.
A few months after Wrestlemania 27, Punk cut the best promo in years and it got all sorts of press. He became WWE Champ not long after and he has been a fixture on the roster ever since.
He whined about a lot of things in this and he has recently had even more rounds of pouting but I can’t complain about what I saw. The title is simply that fitting.