Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
So after seeing all this hype about how great Bryan/Punk from OTL is, I decided to watch it again now. Last time & the only time I had seen it was during the PPV itself and I enjoyed it. On a rewatch, though... not even close to the same extent.
Let's start off with the positive:
+ Crowd have their good moments, specially with the dueling "Daniel Bryan / CM Punk" chants.
+ Daniel Bryan is an excellent wrestler and as such, he does his thing every time it's his turn to be on the offense. His kicks look brutal, his submissions are executed smoothly, he has great energy, he reacts quickly with the moves and he looks like he's giving it his all.
+ Punk does a good job when it comes selling any injury he's supposed to have.
+ They get a shitload of time to work under. (23 minutes)
Now let's go to the negatives:
- The announcers are fucking AWFUL. I may have been spoiled since in the last 6 months I've only watched old Raw/SD shows from 03-05 but dammit, they sound like they don't even wanna be there. They rarely ever call any moves and talk about everything except the ring action. I understand JR did talk about the wrestler's background, how the feud came about and such during the match but Cole/Booker/Lawler continuously talk about them coming from the indies and having "great respect" for each other rather than just calling the moves. Plus Lawler truly sounds like he's this close to falling asleep. I know it's something that fans have accepted for a long time now but coming off epic matches less than a decade ago, this was such a huge fall.
- Punk's cardio looks terrible. I'm not surprised since he looks like he's never entered a gym all his life. But to get to why it relates to the match now. He's absolutely AWFUL at running because he makes it look like he's going through the motions and is training for the real match. He's JOGGING ffs. The move that bothers me the most from his arsenal is the Suicide Dive. He should take notes from his opponent here on how to execute one properly. This is something about Punk that has bothered me even when I was on the bandwagon. I just don't get all the hype about him being such a GR8 WRESTLER~!!! much less a ring technician.
- The overuse of submissions just for the fuck of it. Seriously, a lot of the first 15 or so minutes, they just spend putting each other in pointless submission moves just cause. Hell, Punk tries a Surfboard Stretch (or at least it looks like it) early on and when he fails to execute it (after having made Bryan look like an idiot for laying there for so long not doing shit), he just improvises by stomping Bryan on the back. They try so hard to make it some kind of technical masterpiece, it feels extremely forced with the submission overuse.
- Some sloppiness. The part where both are on the mat and try to headbutt each other was fucking terrible. It looks so fake, their heads barely even collide. And right before or after it, they try punching back and forth and even there, it looks terrible, specially Punk's punches. But none of it is as bad as when the Figure Four Leg Lock was locked in and Bryan got up to try punching his way out of it. They are both seated and throw some of the worst punches ever, again mostly from Punk.
- The finish is botched. It looked stupid then and still looks stupid now. The goal was clearly to do the controversial tap out/pinfall finish (this one is pretty much Edge/Benoit Part 2 except botched) but Punk is too slow and it ruined the finish. Still not enough of a problem. I mean Lesnar/Angle from WM19 is still a great match despite the botched SSP, so why would I use this as reason not to enjoy the match? Still worth bringing up.
Conclusion: *****? Hahahahaha, not in this lifetime. The negatives are a lot but there's enough positives to make this a ***1/4 for me. Admittedly, the stuff of the past which is all I've watched in the past few months might have spoiled me but the quality of this match has dropped heavily from the first time I watched it. And no, I'm not intentionally negative, I'm just honest. The Cena/Punk MITB match is far better.